The Bunny Is Okay

This post comes to you from a chair in the airport in Chicago, where I’m waiting for "some weather" to clear.  I flew in this morning from Toronto,  and everything seemed just fine, so how long it’s going to take to catch a flight out of here is beyond my knowing. This – things being beyond my knowing? It makes me crazy. Completely crazy. So crazy that everyone in this airport should be glad that I am a knitter, and am therefore able to put my feelings about not knowing when/if this plane will go into a really fierce knitting session – because frankly the alternative is me stomping up and down this place while (loudly) refusing to believe that we, as a species, can be considering manned flight to Mars, but are wholly unable to tell me when my flight to Little Rock might be leaving.  My knitting is letting me feign calm and peace as the airport does what it can to get all flights moving.  (Apparently they’ve cut incoming and outgoing flights by 50% – so at least it’s nowhere near personal. I’m starting to get the feeling I wish I’d brought extra yarn and needles. There’s a whole lot of my fellow travellers who could use a little help getting their mellow on. The lady across from me has 5% battery left on her phone, and the guy sitting by the only outlet doesn’t care.  It’s getting intense. )

Speaking of getting one’s mellow on,  the angora experiment was a train wreck.  Nothing short of a big hot mess with a cherry on top.

I decided cormo would be a good thing to blend with angora, and fetched some roving from the upstairs. I weighed it, so I would have 80% cormo and 20% angora, and then I started gently running it through the carder.   It was an almost instant disaster. After the first pass I could see the cormo starting to get neppy. Neps are little knots of fibre that make bumps in the yarn when you spin it.  They aren’t always a horseman of the apocolypse, but for this yarn they would be – they’re also often a sign of over-processing. After the first pass, I assessed my situation. The angora and the wool were still pretty discrete, not mixed together at all, and I was pretty sure it was going to take three passes to get them mixed the way I wanted them. Three at least. If the cormo was already starting to look over-processed, I figured I wasn’t going to get a lot of satisfaction out of it.  I ran it through twice more to be sure that I was right.
I was really, really right. The resulting roving was terrible.

I put out a few feelers to friends, I put on my thinking cap and I thought of a few ideas. First, I wondered if was too impatient and was running the carder too fast for the fussy little cormo.  I tried again – but it changed nothing, except that it took longer to get pissed off and disappointed.

Then I wondered if my carder was too coarse for these fibres.  I can’t change my carder, but I do have fine cotton hand cards. I tried those – and it was better, but still not awesome – and I’m aiming for awesome. It was suggested that I try combining them on combs, but since my combing skills are such that I couldn’t comb my way out of a paper bag with a map and a guide,  that’s my last choice.  

I wondered if I was using the wrong wool – and that’s where things came to a screaming halt.  I think I’d like to try this with something else, something that isn’t roving, but every attempt mangles a little more precious bunny, and that means washing some wool, and that means…

Well that means that I left this trainwreck on the table and left for Little Rock.  I sort of had it in my head  (because I’m nuts, obviously) that I’d throw this through the carder, then spin it up super-fast (but perfectly) and then ply it (exceptionally well) and then set the twist, ball it up and be knitting it on this trip.  All of that was insane, obviously, but it’s not going to stop me from doing a little more experimenting when I get home.
I’ll get it, but I need to do a little research first, so I don’t run out of bunny before I get a clue. Any suggestions?

124 thoughts on “The Bunny Is Okay

  1. All of you angora bunny owners out there that spin, please respond to the Harlot’s plea for help…and if it is not too technical, maybe here in comments as some of the rest of us are curious, too!
    Too bad this combing isn’t a traveling project…because it appears you have some extra time to work on it at the airport.

  2. Me? I would give up and buy the yarn. My patience is worn thin though, as I have a newborn and two other kids.

  3. You did exactly what I would have done…left it and walked away. I am certain, however, with your tenacity, you will get back to it far sooner than I would.
    Safe travels.

  4. Firstly, on a non-knitting note: I am also stuck sitting at O Hare. I hate this airport. Waiting on my connecting flight to Salt Lake City, which apparently was late leaving KY? I highly recommend obsessively finding which flight your airplane is coming from in order to stalk its progress towards you. woman next to me has switched from leg jiggling to nail-filing to *really* loud sighs.
    Good luck with the angora/wool. Maybe you’ll have a brainstorm while you’re away and giving it some distance.

