This stunning buck is doing so well! Bri's Rome turned 9.5 months old, and he grew out a beautiful long dense coat. I was highly impressed with him as a buck, and he is also remarkably clean, he never sprayed himself or got his wool dirty. I decided it was finally time to say goodbye to such a long coat, even with A/C I knew he was ready to be done and ready to be free of his large coat. So, after his last photoshoot yesterday, I sheared him. I filled 2 large bins full of fiber that is now ready to be spun or dyed. Here are some of my favorite pictures of him!
His pose every time I turn the blower on!
On to the newest Arrivals! Terri's Sansa had a gorgeous litter of 5 beautiful Torts on July 23rd. Rome is the Sire. Can't wait to watch them grow, this litter was born in perfect timing for Angora Nationals next year in Michigan! So far Sansa is being a great mom, she hasn't lost not one baby yet! They are all healthy and thriving. I have Chocolate Tort, Blue tort, and possibly a black tort. Time will tell for sure on the colors soon. At birth they were all born pink, you couldn't see any color at all then, and these pictures were taken at 5 days old. Kits grow fast, especially in the first month. Next week their eyes and ears will be open.
Nice big fat healthy bellies!
Ellie's babies, you may remember from an earlier post, are doing well. I'm in love with my gorgeous Blue buck. He is by far the pick of the litter, and he will be staying here with me! I will post pictures and updates of him hopefully soon!
Happy July! Another fun little (I mean rather long) update from the Bunny farm here with what has been happening the last few weeks. First, I finally got motivated to get some stuff done with my Angora wool that I've had spun up on spools, so I started by plying it. Below is a picture of the completed skein. Plying means spinning two or more already spun strands or strings of wool together. When you have done this, the skein is also referred to as "yarn". If you've examined yarn at the store, you'll notice it is usually 2 or 3 ply, some up to 9 ply. The more you ply it the thicker the yarn is, depending on how thick or thin you spin the single skeins. Very fun, learned a LOT this time around. But a warning.... once you get started, you can't stop.
And one thing leads to another. Seriously, if you would have told me when I got my first rabbit years ago that I would be showing and spinning and kitting and making baby booties out of them I probably would've laughed. I'm not the most patient of people with little projects that take lots of time. Although I like to sew, and usually complete those projects (ahem, except one little log cabin baby quilt that still needs backing 6 months later), most of the time I'm great at procrastinating everything. But these.... these are a whole new LEVEL of FUN. Shockingly, they are rather addictive. Once you make one, you have to make another, and another... and now I have 6 little booties all knitted up waiting to be baby gifts for someone.
All the little hair you see pulling out? That is natural, normal, and usually desired for most angora items. It is called a "Halo effect", this is the guard hairs pulling away from the wool. Guard hairs are thin hairs that are the same follicle DNA makeup of a hair follicle, for example like the Dutch rabbits, that grow super long on Angoras. They are not wool follicles however, but are consistently intermingled with wool on the rabbit. Crimp and Guard Hairs prevent the wool from matting on the rabbit. This is something most breeders and spinners desire. These guard hairs are very thin, and they affect the texture of your wool coat on the rabbit. Each time you shear the coat, more guard hairs come in, the first coat often has the most crimp and least amount of guard hairs. Crimp is very important, because it helps the fiber to line up and mesh in a perfect "fit". Crimp is the wavy "Curly" look you see when you blow in the wool. Crimp is the wavy way wool grows, Guard Hairs are separate follicles that grow very long and keep the wool from meshing together too tightly. When you spin fiber, the guard hairs are thin, soft, and slippery. Most beginner spinners don't start with angora because it is described as a slippery fiber, and this is because of the the super thin guard hairs. Once you spin it, you begin to see the Halo begin to take place, the tips of the guard hair just slip out of the twist, leaving this beautiful transparent appearance of fluff.
