Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sandy and Angora

Today was my first spinning demonstration. I spun angora yarn from an angora rabbit named "Miss Priss" at the Mint Hill Historical Society Fall Festival. I had such a wonderful day. The weather was absolutely perfect, and the people were so nice!

Sandy and Angora

I never imagined that I would be doing this kind of thing so soon in my spinning experience. I really just started learning to spin about a year ago. I always tell people about how much I love knitting and spinning yarn.

My cousin called me this week, and asked if I could possibly take my spinning wheel and spin at the Mint Hill Historical Fall Festival. I said, "I'll be glad to help. Just make sure they know I'm still learning!" She said, "No problem at all. I just want our yarn shop's name to get mentioned at the event." (She owns Cottage Yarn in Mint Hill, NC.)

So, I said, "Sure thing." Then I asked who I would need to talk to about details of the event, and she gave me the number of Farmer Rhonda from Black Swan Farms.

When I spoke to Rhonda, she told me that I would be sitting with the angora rabbit, and spinning angora! I had never spun angora before, so I grabbed one of the bags I had gotten on eBay, and took it out to work with it. I studied what I could find on the internet, and finally figured out how to do it. (You have to set your wheel tension VERY loose!)

I've been spinning angora almost every night this week, just to get used to it. It's not perfect, but it's angora yarn!

Yesterday, I worked on getting everything ready for the event, including making a fiber display for my table. That was fun to do! I got a sheet of balsa wood and put some little bags of fiber and yarn on it. I used some alphabet stickers to put a title on the display, and stuck on some wood cutouts of a sheep, knitting basket, and rabbit. It looks pretty good!

Today, I got along just fine with the angora rabbit, whose name is "Miss Priss", even though he's a male! I held him on my lap, and got comfortable pulling out his fiber. It was hard to get just the right touch at first. (You have to pull the hair pretty hard!) Then I put him in his cage, and used the hair to start spinning on my wheel. I finally got it going good, and then the crowds of people started pouring in.

It was non-stop from 9:30 in the morning til 2:00 in the afternoon. It was fun and exhausting! At one point, about six children were watching me, and they all got into the act of pulling hair from the rabbit. I put the rabbit in the cage, and they would pull hair and bring it to me to spin. It sure did make my job easier!

During the day, several people asked for my card. (Thank God I made some last night.) They were also asking if I teach spinning or knitting lessons, so I referred them to my cousin's yarn store. I might start teaching spinning there. Who knows? In addition, several people said they would like for me to come and do a spinning demonstration at their event!

When the crowds died down, I took everything down, and spoke with Farmer Rhonda and her husband Farmer Will. I asked them if they needed the angora yarn I spun, and they said that I worked for it. I got to keep it! A whole bobbin full! Farmer Rhonda also gave me a free bar of homemade goat milk soap!!

All in all, it was one of the best days of my life. So much fun, and very interesting.


Lynette said...

Sounds like a great day! I've seen lots of rabbits in my day, but never one as huge as "Miss Priss"! Whatcha gonna make with his lovely angora yarn?

unkoine said...

I think I might make some angora baby booties. The yarn is SO SOFT!

Whimsical Knitting said...

Sandy, that is so cool! Sounds like Miss Priss is a very obliging bunny, too! I've not yet worked with angora yarn...I wanna see your's!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog as I was searching for info on angora rabbits. We are a homeschooling family with 3 boys ages 11, 9, and 6 and we are interested in raising a few angora rabbits and selling their fur.
After researching just a bit I am completely interested in spinning! I'm happy to look around your blog and learn more!
Thanks for sharing your photo and story.