  5. I have generally been defeated blending angora into wool on a drum carder but was reasonably successful with hand cards. Not sure if my experience is relevant – I was blending angora in top form with babydoll southdown in roving form. Good luck with the bunny!

  6. I think I could cry since I’m in Fort Smith and everything is sold out. Have fun! I promise, Arkansas is really pretty even though the weather isn’t acting like it right now. 🙂 I hope someone brings you a Hog!!! Whooo Pig Soui!!!

  7. I’ve had good luck blending angora and uncarded merino. Flicked the merino tips and blended them at about 85% merino, 15% angora. Three passes and it was blended lovely.

  8. Uh oh!!! Dh is supposed to leave Sioux Falls SD for Chicago in about 30 minutes. Looks like he will be late!!!!

  9. What Carrie at 1:59 said. I would use a flick carder. Much longer tips than hand cards. I usually flick against a piece of leather on my lap. If that doesn’t work, then the combs would be next for me. If you definitely don’t want to do the combs, then possibly a substitute for the cormo would be best. Hope it all turns out well!!

  10. I have no helpful advice. I am not a spinner (yet?) and am actually still somewhat in awe of anyone who can use a large wheel to produce knittable fibre.
    However, the phrase “Not run out of bunny before I get a clue” is a good one in so many areas of life. I think I will adopt it.

  11. There’s a reason why angora yarn is so expensive, and it isn’t because rabbits are costly or hard to raise. The fur is easy to harvest, but it takes careful handling and preparation to turn it into actual yarn. It will shed from both the yarn and the garment it’s made into. However, if you are determined to do this, I would advise to blend with a fine wool using handcards, spin softly in semi-worsted style, careful not to overspin. The skein should be finished with the wet-and-weight method, not steamed, or “slap” finished. Angora felts very easily and can sometimes felt all by itself if you have it in a plastic bag, and the condensation gets it steamy. That’s about all I can think of for now, hope this helps!

  12. All I can say is “damn”. This just reinforces my resolve to never spin yarn as long as I have credit cards and yarn shops available. More power to anyone who does.

  13. I am so old that when women speak of the rabbit/bunny living or dying, it means a completely different thing to me.

  14. Someone recommended to me that using handcards with the angora sandwiched between wool layers worked best. I’ve tried it and gotten a good yarn but it was time consuming. I found that the least amount of carding you can do to blend it, the better.

  15. I think my suggestion would be to get some more angora. I know it costs a fortune, but if you’re too nervous to play with it ’til you get it right because of wanting to not run out, that would be the best solution. After all, if the yarn needs to be perfect, you need to have enough materials to experiment with ’til you get it right. I know how you hate swatching, but sometimes you really do have to play with stuff before you’re able to do things “for real”, and get them to turn out the way you want. Good luck!

  16. I’ve carded various angora/wool combos and had good luck with merino, as other posters have. Since Angora is straight and slick, a fine fiber with a less exuberant crimp than cormo is best. Card both fibers separately, with hand cards if you must, then layer a bit of wool over the angora on the infeed tray to keep it from going airborne. Your drum carder is a bit coarse, but if you can card the fine wool, you can card the combo. Knowing that will keep you from wasting the angora.

  17. Those pesky cold fronts running into warm ones do cause trouble, but better safe than sorry. P.S. There is no weather in space so the delays are only monetary.

  18. Airports should have YARN VENDING MACHINES. Can you imagine – put in a credit card, make your selection, and watch 6 skeins of something drop down. Various needles could be available too.

  19. Why are you asking us when you know Judith MacKenzie??? I mean, it’s not my intent to belittle any one of your readers’ skills in this area, but, at least in my book, she is the Goddess Supreme of all things wool and spinning. And you know her.

  20. I don’t know if this will help since the wires on my fine wool drum carder seem a lot finer and closer together than the ones in your picture. But when I blend angora with wool, I find it helpful to card each separately then sandwich a layer of angora between two layers of the wool and card the layered batt.

  21. What someone else said: Buy the yarn from the nice lady (at Angora Gardens). This time spinning is just not worth the aggravation. If you had ordered before you left home, it would probably be there when you get back. OR…..maybe there is angora in Arkansas! How cool would that be!

  22. skip Little Rock, come to San Diego, CA instead. Prince (yes, him) is in town this weekend and playing at the Hard Rock Cafe.

