Spinning Angora: French on a Tibetan
I received four different colors of lovely plucked French Angora as a generous getting-started gift from someone on Ravelry, and I’ve been experimenting with them. First I examined them with a 10x hand lens to see if I could distinguish the different types of hairs. I could easily see the awn hairs and the underwool, which were clearly visible.
I could see the swollen awn tips at 30x, but couldn’t really capture it with my camera. So, you know. Trust me, they’re there, and a little longer than I expected. They’re shaped sort of like the seed heads of Texas wintergrass my siblings and I used to throw at each other (not barbed though. Soft like a baby’s butt. Well, if your baby’s butt is furry, anyway.)
So away I went, starting with the ginger tort and spinning from the fold. It was unfortunately easy to overspin on a top whorl spindle, so I soon switched to my Tibetan spindle and then lost all self-control as I spun the entire bag of fiber in a state of bliss. Then I blissfully plied it with some white silk sliver I had spun in a similar blissful haze a couple of months ago. I ended up with something so soft and shiny and fuzzy that I am pretty much slain by all this bliss.
On to the black angora wool, now. This wool was also lovely, but definitely a little more matted than the first. I spun some of it from the fold, but then switched to flicking it into a big ole cloud with my trusty cat slicker (I don’t cut up my hands with my cat slicker, whilst I do, rather, with my real-deal flicker.) I tried my wool cards, but they were too coarse to do much, so flicking it was. This did break up the very, very slight mats and I could spin it more easily. None of this spinning is super-smooth but it’ll do.
I think both the skeins pictured could stand some more ply twist, especially to lend them a wee bit of bounce, since neither angora nor silk has that going for it.
But man, the angora is light. Light like it isn’t even there, except it’s so warm I have to be careful about sweaty hands as I spin it. And since silk is super warm too, I think this fingering-weight yarn would make a cozy, cozy something or other.
And now on to the other two colors, which I’ll spin on my wheel. I think one shall become 100% angora yarn, and one shall be plied with some merino and we’ll just see what we shall see, shall we?
And then, and then… I also have an angora breed sampler, so I’ll be exploring some fiber from Giant, Satin, English, German, and (more) French angora rabbits. I must decide which breed I’d like to raise, myself. I was thinking German, but boy, this French angora fiber sure has my head turned.