The Newest Fiber Contributors

Meet Hermione (back) and Sabrina (front).img_6028_001These are female German Satin cross Angora rabbits that we acquired at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival in Wooster. They were a spontaneous irresistible purchase!img_6023_001The German Angoras are known for having non-matting wool, making them easier to care for.img_6567_001The Satin Angoras are known for having deeper color and a higher luster to their wool. The fiber is also said to be stronger for spinning although a little more slippery because of the silky texture. They also don’t have all the wool growth around the face, making them easier to care for.img_6590_001The combination of the two breeds should make for a nice fiber animal.

Current fiber projects.

Around the house on these cold winter days, each of us girls has several fiber projects going on.

Mom is working on: spinning some blue-faced/shetland fiber that she blended with silk noils and glitz, washing up Josephina’s rooed fleece from this year, as well as learning the technique of knitting two socks at once from the toe up with some hand spun and dyed Shetland wool.img_2583_002img_2613img_2619img_2624

I am spinning up the last of my angora fiber as well as getting my next fleece (Adah’s) ready to process.img_2597_001img_2596_001img_2614Elaine has been spinning some Shetland that she dyed emerald a few weeks ago. She also just finished knitting some beautiful leg warmers (I don’t have pictures of them though).img_2599_001img_2600_001

I’m not sure if you can tell from this picture, but some areas of the fiber are on the greener side of emerald and some areas are on the bluer side, making the finished product variegated.

Another dying experiment.

We have been playing around with some different dying recently, this time we tried dip dying. We were thrilled with the results!

The three colors we used were yellow, turquoise, and fuchsia. Mom dyed gray skeins and I dyed white. First, we dipped a third of the skeins into the yellow and let that set. You can see how the two different shades of wool picked up the color slightly differently.img_7914_001Next  we dipped two thirds of the skeins into the blue dye (over dying the yellow). That caused the yellow to turn green (we actually were not expecting that drastic of a color change, but we were really happy with the results).img_7919_001Once that had set, we put the entire skein into the fuchsia. img_7926_001The results were a very pleasant surprise, kind of like Christmas in August!img_7932_001img_7956_001img_7960_001

 

Last of the lambs.

All the ewes have lambed now. Raina and Tirzah were the last two ewes to lamb.

Raina and her lamb. He is the most photogenic of all the lambs I have tried photographing. All his pictures look absolutely adorable.img_5365_001img_5456_001img_5455_001

This year we have so many lambs playing on there moms like this. Normally there are none. It is not really good on the fleece when they do this, but it is really cute.img_5813_001img_5815_001img_5466_001

These are Tirzah’s, (you can see her in the background of this picture) and this is her ram.img_5831_001img_5829_001

Tirzah’s ewe. Elaine really likes her little white ears.img_5833_001img_5912_001img_5983_001img_5978_001

Dyeing.

Mom and I have tried to dye several times in the past without phenomenal success. All we would get was slightly funny colors and coarse fiber. But, because dyeing is really neat, we decided to try again, and this time they came out really nice!

Here is my Angora bunny fiber.img_5318_001And this is the raw fiber of one of the fleeces mom used. Both of the fleeces that she used where blue-faced crosses.img_5315_001This is the very soft combed fiber of each of the fleeces. The one on the right is the same as above and  will be periwinkle, the one on the left will be aztec gold._mg_5393_001The Angora cooking in periwinkle._mg_5321_001Mom’s fleece._mg_5379_001Here are both of them finished and dried._mg_5619_001img_5624_001And now this is the second batch. Aztec gold._mg_5566_001_mg_5557_001_mg_5597_001_mg_5672_001The periwinkle we are planning on blending with some of Jemima’s wool, a black fleece with some graying._mg_5606_001Starting in the upper left hand corner and moving clockwise is the aztec gold by itself, the periwinkle by itself, the black mixed with the blue, the black by itself, or the black mixed with the gold. And in the center is the blue and gold mixed together._mg_5644_001