One thing a picture couldn't describe about this fiber: the softness. I said, the SOFTNESS. Oh such fun to knit with it!! I could just snuggle the yarn as I worked with it. Sounds crazy... but for real, the softness is out of this world. Angora is the softest of ALL WOOL FIBERS. It is also (fun fact here!) 7 times warmer than sheep wool. Perfectly lovely.
So then I got totally carried away. What did I do? I went on this super awesome free online website for knitting and crochet patterns. Ravelry is the deepest, most beautiful online pattern website you can think up, and you can just sigh and dream scrolling through the beautiful patterns. I needed a pattern to make the booties out of, so I went on there to find one. I found the perfect one! So much fun! Another word of warning: be careful, you might fall in for hours just admiring stuff. That would be me. I have tons of fun projects "planned", but who knows how the procrastinating side of me will actually weigh all that out into finished projects.......
Next..... A BEAUTIFUL trip out to Kansas, headed to a bunny show in Wichita! I went to this same show last year, a sweet friend in the Mid America Angora club does a great job getting folks together and there is a really good angora turnout, for angoras. I adore the drive, the show was June 10th and 11th. The beauty of the rolling green countryside with the hills and the miles of cornfields is just lovely this time of year! I love the Midwest, so much open expanse and room to breathe, not to mention the gorgeous views.
We pulled in Friday afternoon to the rabbit show building, which also happens to be the super nice air conditioned County Extension Event Building. (I've never showed at a better event place!) I checked in the bunnies early, and then headed over to check in at the hotel. We stayed at the Hilton, which was also the Airport hotel. Beautiful hotel, great customer service, & we even had time to get a quick swim in before the evening show. The MAAC sanctions were in the Evening, Friday the 10th. I got back over to the show building around 4 pm to have time to get some grooming done. Friends pulled in and we all got busy grooming and fluffing for the show!
Let the judging begin! Vic Vogt was our judge for the first show, I have learned to appreciate his attention to detail when it comes to bodies underneath all that wool!! He is judging Jubilee at the moment.....
The Black Sr doe in this picture is the 1st place English Angora at Angora Nationals in May. She was also first place under Judge Vic Vogt in this show. She is owned and bred by my dear friend Lil Peck, with Moirai Rabbitry.
Lineup! All the Colored Jrs being judged. As I said, a good turnout for Angoras!
And then on to show B! Same rabbits, same exhibitors, new judge! The new Judge was Karen Vogt. (Vic's wife) Karen picked Jubilee for BIS show B! WOW. 3 days over 6 months, and a BIS. Phew... I did not see that coming. However, I will say that Jubilee is made of strong stuff. She is a gorgeous animal, I truly adore this little doe, and I'm beyond proud and excited about her! Way to go, Ellie's baby girl!
Thank you to Karen for recognizing this doe, and a Thank you to Kelly Flading (middle), she did a great job writing the judge's comments!
One last picture of the Show... This is the next day, Saturday morning, Terri's Sansa up for the BIS judging. The Judge picked a beautiful Florida White as his BIS animal. I still love this picture, what a doll that little Sansa is!
Just after the show, It was time for beautiful Sansa to say goodbye to her magnificent coat. Over 10 inches long, Incredibly dense, it took awhile for it all to come off. Can't wait to spin this coat up! My gorgeous buck Rome is next, he has grown a beautiful 9 month coat, but I don't want him to hold coat all summer, because he is a buck, does are easier to groom in full SR coat.
One very pretty Chocolate doe, she is from my litter of chocolate Dutch babies born in May.
Thank you for stopping by! Hopefully more exciting news later this month! ~Anna
Welcome! I'm Anna, and I raise Dutch and English Angora rabbits. I love staging photoshoots and I use the blog as a way for you to get a glimpse of the adorable bunnies I cherish. I try to post on my "bunny blog" at least once a month, so check back for updates! Also check out my facebook page in the top right hand corner of my site. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the pictures!