  23. Oh nooooooo. Not Chicago Hub Hell. I keep hearing horror stories out of there. Good think about having the knitting.
    (I meant thing, but think works too)

  24. Holy cow – I’m so sad for the Harlot but the last poster befor me mentioned a YARN VENDING MACHINE – that would definitely make the airports more friendly for fiber fans – 🙂 Where do we vote, who’s starting the petition and how many times can I sign!?!?
    🙂 Safe travels, whenever they resume …

  25. Being a spinning virgin it kills me when I read (with interest)every word you write about spinning and all the things involved (understanding nothing, mind you)…and find it inspiring & exciting…so much so, that I’m starting lessons soon. What could go wrong? There’s are answers out there as evidenced by reading the posts so far today…& every time you ask. The blog has become my first go to resource when I have a question about knitting as you invariably either answer it or I’m directed to another (re)source or the answer comes from the blog itself.
    My first thought was “just buy the yarn” but have since remembered you put a serious dent in your yarn budget. Hopefully the answer(s) you need will be there so when you come home & apply them you will have the satisfaction that comes with working it through without sacrificing the bunny or the budget.
    PS: please update the tour page. Alabama is a bit far but Minnesota could have worked.

  26. Waving at you from Chicagoland — wish you could come to my living room and knit with me and borrow my drumcarder — I have a regular drum and a fur drum!! Good luck with fiber. 🙂

  27. make a sandwich – process the wool once or twice alone, then make a wool/angora/wool sandwich, run it through twice. That’s worked for me, but I used targhee, not cormo.

  28. so sorry you got our storm. it just got finished dumping 4 inches of sloppy goop on the front range of the rockies. sigh. it’s pretty demoralizing. as for bunnies, all i know is that they’re cute and i always try to get my husband to buy me one at the state fair. he won’t. good luck!

  29. I suggest trying a different wool as combo can nepp easily, another fine wool would be best.
    If you still have no luck I would comb it, yes I know you said you can’t comb your way out of a paper bag, but with small combs (rather than huge English combs) I actually think the combing will be an easier and quicker process than the carding.
    If comb with wool locks if you can, but top of roving will work. You’ll get some loss but probably mainly the wool.
    Assuming you have some combs to use, watch a quick video on you tube and you can do it.
    It’s not hard I promise, the trickiest bit is dizing the fibre off the comb, but if you can clamp it to the table and use 2 hands it’s much easier.
    Good luck with the angora and hopefully you’ve made it out of Chicago by now!

  30. This is the Universe telling you that you need to finish and wear that top and only then will you be successful in your bunny pursuits. Have fun in Little Rock!

  31. I don’t spin so can’t help u there BUT I do travel and here is my mantra: whenever humanly possible, NEVER make a trav connection in Chicago! It just never goes well.

  32. I am with the “buy the nice yarn” group. 🙂 Aren’t we the supportive bunch?

  33. I work on an (unmanned) Mars mission and our rocket launches are subject to weather delays too! 🙂 Good luck getting out of O’Hare and back to the hare, I mean bunny.

  34. Dang! Sorry I can’t come keep you company while you’re airport knitting! Drat this job that keeps me in yarn, yet prevents me from running to the airport at the drop of a hat!

  35. Isn’t this situation exactly what extra fine wool combs + hackle are for?

  36. Had both English and German angora bunnies back in the day. Tried to blend fiber with wool using a carder. Epic Fail. Solution: had better luck just combing and spinning angora singles, then plying that with whatever I had on hand, such as Cormo or CVM.

  37. On behalf of Chicago, I am sorry for the state of our airport. I recommend going to the Berghoff Bar which is in there, somewhere, and having a nice beer. I did come up with an idea for a small crafting store in airports, with yarns, needles, origami, and other small crafty projects ideally suited to being in one place for hours and hours. Never had the capital to back a bid, though. (It was going to be called “Air Craft”.)

  38. I think you need to go find beer. Now. Actually, it sounds like your fellow travellers need some, too. Why not invite them to join you?

  39. I’m sorry that you were delayed but was thrilled to know that you are (were) in my city! In a geeky, starry-eyed moment, I thought, “I could take the Harlot some yarn!” Then I realized the impracticality of making it through security and decided I’ll just wave towards that general direction. Safe travels. And buy the angora yarn. It doesn’t hurt to have “a-little-extra-just-in-case”, even if you do come up with the right recipe for it!

