What a fun day! Betty Crotchitt and I went to the NwRSA “area 2030” spin-in at the White Center Library and had a very enjoyable get-together. I like what a multicraftual crowd this is, while most of us were spinning, someone was making a rug, one was knitting and another was weaving a basket. The carrot cake was awesome and I won the monthly basket raffle. The basket contains a knitting calendar with some great patterns, yarns and spinning fiber. She who wins the basket gets to refill it for next time and I am already gathering things for it.
When I got home, we took the angoras out into the dog yard and let them play in the sunshine. They live indoors so this was a big deal for them. I brought them one by one out into the fenced dog yard right off the kitchen, without the dog, for now. It is the first time the cinna-buns have officially met little Freya. Their crates are next to one another but they’ve not been loose together. They loved the sun and once they got the pecking order established they all ran and played together. There was a bit of mounting-behavior but that was all between Ivy and Angus, the littermates. Rosie spent a lot of time grooming Freya’s ears and Freya teased Angus into chasing her. They chewed some elm leaves and lemon balm and dug a few holes. It was great to see them relax and play since they are still kind of nervous in general. I was surprised that it wasn’t as hard to round them up as I thought it might be.
We finished up with pot roast and turnips for dinner, a long dog-walk and The Golden Compass. Just ducky.
We just spent the weekend at Wool in the Woods, the annual conference of the NwRSA, the Northwest Regional Spinners Association, at Pinelow Park in Loon Lake, WA which, by the way, takes the record for the longest distance I’ve ever driven a vehicle. This was a larger event than I expected — a lot of people, mostly women, attended and my fellow spinster from the Alaska cruise was there with her district as well as a few members of mine. The weather alternated between rain and sun and the temps were the same as we have been having in Seattle. I had signed us up for a tent-site because dogs were not allowed in cabins but the camping area was too soggy so the management allowed us dog-people to have them in the cabins after all.
The place was really nice — the setting was beautiful, the showers were clean, the beds were comfortable but the best part, of course, was the conference itself. I took classes on spinning angora, silk, slippery fibers and a technical class on twist, tension and wraps per inch. The other offerings were knitting techniques, basket weaving and classes on dyeing, including indigo, persimmon and other natural dyes. When I wasn’t in a class, I was usually at the seemingly 24hr spin-in going on in the main lodge. There were more wheels than I’ve ever seen before — whole herds of Lendrum and Ashfords and fiber and tool vendors. Scott somehow neglected to bring along one of the many hats I’ve knit him over the years and ended up buying a felted wool hat from Thistledown Shetlands and he surprised me with a beautiful yarn-bowl made by Sarah Alderete. I won a table swift provided by Paradise Fibers as a door prize and I bought a drop spindle from Spindlewood, a little maple one-yard niddy-noddy that matches my Journey Wheel from The Bellwether, some silk from Dyelots and some pure white angora from Margaret Gisselberg, the woman who taught the Angora class. She had sheep-wool, angora fiber and bunnies and yup, we have a new bunny. Her name is Freya and she is a 9 week old German-Satin hybrid. She is calm, poised and extremely well socialized and sat in my lap for hours each night while I participated in the spin-in. I may need to change my Etsy store name from Dunthor to Angora Addiction.
While I was doing all that, Scott and Rob were taking long walks in the woods and along the lake, taking long naps, loitering on the bench outside the lodge greeting everyone who went by and just hanging out together. Rob didn’t want to leave. I had to lift him into the truck — he wouldn’t jump up on his own. Little Freya rode about halfway home in the big crate next to Rob’s inside the truck canopy and the rest of the way in my lap. That makes her the only beast, besides Mom’s Freddy, who has ridden in the cab of my truck — everyone else rides in the back. Freya has her own bunny crate at home and is getting introduced to the cinna-buns very slowly. She is getting her exercise in the kitchen and I think she’d like Rob better if he’d quit tossing toys on her. He really wants her to play so he scootches up to her in a play bow pose and then lobs stuffed animals at her, LOL.
Well, this has been the easiest integration of new beasts we have ever had. We were prepared to have issues with Maggie, the cat Freya rescued July 4, 2004, since she is fairly antisocial and quite the hunter. For the record, Satin angoras are the size of an average cat and aren’t in any real danger from them. Maggie is a smaller than average cat and is rather smaller than any of these buns. However, she has appointed herself Bunny-nanny and now spends most of her day on the dryer watching them. I heard a commotion and ran to the kitchen door, just in time to see Rob scooting up the stairs with Maggie in hot pursuit. I guess I left the laundry room door open and he sneaked down to peek at them.
Rob is three and a half now, and has fully developed prey drive so he is mostly seeing them in laps or in their pen and never without supervision. Ivy was in my lap in the family room and Rob came over to sniff her. He approached in dog- polite “curve” formation, not looking at her and she allowed him to sniff and then she turned to sniff him back. I told him, “good boy, that’s enough,” and he left the room. He was back shortly after carrying a small toy duck, which he gently set next to her.
We have adopted three angora rabbits from Rabbit Haven in Gig Harbor!
Yes, they are fluffy.
Yes, I am going to spin their fur. Actually, I already have.
Yes, you can come and see them.
They were part of a batch of 80 animals that were dumped outside Kitsap Animal Control in liquor boxes and left all weekend. These three survivors were taken in by Rabbit Haven. A friend who has adopted rescued rabbits before told me that they had three strikes against them: 1. they are angora, 2. they are matted angora, 3. there are three of them and Rabbit Haven wants them kept together. Well, Scott and I took that as a challenge and called to take a look at them. I think Sue was stunned when we said we’d take them. She even warned us that they are the messiest rabbits ever! Their names are Autumn, Spring and Summer and we decided to call them Rosie Autumn, Ivy Spring, and Angus Summer. He is named after our Angus Kitty, click the link for a pic.
I got some library books about angoras and rabbits in general and some angora fiber to take on our cruise, since I had never spun any before. It turns out that they are Satin Angoras, a breed much prized by spinsters, and prime angora fiber exceeds the per-ounce-price of silver. I was not at all surprised to find that angora is my new favorite fiber to spin. It is silky, warm in the hand and requires no preparation. That means that every 12 weeks or so when they are shedding, you can sit with a rabbit in your lap and pluck and spin their fur directly. I love it when they are all standing up listening and they look like baby wallabies. Scott says they are picking up messages from space with their rabbit-ear antennae.