From Hershey to Headband

Whether you live on a city lot or a million acres, you can always keep a few rabbits. I raised them for our table when we lived in town. They are quiet and won’t disturb the neighbors. If you choose one of the angora breeds, the luxurious fiber can be made into beautiful and practical garments. Last year we added French Angora rabbits as a complement to our Shetland sheep.
One of our bucks is a chocolate named Hershey. You can see from the picture that the only part of him that is really chocolate colored is his head and feet.

Hershey has beautiful wool that releases readily and makes plucking easy. I didn’t take a picture of him after plucking, but when you pull the long hair out, there is a new coat underneath. If you own a dog that has an undercoat, you probably have experienced that stage where they blow their coat and you can easily tug big clumps out. That’s what plucking an angora is like.
The harvested fiber was hand carded into rolags to get it ready for spinning.

Here is a close up. As you can see, this fiber isn’t a chocolate color.

Then it was spun and wound into a ball. It is much different spinning angora than sheep’s wool. Angora is very slippery, so it was a learning process.

Hershey yarn enhanced 500 x 500 framed.jpg

The most fun was about to begin. What to knit from this silky-soft ball of Hershey wool? A ski band to keep my daughter’s ears warm seemed a logical choice for a not-so-big ball of yarn.

The reluctant model was not being very cooperative as she headed out the door. She reports it is the softest knit article she owns. It also the warmest being about seven times warmer than wool. The ski band was put to the test at a Christmas parade on an extremely frigid winter night. Hands and feet were protected by sheep’s wool mittens and socks. Ears were safely tucked under the ski band. Ears were the only warm part by parade’s end. The next project is double knit mittens composed of an outer mitten of rugged sheep wool and a luxuriously-soft inner mitten knit with angora.

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