  40. “Air Craft” – brilliant!
    Can’t help with the bunny problem, I’ve had the same baby alpaca languishing on my wheel for months now (not a good idea to try to learn to spin with baby alpaca fleece, I guess). Hope you’ve been released from the airport or will be very soon… So good that you have a nice project to work on, isn’t it?
    I second (or third, or whatever) the plea to update the tour info. Would hate to miss an opportunity to see you and hear the new talk. Still kicking myself for missing the one about “your brain on knitting”…

  41. Stephanie- If you are stuck here, or need more yarn or company, send me an email and knitters will come to rescue you.

  42. I’ve scanned the comments and I agree with the merino camp. That works well. And hand cards. I dunno but you could also try hackles. For the wool I’d use pin draft and not top, it’s a lighter,airier roving so it’s easier to lay the angora in. I think a light hand with the cards is key.

  43. What Beth V. said at 3:24. You know Judith Effin MacKenzie. Is there anything she doesn’t know??

  44. may The Force be with you. I spent the night at o’hare once … without yarn. it wasn’t pretty.

  45. sub alpaca for the angora if you’re interested in a soft halo? otherwise just it baby
    i wonder if you read anything past the first 50 comments anymore. hmm. . .

  46. I know nothing about spinning, so can’t help with that…but LOVE the idea of “Air Craft”!! Hang in there – sounds like there’s knitters ready to rescue you. And I third (or 4th) the pleas to update the tour page.

  47. I love spending long hours in airports, and Chicago is one of my favorites. Am I the only one that feels that way!? There’s so much to do, and lots of alcohol and chocolate. Or venture to a building nearby and take a tour while on layover. The Phoenix airport is my absolute favorite though because theres lots of southwestern style stuff to buy.
    As far as bunnies go, my daughter has been asking for a bunny. I recently got an ad about pure angora yarn, so, I was thinking of buying a ball of it, pasting on some eyes, a felt nose and nylon thread for whiskers. Whatcha think?
    Your are very adventurous and creative! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with with the fiber.
    Have fun, and safe travels. 🙂

  48. A yarn shop in every airport would suit me! What a great business…..tons of people walking by all day….and many needing something to do!

  49. A very wise experienced spinner advised me to flick card my delicate CVM lamb’s fleece with fine dog brush slickers. I tried this, and it works very well.
    However, that being said, I have absolutely no experience with bunny fiber, so I don’t know if this is a good idea for that blend or not.
    Good luck!

  50. Kathy (posted at 2:45)I am cracking up over your post in regard to the rabbitt/bunny living or dying ….. totally different meaning to those of us of a certain age…and I bet the majority of readers have no idea what you are talking about!Thanks for the laugh.

  51. Chicago did have some crappy weather today, the remnants of a storm system that caused a late spring snowstorm in the Rockies and Nebraska. Hope you’re not still at O’Hare when you read this.
    This has been said before, but maybe some of the airport shops would consider carrying a small selection of yarn/needles/knitting kits instead of the same damn “souvenirs” all the other airport shops (usually under the same ownership) have!
    Hope you have better luck finding something to blend the angora with. Maybe merino with/without a touch of cashmere would work better? (I really don’t know. I don’t spin, and my only experience with angora was a sweater my Mom had — and that thing shed at will, just like a cat!)

  52. I think knitting should be a requirement for anyone going to an airport. but that’s just my opinion.
    If’n you need more angora, just let me know. I have angora/merino top, angora top and directly off the bunny angora.
    I suggest merino or blue face to go with the bunny.
    Here’s hoping you are already in Little Rock.

  53. Kathy, Carol, I had the same thought about the bunny living or dying. LOL! God we must be getting old.

  54. I’m sure you have gobs of frequent flier miles. Maryland Sheep and Wool is this weekend. You will find exactly the yarn, or roving, which you seek. See you there.

  55. My granddaughter brought me a bag of angora from her bunny…make me a sweater she said….Instead, I made a sweater that had bunnies on it, as there was not enough…. I did not bother to card it, simply spun it with some left over alpaca and it turned gorgeous….best bunnies I have ever knitted!
    I am not an experienced spinner, and talk of weighing, percentages and setting the twist is somehow foreign to me…. if it looks good, I just go with it…perhaps for a book author and expert, “free range” is out of the question?

