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.

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The awn hairs are heavier and straight. The underwool has much crimp, wow. Even though the awn hairs are thicker in diameter, they are still silky smooth, not rough like, say, guard hair from goats or dual-coated sheep. Or my dog.

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.

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Larger skein is the tort, spun from the fold, smaller is the black spun from a cloud. Both plied with silk.

 

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.

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Flicked and spun, gonna get plied with some silk.

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. close4

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.

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