Tag Archives: angora bunnies

“Varietal sole source” yarn

What is it they call a type of wine made by the vineyard that grows the grapes?  There’s so many wine terms it’s hard to keep track of them, but wine and yarn may have some things in common.  There’s the common wines in cardboard boxes and then there’s the good stuff made in small batches?  Well, in any case, today’s effort is making a ‘varietal’ yarn of one type of fiber and it is ‘sole sourced’ from one individual bunny.  Ha!  Maybe we can now make yarn labels about as confusing as an exotic wine label?

For Hula Bunny Yarn, the bunnies get haircuts and all their wool is in one big group sorted by color.  Then it’s sent to a small family run mill, blended with some of the softest Merino sheep’s wool for elasticity and with some silk for shine.  Then it’s spun into fingering weight yarn.  The next batch will hopefully be three ply, so far it’s all been two ply, we will see if the mill was able to do a three ply when it gets back from the mill hopefully sometime this month.

However, there’s also Hillside Farm Yarn which is the handspun yarns made from whatever is produced here and whatever I feel like spinning up at the time.  Consistency isn’t exactly what I’m known for so most of the Hillside Farm yarn has a run of maybe four skeins at most of any one type.  Usually ‘one skein wonders’ type of patterns are best for Hillside Farm yarn, but maybe consistency will be something to work on this year.

Phineus Pogge

So we start out with one bunny.  In this case, it’s Phineus Phogge.  He got a haircut the day before yesterday so now he doesn’t look like his picture anymore.

This is Phineus’ fluff becoming a ‘sole source varietal’ yarn.  Woot!

Yarn on spinning wheel
100% Phineus Fiber

It’s not been processed in any fashion other than clipping it off of Phineus.  I may card it a bit or I may not, depends on how it looks at the time.  It will be washed after it’s spun to set the twist.  Then measured, weighed and labeled.  I haven’t had much Hillside Farm Yarn available for awhile, it doesn’t last long once it’s made although hopefully there will be some for me to knit with this year.  I knit a lot with Hula Bunny yarn so patterns can be made, but there’s not as much Hillside Farm yarn so when it sells, there’s usually not any left for me.

The main difference between the two yarns is the elasticity of Hula Bunny verses the non-elasticity of the Hillside Farm yarn.  Also, the Hillside Farm yarn is even softer than Hula Bunny.  Hmm, Hillside Farm yarn would make an excellent blanket!  That would be a lot of bunny fluff, though.  Maybe I’ll make some and try weaving it, I don’t think I’ve ever woven Hillside Farm yarn.  That would make an excellent weft yarn, not sure if it would be a good warp yarn, though.  Hmm, maybe spin up some cotton for the warp and angora for the weft?  Well, I’ll think about that project some more.

See, that’s the thing, when you make your own yarn you can sit there and think about exactly which fibers you want in it and exactly what characteristics you want your yarn to have.  I find yarn stores really limiting when all they have is a zillion colors of the exact same yarn.

I’d been spinning the Bleak Hall Sea Island white fiber yesterday and now today the bunny fluff feels much slicker than usual.  It doesn’t have the same amount of ‘catch’ that the cotton has.  Both fibers are somewhat similar lengths.  Both fibers are approximately the same diameter, both being fine fibers.  Neither fiber has much elasticity at all.  Yet the cotton has a lot more ‘catch’ to it and can spin finer without falling apart in the process.

I’d started with the same setup for yesterday’s cotton spinning and immediately noticed that the tension was set way too high for the angora.  Really lowering the tension helped and now we’re spinning up Phineus into a “Varietal” yarn.  Maybe I’ll have to think up a better term for yarn made from one specific fiber source?  Do wine terms work with yarn?  “Single Source” for yarn from one sheep or one bunny?  Anyone else know what the terminology would be?