  56. Angora needs fine/soft/staight (and even then, its hell)
    MERINO- 20/80 at most
    Good luck!
    (But, better,find fun when you can, and skip the angora – which sticks to everything, plugs up your nose, is a pain in the ass — while it is pretty, and I like the bunnies, SUCKS! )

  57. Kathy, Carol, and Judy, remember that episode of M*A*S*H with Radar’s bunny and Margaret Houlihan?! That’s how I understood and got a laugh out of Kathy’s original comment!
    Ok, airport yarn store chain: this is meant to be.
    Some said ask Judy; ask Abby, too, while you’re at it. I took a drum carding class from her, it was excellent. I’m pretty sure you know her, too 🙂

  58. Hi Steph – Did you try running your picked Cormo locks through sideways? Just a thought. When I have issues with my CVM it seems to help. Both breeds are very crimpy & can recoil when stretched. Good luck!

  59. I know a little about angora, I used to keep a herd of about a dozen Germans. What I found was that the angora fiber was stronger than most fine wools. I liked an angora-Targhee-cashmere-camel blend that I did on a drum carder, no wool breaking there. I also liked angora-Romney and angora Shetland. These were from fleeces, so no commercial handling/processing on those wools and they stood up just fine to the drum carder, flick cards, and two pitch mini combs. I also think Shetland or Romney sliver would be a good choice too, they are still fine wools, but stand up to handling better. I know people really like Cormo, but as you found out, it is so delicate and rabbit really is not, it can take a bit of a tumble and shake it off. I think of it as a finer mohair, shiny, straight and tough. JMHO.

  60. Well, I can’t really offer any advice on the spinning, but if you find yourself low on yarn when you get to Little Rock, there’s a fantastic yarn shop there called Yarn Mart that I’m quite sure could have you well stocked. I’m really sad that you’re so close and I can’t come hear you speak. Darn those family commitments! Anyway welcome to Arkansas. I hope you have a blast!!

  61. I’m afraid my one experience is of paying top dollar for a Rambouillet fleece based on the lab report of its micron count–good and fine, I tell you–and sending it off to a mill that said they could do fine wool well.
    No, in fact, they could not. Neps-icity. Yow. A year later they sent me a note saying they had bought fur-carder equipment and could now handle superfine wool, send yours to us!
    I tore up their postcard.
    I did eventually spin up a little of it, with difficulty and neps and all (there were a LOT), and made half-felted slippersocks out it. On the other hand it all turned out for the good because I made those (“and you even SPUN THE WOOL?!”) for my daughter’s high school biology teacher, for making my daughter aspire to walk in her shoes. That daughter, like her mentor, now has a PhD in the field and I am so glad I made those socks, however flawed in my spinner’s eyes the wool may have seemed at the time–it was still supersoft. And she could only have thought that’s the way it was supposed to be.

  62. You all sound so skilled in your technical talk about combing & carding & other stuff! Now I know how non-knitters feel when they look at our knitted items with awe. This truly is a craft & we’re good at it!

  63. Just avoid O’hare whenever possible. They’ll be flying out of Minneapolis in the same storm with no delays.

  64. So many issues here. First of all, I am sitting here at 3:30 a.m. being entertained by your angora predicament and the chorus of voices working to help you out because of course I am going to MS&W in about 4 hours and I. can’t. sleep. Just want you to know that your O-Hare situation hasn’t gone completely to waste. It has helped at least one other person cope with a wool-related mini-disaster. Alas, I don’t spin but coincidentally am knitting with Kochoran with its 30% angora and am reminded of one its main properties: it sheds. Maybe the gods are trying to tell you something. (Of course, if you’re like me, you never listen to the gods.) Love the chain airport yarn store idea. Hope someone is listening. An independent store couldn’t afford the rent Can’t wait to hear what happened, Steph Hope it all worked out well.

  65. So many issues here. First of all, I am sitting here at 3:30 a.m. being entertained by your angora predicament and the chorus of voices working to help you out because of course I am going to MS&W in about 4 hours and I. can’t. sleep. Woke up about 30 minutes ago and am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (just like those rabbits), and just want you to know that your O-Hare situation hasn’t gone completely to waste. It has helped at least one other person cope with a wool-related mini-disaster. Alas, I don’t spin but am currently knitting with 30% angora Kochoran which reminds me that it. sheds. Maybe the gods are trying to tell you something. (Of course, if you’re like me, you never listen to the gods.) Love the Air Craft idea. Maybe someone is listening? Hope it all worked out Stephanie.

