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!

A surprise litter…

About 3 weeks ago Chloe had 4 adorable kits! Right now they are at the peak of baby cuteness.

french angora, baby rabbits, baby bunnies, bunnies, baby french angora bunnies, black tort french angora baby bunnies, black tort rabbit, tort, tort rabbit

baby french angora rabbit, baby bunnies

adorable baby bunny, cute, cute baby rabbit, angora rabbit baby, french angora

This was an accidental litter of Chloe, (Black Tort) X Andre (Chocolate Tort). (Rabbits are very sneaky!) I think there are 2 males and 2 females, 3 Black Torts and possibly one Blue Tort.

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I am excited to see how the possible Blue Tort develops… I’m tempted to keep her. She is the runt of the litter and is very highly shaded. She is the one farthest to the left in the picture above – you can see how she is shaded compared to her littermate.

This litter will be ready to go to new homes by October 25, but you can reserve one until they are old enough to leave their mother! Contact me, and we can work something out. The babies will be $25 each or $45 for two, with partial pedigree.
Thank you!

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

Shearing – The Experiment

I decided to try shearing Andre this year with electric clippers instead of scissors. The clippers I used are actually dog clippers, and really old, from the 1960s. We picked them up for about $5 at a thrift store just to experiment with electric shearing. Good deal too, especially because I’ve read that a good pair of clippers for Angoras can cost upwards of $300.

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I set myself up a nice little shearing station in the bunny yard. I used 2 sawhorses (the perfect height) with a metal shelf left over from the shelf that supports the breeder cages on top. I wrapped a towel around the shelf to keep the bunnies from slipping all over it. I also used a metal tray that fit the saw horses to keep all my equipment in.

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The supplies I used:

  • Various combs and brushes
  • Oil for the clippers
  • Bacitracin ointment (in case I nipped him)
  • Scissors
  • Bag to hold the sheared fiber
  • Paper towel

 

I started by brushing him out and then began slowly shearing him across the back and shoulders. Its nice to have 2 containers for the fiber – one for the sheared fiber, and one for the prime fiber that comes out on the brush.
Andre was a little restless, but overall did quite well with the noise and experience of the electric clippers. Chloe, on the other hand, hated the clippers and tried to get away from them by climbing on me. I guess it depends of the temperment of the rabbit!

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I never cut him with the clippers, but there was a few close shaves. He had some really big matts on his shoulders that the clippers had a hard time getting through, so I had to use the scissors on those. That is the only way I’ve cut him – with the scissors when I can’t see the skin.
It helps when shearing to hold the fiber at a 90 degree angle from the body (straight up) so the clipper blades can go straight into the fiber.  Also, according to the directions that came with the clippers, you are supposed to dip the entire clipper blade while running into a “light kerosene – oil mixture”  throughout the shearing operation. I don’t have kerosene, so I just lubricated the blades with an all purpose motor oil and wiped off the excess on a paper towel whenever the bunny needed a break.

 

It’s kinda fun when a big matt or nice chunk of fiber comes off.

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He had some really big matts that I had been kind of dreading to do on his neck and chest. For those, I have to have him on his back to do, and being upside down with a noisy machine thing on his neck would be way too scary for a prey animal.
I ended up doing those carefully with scissors.

I also should say that I did not do this all in one day. I worked on sections of him over about 2 weeks. Of course it doesn’t have to take that long. More experience on my part and less matts on his part would have sped up the operation.

Before:

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After:

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On a side note, Chloe’s due date came and went, still no babies. No nesting this time either. Rebred June 29, so new due date is July 30th. If nothing happens then, I might start seriously looking for a new buck.

Thanks for reading!

God bless,
Rebekah

 

Halfway There!

Hello all!

So, let’s update. Chloe (French Angora doe) should be about halfway through her first pregnancy!
I finally moved her into the larger doe-with-litter cage so she’ll get used to it for a while before she kindles.
I’m pretty excited about getting some cute baby bunnies! In my 4-5 years of owning rabbits this will be my first litter!

Here’s pictures of my tiny rabbitry right now.
My plan is to keep a few of these babies to fill up the bottom two cages in the white shelter.
I could keep a few bunnies in the breeder doe cage too if I needed to, bringing my total number of Angoras to about 6.

finished breeder doe shelter

andre shelter

rabbitry angle view

 

Today I cleaned up the rabbitry area and gave the white shelter a well needed hosing. Feels good to get that done!

Thanks for reading!

God Bless, Rebekah

Poppy Felt Painting, Pt 2

Last time you saw the poppy field painting, there was almost no poppies in the field! Now I’ve finished the needle felting part, so I’ll post the photos of this process.

1118320-bigthumbnailMy reference photo

with fground poppies

Step 1

First, using needle felting, I blocked out the shapes of the big foreground poppies, and added shadow from the trees on the distant poppy field.
In retrospect I should have also filled in the bare white areas of the green field.

Step 2pt 2
Here I’ve needle felted shading and more detail to the foreground poppies, reconstructed the the top right corner and right side, and added the midground poppies.
You could also embroider red french knots for the midground poppies instead of needle felting them.

Step 3

pt 3Here I worked on the distant poppy field and hills on the left, adding a little shading, a few trees and defining some rows in the field.

Step 4

pt 4

Here I added poppies on the left side, added some green to the distant field, redirected the distant tree shadow, added a little lighter green to the dark trees, put some blue in the sky, and put some more poppies in the right side too.

Finished!

Thanks for reading my posts!
God Bless, Rebekah

Real Acorn Cap Ornaments

Here I’ve made acorn ornaments in three colors, with bakers twine loops in different colors for hanging. I’ve taken pictures of most of the process, but this is just a quick intro, not too much detail here.

Here are the supplies:

Felted ball
Acorn caps
Bakers twine
Strong glue
Drill

Also, (not pictured) I drilled holes in all the acorn caps for the twine to go through.edited supplies

First start by felting a large-ish marble sized ball, depending on the size of your acorn caps so the ball will fit in the acorn cap comfortably.Next, string a loop of bakers twine about 2-3 inches long through the hole in the acorn cap.

Now glue your ball into the acorn cap.

Aannnnd…. the finished acorns!

edited acorn closeupEasy, no?