Meet Willow. My new spinning buddy. She is the prettiest chestnut English Angora. She reminds me so much of my first English I had 12 years ago. Her fiber is crazy soft, and long stapled. And it matches perfectly to a couple of my grandmothers sheep. So blending will be fun!
Meet Wally, The Bunny With The Biggest Wing-Like Ears.
Wally is an English Angora rabbit who lives in Massachusetts, USA, and has ears that look like blessed messenger wings. He and his proprietor Molly as of late got to be celebrated on Instagram for their cunning critique, adorableness, and insane hair style. Wally was conceived in July of 2014, making him a Cancer.
Toby our English Angora wishes everyone a Happy New Year. 🍾
He was groomed tonight so he goes into 2017 all nice and fluffy. This guy is ridiculously laid back. His New Years Resolution is to visit the assisted living facility and hang with the residents as much as he can this year. They sure did enjoy him in 2016. He had a great time too. His favorite part is being able to run freely in an enclosed courtyard and then get cuddles.
Figured since I just got done dying an ounce of this today, it was a fine time to cover angora. As seen above, angora fiber comes from bunnies. Specifically, either the French, English, Satin, or Giant Angora bunnies (there’s many other breeds but those are the ones recognized by the ARBA). It’s incredibly soft with a micron count range of 12 to 16 and comes in multiple naturally occurring colors.
Angora is another fiber that was attacked by the organization who will not be named here as I have discussed them at length already. Yes there was a video. But it was made in China where the laws concerning animal welfare aren’t even close to the same and MUCH more video was taken than released.
The angora can be harvested in multiple ways. It can be sheared, clipped, or plucked. Sheared is considered the lowest quality as the fiber is so delicate. Clipping is a bit better, but by far and away, plucking is considered the best method. Think about how your dog sheds his undercoat in spring (which reminds me… puppy needs a brushing.). Plucking is basically the same thing. It’s removing the naturally shed undercoat. Just like your dog’s undercoat is naturally softer than the top coat, the same thing is true with the bunnies. Plucking reduces the need of prepping the fiber by reducing the coarser topcoat in the removed fiber. Angoras molt their undercoat about every four months.
For many people, angora bunnies are their entry into the world of raising fiber animals. They need significantly less space than sheep or alpaca. I’ve seen countless videos of people who have their bunnies in their laps as they spin and just pluck as they go. I get tempted sometimes to go that route with the fiber critters. We’ll see what the future holds.
As seen with the yarn above, angora yarn has a halo. It’s a naturally occurring phenomenon and has to be accepted as part of working with it. Personally, I find it pretty. It does felt very easily and is expensive to harvest. Therefore, most angora yarns aren’t pure angora. It cuts down on the cost and how easily it felts. It felts so easily that the fiber frequently felts on the bunny. The good fiber farmers brush their critters daily to avoid this. It can be excessively warm, so this is another thing to take into consideration.
I really like angora. But it’s certainly got its limitations. It’s not for summer weight. It’s not a good sock choice. But if you want to make a winter shawl for a night out on the town that will knock everyone’s socks off…. This may be your fiber.
PS… these posts all took WAY too long because my dog is spazzed out about the blizzard. I mean seriously spazzed. Like he needs puppy Ritalin.
Thanks to the generous donations of Night Vale citizens, the campaign has already reached 30% of its target goal. A particularly notable gift was made by local eccentric recluse and proud alumna, Mrs. Sylvia Wickersham. The college fundraising staff was caught off guard by this donation, as no one has heard from or seen Mrs. Wickersham in over a decade. Also, the gift was a fine porcelain vase, filled with two dozen English Angora rabbits.