  66. Obviously I don’t know how to work the Comments section and also obviously, I spend too much time in re-write.

  67. Loved Emily’s comment re “Not run out of bunny before I get a clue”! Definitely using that (like the muggles don’t ALREADY look at me funny, for any number of reasons!). ROFL

  68. I may have an answer for your quandary. I often work with supersoft fibers(angora, cashmere, alpaca etc). I had an very interested conversation with a cashmere mill because I was having the same issue that you are. They actually keep the mill at a certain humidity level and that helps keep the short , soft cashmere from nepping.
    There solution for me was to try lighting spraying the fiber with …get this….downy wrinkle releaser spray. Then you wait a few minutes to let it dry a bit and then card. Your drum carder does look a bit coarse to me for cormo and angora but that may be the picture. The hand cards look fine for it.
    I have tried this and it does seem to help with fibers especially like angora that can get over carded way too quickly. Good Luck I hope this helps.

  69. You could try spinning the angora quite fine and ply it with the percentage of wool you want. Skip the carding entirely. I’ve done this several times.
    It adds the character you want with the angora quite well. For shine add kid mohair or silk. Best of Luck.

  70. Dear Gwyn, you are the most clever woman on the planet…Air Craft. I love it. IF I win the lottery I will definitely capital venture THAT little enterprise!

  71. And I was worried last night that you would have trouble finding things you wanted to eat here in Arkansas!

  72. Use fine carders for the angora (fine tooth brushes for small dogs work great as well) or mini combs to gentle blend them. In years of spinning angora, I’ve never found it to be drum-carder friendly. In fact, I usually never card or comb it at all.
    Or as Kelly suggested – spin two super-fines and ply them. Works great for bison (yes!) or musk ox (and you though angora was expense).
    Best of luck.

  73. Spinning is a mystery to me, so I have nothing to offer there except what others have said — call Judith MacKenzie, or else buy the yarn in a few months. I understand your difficulty with delayed gratification, however.
    Air Craft shops would be a brilliant idea! Barring that, at least one shop on each concourse should stock some local yarn, of course wound into cakes, and a selection of needles and patterns. Also, since I doubt that’s going to happen any time soon, I will continue to stuff at least two extra balls of sock yarn into my overflowing carryon and hopefully be prepared no matter what the weather.
    I remember that other meaning of “the bunny died,” too. For the sake of bunnies everywhere, I’m glad that procedure is no longer used!

  74. I used to raise angora bunnies and sold angora blends for spinning. A standard drum carder wouldn’t handle the fine wools or angora well. Mine is a Duncan carder with fine teeth and a brush on the big drum as well. Even so you have to load the fibers carefully in small amounts at a time, well teased and heading one direction. Hand cards would probably be a better bet for you.

  75. I have angora rabbits and I had the same problem with trying to use the drum carder. My solution is to spin a single of the angora and then a couple of singles of what ever other fiber i want to use. Then I ply them together. When done I go through a little process of slight fulling to keep the angora from shedding. This has been working for me for a while now.

  76. Spin separate plies – spin the angora with plenty of twist and spin one or two plies cormo and try a swatch, see how that works?

  77. I don’t have any ideas, but I would have tried the same thing (if I was capable of spinning at all).
    I hope it comes out well eventually and that you made it aOK to Arkansas.

  78. I swear to you that when the title of your post came up, within a fraction of a second, I thought, “She’s not pregnant.”
    There, sounds like you needed a laugh after your trip and hopefully now you’ve had one.

  79. I think the airport trouble is that the people planning the mission to Mars are not the same people planning the airports. ^_~

  80. Um, you said you left it on the table when you departed?
    It will be worse when you get back.
    Cats can’t resist that.

  81. I would try a little old-style Corriedale. I would try to find a fleece with good crimp, but a little luster so that the fibers were somewhat slick. That is my go-to fiber to blend with almost anything—alpaca, dog hair, etc. That will be easy to card, nice to spin, and result in a lofty, poufy knitting yarn. I would also follow the advice of the previous poster that recommended layering the fibers in the batt, at least to start with. Feed in some wool; feed in some angora; then feed in more wool on your first pass.

  82. Do you have The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook by Deb Robson & Carol Ekarius? Highly recommend!

