The next class I took was just as interesting as the first two, more busy at 24 or 26 people – I lost count – and was a complete delight to my Saturday afternoon. The Amazing Angora as it was billed was amazing because we got a good overview of the Angora rabbit. Sadly, I didn’t win the bunny, but it has got me thinking and researching the possibility of having one at home. I was tempted, oh – so tempted to buy one (this lovely German giant gray sweetie and say it hopped home behind the car), but I didn’t because I do want to do a bit more research and make some decisions about which variety and color. English, French, Giant, German? Pointed white, blue-eyed or red-eyed white, chinchilla, chestnut? Alone or in a pair? I’ve heard contradictory reports. The House Rabbit Society is promoting a pair, so they will keep company – on the other hand I heard they can be competitive. I know they would be fiber pets – no breeding. Hey – I can dream.
Plus I would like to do a considerable bit of more research on care and housing. We got a nice packet of information and pointed to the book Completely Angora, which we were told was out of print, but after a little research I found it is being updated and will be released soon. I also took notes – next to be organized, so I don’t forget my thoughts as I was writing fast and furious. Plus, I didn’t get him because I’m really not set up yet, and I would want to be prepared. I’m definitely a prepare type of gal. In case your wondering, I already had a look at the wire cages and I don’t think a plain old wire cage is my style. I’m thinking of something more like this or this, which would require some assistance from the other half of this household, who is leery that the cats may not adjust well. From what I read though it’s more the dogs that we would have to watch more closely, but he does have a point. This is a finicky bunch of cats and they do seem to be in a good place right now.
Anyway I got to hold a lovely French Angora and spin right from her. I also, got to do a little plucking (also disputed) and work out the mats, with some very useful tips for our long hair kitty. You know this type of letter opener. Well if you gently work it through a mat you can get it out with out bothering the critter. Work on an angle. Also clipping toenails (just like a kitty), diet, exercise. Of course, I asked about vet care and got a you must be crazy look.
Finally there was a lot of yarn spinning and passing of samples, so we could see how each angora produces a different wool depending on the amount of guard hair. The satin produces the least, but also the most likely to felt on the body. As you can see by my sample, it is the softest and mostly downy.
Easy to take care of the German and for your feed money the most production of wool, but the instructor was pushing French which has a bit less guard hair and is quite nice and maybe a bit smaller to handle and easier for the beginner rabbit enthusiast. All in all once they are blended into wool… well that will be my next test to see which fiber I like. Here are the three together – with the English in the middle.
All in all a good day and you can see why I was worn out Saturday after both the silk and angora classes. Sunday was the man-made fiber class with Patsy Z. Super interesting stuff there to continue tomorrow.