It has been a busy day here today. My husband and I have spent most of the day working around the house. He has been busy scraping the back side of the house, getting it ready to be painted and I spent the day in the barn, working on various projects. Being that my studio in the barn is air-conditioned......it was definitly the place to be today with the warm temperatures.
I started the morning finishing up the bunny shearing. What a difference there can be in bunny personalities. One of the girls that was lined up for shearing, really hates being sheared and hates even more getting her spring dose of Ivermectin, which helps to keep mites at bay. She hates that Ivermectin so much so, that the little bugger, bit me!! "OUCH!!" Not hard, mind you......but all the same, this was a first and it really surprised me. I have never had a rabbit bite me before. Unfortunately, mites are an unpleasant fact of life in rabbitries, so it really is necessary for them to get their spring and fall dosage of Ivermectin. My friend Claudia has written a wonderful write up regarding mites on her blog.
The other girl that I worked on today is a sweetheart named Belinda. Even though I did not breed her, she comes from my breeding. Her mother was a special girl that I bred here, named Glinda. She lived with Claudia of Countrywool. Claudia sadly lost Glinda due to a back injury this past winter. Belinda is a chocolate torte, with what I believe is some rufus (red factor) hiding in her genes. This is a picture of her in full coat
I love the rich color. One of the things that I have been concentrating on in my breedings,is the color red. Perhaps it is because I am a red head (strawberry blonde), that attracts me to this color......whatever the reason, I just love it! A rich red is very hard to achieve in German Angora Hybrids. In order to get the percentage of German up to a hybrid level, one has to keep breeding back to the pure REW German. With each breeding to a German, keeping the intensity of the color is hard to maintain. I have a red (fawn) french crossbred buck, who has given me a red baby in both of the litters that I have used him. The first red baby was Glinda, and his newest red baby is Nordic Peter Hoppit. He will be Belinda's date down the road, with hopes for more red babies.
I am finished shearing now until the beginning of September. I try to keep on this schedule, so that the bunnies are clipped down during the hottest part of the summer, as I worry about the bunnies in the heat. After cleaning up and boxing all of the angora, I moved on to the next project that has been waiting for me.....
This is a lovely coopworth fleece that I purchased at the Denmark Sheep Festival in Maine. Although I swore that I would not buy anything this year (I set up as a vendor every year)....this fleece just called out to me and the price was a steal, at just 4.50 per pound. So, today, I loaded up the fricke electric carder, and processed 4 oz to see how the handle on the fiber would be.
I will spin up a few ounces to get a feeling for whether or not I should add something soft, such as alpaca. I am thinking though, that this feels realllllly soft all on it's own, but sometimes what it feels like in the roving, is not always how it feels once it is spun.....so we will see.
Tomorrow, I am hoping to tackle the loom again. I have decided, that I will do some dish or bath towels instead of working with chenille again. I bought some lovely organic naturally colored cottons, that are begging to be woven.........more about that this week :-).
Have a safe and Happy 4th of July Celebration!!!