Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2
This beautiful boy has greatly enriched our homestead. He comes from an extremely loving, natural- rearing focused home (Thank you, Miss Alison) and he has amazingly soft, silky (not cottony) and dense fiber! That excellent start on life makes him especially easy to care for...He can consume vast amounts of greens happily, with only positive effects and is always full of energy! He is the first we've found from another home with this vigor and fiber and he confirms why we strive to raise ours the same. It also shows why smaller numbers can mean more attentiveness to care and higher quality fiber. This continues to be a month of affirmations and support to further hone the focus of our homestead and we're pleased to share such a beautiful example!
The seeds of pumpkins have long been known to be a natural *vermifuge. Each year we harvest as much as we can from a local farm and use it as a wonderful, dual purpose feed additive for our animals. Just as the flesh and seeds are tasty to us, they are relished by the animals (the rabbits, not so much.) and this huge stock pile that filled our trailer and truck bed has already been consumed.
Even the farmer didn't know the benefits of this simple feed, having grown them for commercial use for many years. This is an old practice that has been lost through the years, but it cements the necessity of planting them not only for ourselves, but the animals too.
*Vermifuge: n. [L. vermis, a worm, and fugo, to expel.]
A medicine or substance that destroys or expels worms from animal bodies; an anthelmintic.
American Dictionary of the English Language By Noah Webster 1828
Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. Job 40:20
Lil Miss has a couple of beautiful angora crosses she's willing to offer, for an excellent price, to the right homes.
Both females, these ladies are well mannered and offer the softest fiber blend of breeds.
If you'd like to learn more, leave a comment below (double check your email address) and we'll get back with you!
If you're looking for a way to learn several heritage skills that engage your mind and offer beautiful results, the Schafer Meadows Fiber Arts Festival is just the event to attend. So many willing hearts and hands eager to guide and teach a number of skills to adults and children alike.
'Lil Miss' created a beautiful pot holder while learning basic quilting; was thrilled to make her own mini shawl on a triangle loom; created a background for a future Glorious Beginnings sign with the wet felting class; took home her own mini back strap loom, and practiced her needle felting too!
She didn't participate in all the offerings either, there were paper crafting classes, blending boards for practicing, spinners available for help and support, other needle felting projects, several types of weaving set-ups...it's just a treat! All supplies were provided free of charge and the classes were staged multiple times through the duration of the event. This is the way gatherings should be!
This weekend we met so many more wonderful fiber enthusiasts; several just beginning the adventure of raising angoras for their gorgeous, warm fiber. We had some of our angoras with us to share and many were surprised to learn we don't feed them the typical pellets found in the feed store - especially after seeing their fiber quality and robust health.
Happy, Healthy, Snuggly Rabbits!
Look for all of the Blue highlighted* areas of today's text, they will link you to further areas of study....
There is always change on any homestead; in the gardens, amongst the animals and on the land~ throughout the seasons. During the increase we are glad for it and happy to make accommodations for the blessings. Our big builder around here is Jr. Farmer and I captured him in some action shots to share with our friends!
We're prepping to demonstrate our spinning and share Angora rabbits again, at the August 1st Orting Farmer's Market, this Friday! We want to be sure to have our examples of what a few colorful batts can create, in various weights. The market begins at 3:00 pm, but we are asked to come at 4:00 pm, to find the perfect spot after vendors have settled in. We stay until closing at 7:00 and enjoy every minute we share! Please join us to see how we harvest fiber from our animals, dye with kitchen items, card fiber, spin and create with it~ it's Wooler to Wearable!
We have been busy with several activities in our area meeting, greeting sharing and teaching eager ~new and old~ fiber (and rabbit) lovers. At our booths, quite a few ask us questions on the ins and outs of rearing fiber animals, their feeds, as well as the many and varied ways of working with their glorious fluff! Several are so eager to glean they ask to tour our homestead and get ideas for their own fiber pursuits. We love encouraging and supporting families in these endeavors and this is precisely why we take time to keep our humble website and work to be involved in several public venues...
We've had questions regarding accessories for angora care. Today, while grooming 'Coal' we thought it would be great to show what we use!
First we'll introduce 'Coal', he is a beautiful English Angora with a lot to offer. His coat is dense, fine fibered and he joined our rabbitry from a very colorful litter in northern Washington where his Dad took top local awards. He's fathered his first litter and we hope to have a colorful result.
