Meet Hermione (back) and Sabrina (front).These are female German Satin cross Angora rabbits that we acquired at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival in Wooster. They were a spontaneous irresistible purchase!The German Angoras are known for having non-matting wool, making them easier to care for.The 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.The combination of the two breeds should make for a nice fiber animal.
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.
I am spinning up the last of my angora fiber as well as getting my next fleece (Adah’s) ready to process.Elaine 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).
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.
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.Next 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).Once that had set, we put the entire skein into the fuchsia. The results were a very pleasant surprise, kind of like Christmas in August!
All the ewes have lambed now. Raina and Tirzah were the last two ewes to lamb.
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.And this is the raw fiber of one of the fleeces mom used. Both of the fleeces that she used where blue-faced crosses.This 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.The Angora cooking in periwinkle.Mom’s fleece.Here are both of them finished and dried.And now this is the second batch. Aztec gold.The periwinkle we are planning on blending with some of Jemima’s wool, a black fleece with some graying.Starting 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.