Tag Archives: angora yarn

Gargoyle Bunny

Dunno as if Zeus thinks it’s near Halloween or what, but he’s been practicing his gargoyle moves.

white bunny imitating a gargoyle

He was right up on the front edge of the nest box just about falling off.  Dunno as if fluffy and white quite goes along with the whole gargoyle theme, but he’s just a beginning fashionista and still needs to work on a few details.

Zelda was trying out the gargoyle thing too, but nowhere near as convincingly as Zeus.

black bunny trying to be a gargoyle

She just doesn’t have the whole gargoyle thing figured out yet.

Other than fuzzy bunnies, there’s been fuzzy scarves being knit.  I’ve started writing out the pattern for it since it may turn out well enough to be knit by other folks perhaps.

detail of a knitted scarf

This is the front side of the scarf.  It’s being knit out of Hula Bunny’s ‘Beach Bunny’ color of yarn.  It’s mostly ‘Old Shale’ or ‘Old Shell’ pattern which is sometimes erroneously called feather-n-fan.  This is NOT feather and fan, it is Old Shell.  Which is sometimes called ‘Old Shale’ because of the accent from when it’s spoken.  So, now that we have that clarified, here’s the back of it.

back side detail f scarf

This is the back and because the Hula Bunny yarn gets so soft and fuzzy, a lot of the fine details in a pattern will get lost in the fluff.  Which is why a big broad pattern is best with Hula Bunny yarn.

If it were made with an unmodified Old Shell pattern, the back of the scarf would sort of have an overall pebbly texture and no real interest, IMHO.  The vertical stripes were added in to make the back nice to look at, too.

At the moment, it’s only half knit since it’s only about three feet long.  I’m thinking maybe six or seven feet would be the nicest length.

Not that we need a scarf in the middle of June, but I have to start knitting now so there will be things ready for folks in the fall and winter.  More bunny haircuts tomorrow!  The bunnies have to help or all kinds of folks will be missing out on toasty ears, necks and noses come next winter.

Aaargh! Vienna Gene Again!

See the white spot on the head of the chocolate baby?  That’s an instant disqualification at a bunny show when you’re an English angora bunny.  Sigh!  I’d thought I’d gotten all of this out of the herd earlier when Morpheus and most of his offspring were removed.

I’d also gotten the two black does mixed up.  It gets hard to read the tattoos sometimes after the bunnies get older.  So, the mother of this litter is Janet, NOT Jessie.   Janet could be a Vienna Carrier, but Jessie is of different bloodlines.

Janet’s g’g’g’grandsire was Tails of Paradise Stealth, whom I called ‘Zephyr’ since Tails of Paradise Stealth is a pretty lame name for a rabbit.  Stealth had been owned by someone breeding for Blue Eyed Whites which involves the Vienna gene which along with being necessary to get a blue eyed white rabbit, also causes all these white marks on their heads which makes them unshowable bunnies.

Stealth met up with Bumblebee Acres Forever (another less than stellar name, IMHO but much better than Zephyr’s.  I’d renamed BBA Forever ‘Cloud’ although her pedigree kept the original name).  They produced Hillside Anela who went to live with Dr. Mina in Hilo.  Anela met up with Bumblebeeacres Harry Potter and they produced AJM’s Toffee.  Toffee came to live here at Hillside and met up with Grinlow’s Dozer.  They produced Hillside Nicky Epstein who in turn met up with Hillside Country Cousin and they had Janet.

So, more than likely that white dot on the little chocolate bunnies head is from five generations back.  Maybe I’ll just breed Ruby Eyed White rabbits so they’re all white and I don’t have to worry about if they have any additional white-on-white disqualifying  marks on their head.

Little bunners and excavators

Gayle still has her four little bunnies.  They’re fat and full, so she’d a good mum bunny.

They’re doing well and staying warm.  It’s kinda nice for baby bunnies to be summer babies since it’s not as cold at night.  Although, around here ‘cold’ is anything below sixty.

The other three does who were supposed to have babies this round, Suzie, Sirocco and Jessie, don’t seem to be in the mood.  I’ll give them another day or two before letting them meet up with the boy bunnies again, but it’s looking less likely that they will have any.

baby white bunny on nest box looking down on the four black ones

Didn’t want to forget the first batch of babies now that there’s four new ones.   We may have Zookie Schwartz and Zeus.   The white one may be Zeus since he’s a male and will probably be staying here and the name starts with a ‘Z’?