We were pleased to share our spinning, weaving, crochet, knitting and angoras with our local community on Opening Day of the Orting Farmer's Market. It was fun to reconnect with people we haven't seen in years and meet others, including a few who were visiting from out of state!
In our previous post we mentioned Lil Miss' German/Satin/English Angora "Honey" that she retained for her fantastic fiber, and we thought we ought to show you this bunny! Taking advantage of some excellent lighting we set up a little photo shoot with her today. It was sunny and beautiful so we set up the fan, turned on some music and let her get comfortable with the camera....this is what we captured!
Practice makes perfect....she'll get there.
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
We're prepping to participate in our local Farmer's Market by demonstrating our spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet and dyeing...you'll find us doing the same at the upcoming Buckley Logger's Rodeo. Of course, we'll also be showing how amazing the angoras are in person... This is something the children have been asking to do again for several years - the Lord has opened the doors!
We're busy as bees and these photos really speak for themselves...a handsome buck with lots of gorgeous fiber, enjoying some play time with his younger pals in a new 'Romper Room' Lil Farmer built this month. It is a true joyful pleasure to watch them at play - they are relaxed and feel comfortable flopping down after a romp, having been raised in a secure environment with daily interaction. It's a time to thank the Lord Jesus Christ, for the blessing of His wonderful creation, our beautiful, loving animals and a peaceful place to raise them. Please enjoy the photos of 'Rocky'!
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
Yes, some of these photos show him with Silver's babies from our last post. Take note, he looked nearly identical to those little ones when he was a few months younger...oh, how beautiful they become!
Note: He is not for sale, we just wanted you to see how gorgeous these crosses can be. His fiber is really 'easy care' and he is such a happy, loving part of the homestead!
Our primary goal is to raise happy, healthy rabbits abundantly producing the finest angora fiber that can be worn next-to-skin without the prickle associated with commercial (most often German) angora. Born May 6th, these beautiful angoras, from Lil Miss' German/Satin Angora, offer you the best of our desired traits. From Silver's healthy litter of 9, these rabbits are a wonderful blend of English, Satin and German angora offering high density of fine fiber on medium bodies that will not require the intense grooming of an English, nor the loads of feed that a German consumes! They'll be ready for new homes July 1st and there are several colors to choose from; fawn, torte, chestnut agouti, chinchilla, ermine, pearl... Consider all the potential for naturally beautiful garments and accessories!
We have a doe from another litter of the same breed crossing and now that she is wearing her senior coat, her density and softness surpass that of her dad - an English Angora. Her color depth and length of fiber is also better ~ she is a fantastic example of what you want to spin and wear and we're glad to offer you the same!
Look for Honey's photo shoot above.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Often when we participate in local events, children and adults alike are surprised at seeing our children spinning away on a wheel. Children have commented, 'She can't do that!' or 'Kids can do it too?' or 'But she's a little kid!'; while the parents point and say - 'Look at him, he's making string - or is it yarn?' and 'Wow, look at what she's doing!'.
As we're harvesting more wools and having the short heat wave I thought to capitalize on the quick drying time and dye up some angora fiber, fine sheep wools and over dye some yarn! Over dyeing simply means your covering up the old dyes with another color you prefer. The deep purple and charcoal blend hand spun yarn used to be a washed red that I did a while ago. I really like how the purple took to the fiber.
I draped a bit of the violet dyed Angora that is showing more of a blue in that batch. That bright green and yellow is German Angora as well. I actually over dyed a black wool so you will see traces of that black as it is combed out.
You can see some more angora done in salmon and teal on the fine sheep's wool - but I also dyed some angora with the residual teal in the dye bath... Don't worry a bit about how it all looks rather clumpy while hanging. It did not felt. It spreads readily with a little work of the hands, it's just easier to dry with what I have and I keep spreading it and turning it to keep it drying on all sides.
I took what used to be a charcoal and white blend wool yarn and turned it into 'Forest Moss'...It's harder to see the variation in the green tones, but I LOVE it. You can also see that the bluish angora actually does have some lilac in it on this side of the rack.
This was a pleasant, productive activity during the early summer heat and I really enjoy the bright colors hanging in the house. It brings a smile to my face and is a unique way of bringing in the colors of spring grasses, flowers and blue skies...
Have you considered a project with your fibers lately?
How do you think you'd use these fibers and colors in a project?
What colors do you have yet to try?
Feel free to share your creative ideas!
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands Proverbs 31: 13
This is our journey.