Sunday, March 18, 2007

Angora Rabbit 5 - A Few Handspun Yarns

By Leigh

I reckon all that's left is to show you a few of my favorite handspun Angora yarns. Cathy asked in the comments about the halo and potential shedding of abused Angora, in garments. Sadly, the only knitted project I actually have from my Angora is a blend which I made before I knew about abusing the yarn.

That would be these yarns:

25% Angora, 25% Jacob, 50% Merino. I had an unusually soft Jacob fleece which I separated by color and hand carded 50/50 with my Angora. The Angora was dyed with one of the Cushings blues for the gray parts and KoolAid Black Cherry for the dark parts. The white Jacob was blended with undyed white Angora. All these singles were then plied with Merino singles from commercially dyed tops.

When I ran out of Jacob, the rest of the blue was eventually blended with white Angora; hand teasing them together. The yarn below was spun out of hand with that.

Hand blended Angora in blue & white.After I took a class in spinning curly mohair at SAFF one year, I experimented with trying to spin a textured Angora yarn with the same technique.

'Curly' Angora Yarn.I think it was visually successful, but since this was only a small sample, I'm not sure how it would knit up and wear.

But here's my favorite:

50/50 blend of grey Angora & white kid mohair.This is a handcarded 50/50 blend of grey Angora and white kid mohair. Gorgeous! Between the color of the Angora and the luster of the kid mohair, it makes me think of polished sterling silver. On the 'someday' list in my mind, I will spin enough of this blend for a fancy cardigan.

Even though I have pounds of Angora fiber, I haven't done a lot with it. I admit that even though I am a project person by nature, rather than a sampler, I still tend to dabble and then move on to something new. Oh, I'm good at making plans, but too often life simply gets in the way and the plans and projects get postponed.

Of course, before my children left for university and were at home all the time, family was my priority. In those days, my fiber and textile pursuits were a way to treat myself after a day's work well done. I would spin or knit in the evening while as a family we read out loud. Our repeated favorites included the Little House on the Praire series, Ralph Moody's books, Sterling North's Rascal, and Watership Down. I admit that there wasn't a lot of time for weaving, which is probably why I still see myself as a novice weaver after 7 years. Even so, all those odd moments of relaxation yielded a lot of yarn, a lot of knitting, and a slow but steady amount of weaving.

Oddly, now that I have so much more time to myself I don't feel any more productive. Part of the problem I'm realizing is that I'm having a difficult time making the mental transition between fibers and textiles as relxation, and fibers and textiles as work. I enjoy weaving / spinning / knitting / dyeing so much that I have a hard time thinking of them as being productive. I often feel a little guilty throughout the day because I feel like I'm treating myself when I ought to be working instead! So my challenge for myself is to overcome this idea. I'm not exactly sure how to do it, but it's something I want to work on.

Posted 18 March 2007 at

Related Posts:
Angora Rabbit 1 - My Bunnies
Angora Rabbit 2 - The Fiber
Angora Rabbit 3 - Spinning the Fiber
Angora Rabbit 4 - Finishing the Yarn


Cathy said...

What beautiful yarns Leigh! With your pounds of Angora fiber, sounds like we can look forward to some more Angora projects in the future. :)

Peg said...

Have you set up a false dichotomy between work and play? This can get you into a lose-lose situation. Any other ways of thinking about this? I know, I know, I'm making you do the work...............grin!

Leigh said...

Peg, this is certainly something I need to think through. Obviously I need to re-define some things in my mind!

Peg said...

One thing you could put into your thoughts is the notion that a child's work is playing. That's how he learns.