Hopefully this upcoming week will have a lot of bunny time.  Shear everybunny who needs a haircut, do a deep cleaning on the hutch and maybe start on the buck hutch?  It’s hard to know if it’s worthwhile getting started when the bunnies will be moving yet again sometime soonish maybe.

view after the excavator cleared things

The excavator cleared the line of trees that used to be between us and the neighbors.  That’s going to be a mock orange hedge  now, I think.  Too bad bunnies can’t eat mock orange.

Yay Gayle! Way to go Phineus!

nest with four newborn baby bunnies
Fresh baby bunnies!

Yay Gayl!  Good job, Phineus!  Woot!  Four more baby bunnies!

There’s one pink one (most likely a Ruby Eyed White), one chocolate and two black ones.  This is Gayle’s first litter as well as Phineus’ first litter so we have two first time parents.  Gayle built a nest and put the babies in it.  Although she also put the ti leaf in there, too, so she’s still at the fill the nest stage, I guess.  I gave her some more grasses so she can eat the ti leaf and put the grasses in there.

I had hoped Jessie, Suzie & Sirocco were going to have babies, too, but they don’t seem to have any.  Sirocco hasn’t even bothered to make a nest but Jessie & Suzie had made nests.  There’s still a day or two left before we can figure there won’t be any, but if they do have them they will be taking longer than usual.

another view of the newborn baby bunnies

I didn’t want to take them all out of the nest since they’re still so new, but I think at least some part of all four of them is visible.

So with these babies, we now know that Gayle has the recessives for chocolate and REW and we know that Phineus has the recessive for REW, too.  Yay!  It’s always good to find out more about a bunnies color genetics so we can figure out which colors to expect.

And there’s an excavator in the back yard!

excavator up behind a house with an ocean view in the background

The big pile of brush and trees that had been piled up there earlier is all gone now.  Yay!  Now we just need to figure out what sort of house to build there.   The bunnies will get a bigger and better bunny yard, too.

One Month & One Day

The bunnies aren’t getting any new drastic size changes now that they’re a month old.  When they’re very small, they seem to change quicker.  Now they look like small bunnies instead of baby bunnies, but they still don’t look as fluffy as they will in a couple of weeks.

little black bunny sticking out his tongue

Zookie Schwartz is still being his usual quirky self.  Today he stuck his tongue out at the camera.  Guess he wanted something tasty instead of a flash bulb.

red leaf lettuce in the garden

Not sure why the dark red color doesn’t come through in pictures.  There’s more green in the lettuce along side  of it, too.

crowded leaf lettuces

It’s about time to thin the lettuce in the garden.  Still no beans yet, though.  We’ve had a few messes of beet greens, those are quite tasty.

Down to the last forty eight hours before we can hope to see more baby bunnies!  It seems like it takes forever sometimes, but considering how long folks with horses and cows have to wait to see if there will be babies, I suppose we’d get no sympathy if we complain.

3 weeks 6 days

It’s almost like they’re all in a bunny bunch like when they were tiny bunnies, but now they’re just piled up in the food dish.  They started  out eating and then they just kinda ended up hanging out together.  Guess they’ve spent most of their life so far being in a bunny bunch so maybe it’s what they’re used to and comfortable with?

Grasses on the nest box got them out of their bunny pile up.  At least, all the black ones.

The little Ruby Eyed White decided to run to mama instead of jumping up to the top of the nest box.  But, there were enough grasses for everybunny.

Bunny Games (3weeks 5days)

King of the Mountain - black bunny on nestbox
King of the Mountain, er, well, nest box anyway.

Baby bunnies have Bunny Games.  We’d probably call it ‘King of the Mountain’, but I suppose for them, it’s ‘Bun on the Box’ instead.  Here’s the picture from moments before:

one baby bunny pushing another off the top of the nest box
Bun on the Box

How rude!  Just push your sibling off the box!  But, then he gets to be the head Bun on The Box.  The little stinker.

white baby bunny sitting in the food dish
Bun in the food dish

Sitting in the food dish is either a bunny game or some sort of commentary on empty food dishes.

bunnies eating mulberry branches
Mulberry for dinner again

It’s not exactly leftovers since they’d pretty much eaten all the mulberry from yesterday, but it’s mulberry leaves again today.  Maybe tomorrow they can have some ti leaves or grasses.  They also have their organic alfalfa pellets and supplements of black oil sunflower seeds & calf manna.

I think we have some tentative genders figured out for them.  The white one is a male, I think.  The smallest black one, Zookie Schwartz, (not sure if he’s gonna keep that name) is most likely a male.   The biggest black one is a female and of the other two blacks, one is male and one is female.  So, two black females, two black males and one white male.

We will be keeping the white male and probably both the females.  Part of that depends on what shows up hopefully next week, though.  We’re hoping for two litters next Tuesday and then another one the next day and one the day after.  We will have to wait and see.

“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?