Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Knitting/Spinning Talk

I'm sorry I haven't been posting here.  I have been really busy with the clay - several custom orders and it's just too much fun - completely addictive to be honest.  I think what I like so much about it is that I'm working with my hands, creating something from basically mud, I'm playing with texture and color, and it's the unexpected results.  It really is exciting to open the kiln in the morning and see how everything has been transformed.  I have been quilting the same quilt that I showed you like two weeks ago.  I haven't been working on it very much this past week.  I was able to finish a lot of blocks while I was watching the Superbowl with Mark though. 

Anyway, that really isn't what I was going to talk about.  It's time to groom our angora bunny, Truffles, again.  Before I do, I wanted to show you how gorgeous his coat is.  He is a French/Giant-German mixed bunny which basically means that his ears, face, and feet are smooth and he produces a lot of fiber. 
 His coat is gorgeous!  It's silky and soft and from a distance it has a gray/chocolate hue but as you can see, when you are up close to him it's actually only the gray/chocolate color on the ends.  The rest of the hair is a gorgeous creamy/white.  There is just nothing like it.

And I have to say he is the sweetest bunny.  I had a Netherland Dwarf bunny many many years ago (before I was married) that was sweet but not like Truffles.  When I pick Truffles up (he's big - like the size of a cat but he's all hair not body) and put him on my lap (even on his back) or over my shoulder like a baby - he just sits there like a lump and it you stroke his cheek he immediately zones out and becomes very heavy and very hot and sometimes snores! lol  Howard is pretty sure he would be good to eat so it's a little tricky keeping them separated.  But, if you are considering a rabbit for spinning I highly recommend a French/Giant-German mix.  I like that there is color to his fiber.  I can use it as is and it's not just boring white.  French angora is hard to spin so having it mixed makes it a little easier - still tricky-it is angora.  It is nice to blend with other fibers, too.  If you don't want to spin it you can tuck little bits in the inside of the stitches as you knit the cuffs of gloves or mittens and it makes them really soft and warm inside.  Plus, I can't say enough about how crazy sweet this bunny is.  You just have to make sure you're okay with the idea of them living in your house.  Hay is messy stuff.  I have had rabbits that lived outside and in the winter we would pack their house with hay to keep them warm and cozy but if Truffles were to be put into a house/cage packed with hay or bedding he would come out looking like he had been tarred and feathered.  Bedding and hay stick to his coat like glue.  Not a good plan.  So he lives in our house.  I have a huge cage (3 feet x 3 feet x 18 inches) that has a stand to keep it up off the floor (about 7 inches off the floor) with a pull out tray underneath and a 4 inch guard around the base of the cage.  It's much nicer than what you find in a pet store.  I bought it from a company in PA that was recommended by the breeder at MD Sheep and Wool (which is where we bought Truffles).  Truffles does use a litter box in his cage and that makes it much easier to clean out.  You must clean it daily.  If you don't want to use a cage (you have an extra room to dedicate to your rabbit - or you don't have a dog that thinks it's a mid day snack) rabbits are extremely easy to litter box train.  When my dwarf was a baby he lived in our sun room and he would return to his cage to use his litter box.  We also have a big pen that I purchased from an online pet supply to use in the house (in the photos above).  It comes with a floor covering so he can be in our living room and he and the room will be safe or it can be used outside - you just put the covering on top of the cage to protect the rabbit.  Here in Maryland we have a lot of hawks and it would be pretty upsetting to have one swoop down and fly away with your rabbit - which does happen.  There was a man at MDSW a few years ago talking about how it became a huge battle between him a the local hawk population.  He said he lost a lot of rabbits that way.  Pretty traumatic I would think.  Anyway, rabbits make great pets - you just have to make sure you actually play with them!  Angora rabbits love toys and people.


Deborah said...

I can just imagine how soft he must be!

Levin said...

I think I want to have a cuddle with him :)