Heathered Pink Angora Yarn

My friend gave me about 4 oz of grey English Angora fiber to spin that she had been saving from her rabbits. She doesn’t spin, but is an avid knitter, so she was looking forward to knitting with her own fiber.

I hackled the fiber to sort out all the short bits, neps, and hay, and was left with about 1.7 oz of prime fiber. She asked for pink in the batts, so I used 2 different shades of pink Tussah silk, and dyed some merino/silk blend top to layer in the batts.

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I spun and 2-plied the batts into about 180 yards.Although I love the softness, I don’t care for Angora’s tendency to bloom and shed, so I spun the singles with a very high twist so that the loose ends have a harder time escaping the yarn.

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Thanks for reading!

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Bunnies are ready to go…

..to their new homes! I have 2 black and 2 agouti French Angora bunnies for sale, born 4/17/15. I updated my Rabbits For Sale page, so please check it out for more info. Thanks!

edited agouti 1

Spring is in the air…

..With baby bunnies again! This litter of 5 is from Chloe (Black Tortoiseshell) x Basil (Chestnut Agouti). I am hoping for some new colors in this litter. (Last litter all the babies were Black Torts, same as their mom Chloe.) I’m not sure what color these guys are yet. I think 3 are all black and 2 are black with pink tummies and ears. They are only a few days old, so by the end of the week they should be old enough for me to take them out of the nest box and get a good look.

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This litter was interesting because 3 were born on Friday afternoon, and 1 was born on Saturday morning, and another Saturday afternoon. All were healthy though, and Chloe seems to be fine. She was early- she wasn’t due until Sunday!

Here is Chloe- she looks pretty ragged because of all the fur she pulled for the nest.

french angora doe after birth, french angora doe, black tort rabbit

From Bunny To Yarn

I finished my first real yardage of Angora yarn! I made my first weaving project, a scarf. Here is the yarn- a lot of time and effort has gone into it!
I blended a 75% alpaca to 25% angora mix, from my French Angora buck, Andre. This yarn has taken most of the summer and fall of 2014 to prepare for – I custom made a hackle to blend the fiber on, harvested the fiber from Andre, I waited until the Rhinebeck festival to get the alpaca, I blended, spun, Navajo plied and steamed the yarn, warped the loom, and now I’m finally using it!

Here are pictures of the process.

Andre, the wool producer

french angora rabbit, chocolate tort rabbit, angora rabbit

My custom hackle- here I’m blending the alpaca and angora to spin.
custom made hackle, hand made hackle, fiber hackle, fiber hackle for sale Here is the finished yarn- Navajo plied, roughly 250 yards.

angora yarn, french angora rabbit, rabbit fur, rabbit wool, angora rabbit yarn, hand spun yarnThen I steamed the yarn, warped the loom, and started weaving!

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I finished the scarf with a technique called hemstitching, which ties off the ends of the woven piece and gathers the warp into groups of fringe.

hemstitching, how to hemstitch, woven scarf, hand woven scarf

And here is the finished scarf!

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angora scarf, hand woven, womens gifts, what to buy for mothers day, easter, hand made scarf, hem stitching, angora scarf Thanks for reading!

First yarn from rolags

Back in October I was at an antique store and was inspired to make a lemon yellow and robin egg blue yarn from some enamel pots.  yellow rolags, blue rolags, merino, batts, fiber batts

I made some beautiful rolags from merino, tussah silk, and some wool locks. il_570xN.116869084

It was the first time that I
used my blending board
correctly! I didn’t research
how to use the blending
board before I used it earlier
this year, so I didn’t know that
I’m supposed to draft the
rolags while I’m rolling them off.

closeup rolags 2closeup rolags
The rolags were fun to spin. The locks were beautiful when spun. Here are the 2 bobbins before they are plied together.

spun 1
close up spun I spun the yellow single a little thicker than the blue, so the effect is that when I plied, the thinner blue single is wrapped slightly around the yellow single.

lemon enamel closeup
hand spun yarn

HFA’s Newest!

Yesterday we drove up to Springfield, Mass. to pick up a new rabbit!

And here he is,a beautiful Jr Chestnut Agouti buck!  I’ve named him Basil. Well, it was a contest between Giacomo, Basil and Stefano. But Basil won out. I think he looks like a Basil.

meet basil

basil side view

His previous owner clipped his coat a bit, so it is not as long as it will be when he grows it out.

As you may have noticed, all my angoras look pretty much the same, as they are all Black and Chocolate Torts.

So I have been searching for a new Frenchie in a different color. In a tort-to-tort breeding, all the babies will be more torts.
In an Agouti-to-Tort breeding I could possibly get more Torts, Agoutis, Black, Orange/Fawn, and maybe Chocolate.
The next litter will be exciting!

2 of the babies have been reserved so far, so in the spring when the babies have all been sold hopefully I will breed another litter.

Thanks for reading!

God Bless, Rebekah

DIY Hackle

Have you ever heard of a cake breaker? Me neither. A few weeks ago I was walking down the kitchenware aisle at our local thrift store, and a giant fork happened to catch my eye. I picked it up because I originally thought that I could make a wool comb out of it.

cake breaker

No one quite knew what it was intended for. (we thought it was for holding meat down while its being cut) After some time on Replacements.com, we found out that this utensil is specifically used for angel food cake. Its supposed to be really good at cutting the cake without squishing it. Who knew?

I decided to make a hackle out of it, so I ordered another off of Amazon to make a 2 pitch hackle.
The other cake breaker is here:http://www.amazon.com/Animewild-R-M-Cake-Breaker/dp/B000FRUNXM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408905724&sr=8-1&keywords=cake+breaker

The supplies I used are here:

supplies

  • Mahogany Wood, or any hard wood
  • Cake Breaker
  • Liquid Epoxy
  • Chisels
  • Wipe-on Polyurethane
  • Power Sander

I measured a groove about half an inch wide and a little less than that deep. I used a chisel to cut the groove.

I used a saw to cut off the heads of my 2 cake breakers (one was sterling silver!)

Than we used liquid epoxy to set the metal heads in the groove. It got a little messy, but sanded off nicely after it dried.
We used a bulk epoxy that we had originally used for another project, but I think a small tube of 2-part liquid epoxy would work. Those small epoxy packs can be found at hardware stores or auto parts stores.

Here’s the epoxy I’m talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Glue-4200101-Epoxy/dp/B001Z3C3AG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_indust_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=13KRHAC7D1Y4XZ13RM7M

epoxy unsanded
epoxy sanded

Then I applied 2 coats of a wipe on polyurethane finish, and taadaa! A hackle!

finished outdoor  top white
finished white

I am going to make another one, 12 inches long. The tines on this one are about 4 inches wide, and while it works, I really need more room to make roving that is long enough to be useful for spinning. My experiment cost under $10 to make as I had most of the supplies on hand and I got the satisfaction and enjoyment out of coming up with idea to make something and having it work!