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Spinning can be fun and relaxing while having that feeling of accomplishment after you have made that first skein of yarn all yourself.  As someone that may own an angora rabbit or two and have wool from shearing – you may be wondering how you can go about making something with this fiber when you don’t own any equipment.

angora fiber

angora fiber

As fun as spinning can be, I know from having raised my own family, their are other usually other things that take priority first. To go out and purchase a spinning wheel and drum carder can be quite costly.  Spinning your first yarns can be more budget friendly if you start with a simple spindle, a pair of dog slicker brushes, and some wool to add in with your angora fiber.

simple hand spindle

simple hand spindle

When first starting to spin with angora I always advise to add angora fiber to wool, as you gain confidence the ratio of angora to wool can increase. A simple spindle can be one you make yourself from a dowel rod and old CD, or their are many sellers of quality spindles on the internet or even a fiber store in your area. You don’t need to spend a lot to do the job, after they didn’t have fancy spindles back in the old days – they used what they had or made it themselves.

spinning angora fiber

spinning angora fiber

To card your angora and wool fibers for blending  a pair of dog slickers will be your hand carders. They won’t hold as much fiber as wool or cotton hand carders, but it works and gives you the opportunity to try it out. The thing to keep in mind when spinning your angora yarn, is twist. If your yarn keep coming apart – it needs more twist to hold it together. With these 2 simple basic items  you can now start carding and spinning with your sheared angora fiber and create your hand crafted yarns.

German angora rabbits are beautiful fiber producing animals. They grow dense wool coats with an even growth that is sheared on a regular schedule. German angoras can vary size from the small size around 5 pounds to as much as 10 pounds or more.  German angora wool does not molt (shed), so like dogs that do not shed they need a haircut. Keeping the shearing on a regular schedule will keep rabbits in better condition and help greatly reduce any wool block issues. Shearing regular will also give you a nice amount of angora wool that you can spin, felt, or sell.

Moe

Moe

Avalanch

Avalanch

Scattered around the country are small farms that raise a few angora rabbits for fiber and fun. Many spinners enjoy having a few rabbits as pet/woolers so they can spin their own hand raised angora fiber. They do require a little more care then a short hair rabbit, but if your willing to make the time they are great & unique pet to enjoy. They make a great fit for those that live in a more urban areas to since they are small and quiet animals.  Each rabbit has is own personality and some can be  quite entertaining to watch play.