  83. Steph!
    Go get a really good beer if one can be found in the airport…(I got a whole growler full as a birthday present), keep those needles flying and…DO NOT CARD THAT BUNNY! I can hear it crying from CT, USA!! That cormo is on strike and does not like bunnies!!
    Use some merino lady!! It likes bunnies and bunnies like it. Get some EXTRA fine drum cloth and card away. If merino is not available..some BFL will work too.

  84. In Chicago, we are always waiting for the weather to clear, so it’s a good thing you have knitting.

  85. Stephanie eventually made it to Mt. Magazine on Friday, but she arrived too late to see the view. Saturday greeted her with snow — in May in Arkansas and all day fog and rain. Skies did finally clear this morning.

  86. Loving this Air Craft idea. You could even have beginning knitting classes during blizzards and other random airport shutdowns. “Is your flight delayed? Is your phone almost dead? Are you about to start climbing the walls? Come take a knitting class.” You could partner up with one of bars and serve wine for the cast on. 😉
    Regarding the angora blend…I once blended angora with targhee and paco-vicuña. It was not a disaster but I wouldn’t call it a success either.

  87. I’ve only blown through the comments quickly. Do you have any washed locks of Bond (a version of Corriedale, but very soft), Rambouillet, or Merino? Roving has already been pretty heavily processed.
    If you don’t have the option of a fine-fiber drum carder (is there one for rent from the local spinning guild or one of the local shops?), you’re going to have to hand card.
    Card a batt of the chosen wool. Don’t roll it. Split it open front to back, even if it’s pretty filmy. Put a bit of angora, weighed carefully if you have a gram scale, on top of one layer of the wool, and put the other layer of wool on top. Hand card again to blend.
    If you do get a fine-fiber drum carder, handle the blending the same way. Card a thin batt of wool, split it from front to back, put angora in the middle, and feed the wool/angora sandwich back through the carder to blend.
    You can have a ply of angora and a ply of wool, but remember that fine-fibered wool (to match the softness of the angora) will be very springy and resilient, and the angora won’t be at all. Experiment with plying to make sure you don’t end up with a yarn where the angora ply “bubbles” out when the wool contracts.
    Keep us posted?
    Did you ask Judith for advice?

  88. I think we all those moments of “If I just start this now, it will practically finish itself over the weekend. I will wake up and all I have to do is sew on my label. Done!” I’m thinking of the orange/pink faux fur vest that got cut out last weekend along with the lining. Could be done now if I had time in front of the sewing machine. But it’s not. Still lumped in a plastic bag…probably for another weekend when I had substantial time available for sitting in front of the sewing machine. That said, plenty of knitting will get done this. A mother’s day vest must be done before crack of dawn Sunday!

  89. There’s a couple of causes to look into: is the Cormo squeaky clean? If not, it will noil. Is there a “break” in it? Likely to noil. Is the bunny webby? Might noil. It does look like your carder may be a little coarse for Cormo. As a shameless plug, I suggest you just hand it over to me. I have done up to 30% angora/70% cormo blends on my carder, and very nice it was, too.

  90. Only thing worse than waiting at a commercial airport for a flight, is waiting for weather to clear so you can take off in a Cessna 172 to fly cross country. I have a sweater knit with many memories of sitting at Flying Cloud airport in the Twin Cities.

  91. here’s what I do. I take some of my Romney roving and lay it out flat, then I take some of my angora and put a thin layer of it on top. then top that off with another layer of Romney. Card it in that sandwich slowly and only once or twice. Works for me.

  92. I’ve found cormo really touchy to card or comb. At this point, I just spin from the locks if I want cormo.
    You might try a finer wool… have any merino?

  93. I just finished working through a Cormo fleece. It is right up there on the most difficult list (for me at least). I totally agree with Diane’s comments: it has to be *squeaky* clean. Huge difference in result with even a little bit of lanolin left in. If it is static-y or fly away, add a tiny bit of oil back in -olive oil or mineral oil- a la Norman Kennedy.
    My best result was on my Clemes and Clemes hand cards. It nipped on the drum carder, and was a LOT of work with a lot of wastage on the combs. I think you have to conquer the Cormo before you can even think of adding in Angora.
    HTH, Good luck! Breathe!.

  94. Cormo is a tease. It’s always beckoning because it’s so soft and squishy but I have had nothing but disaster with it. I can spin everything else I’ve ever had in my hands but Cormo kicks my butt every single time. I’m not doing it ever again. Ever. Probably.
    Merino or BFL fleece would be my preference for this project.

  95. I love cormo, but I would never try to process it on a carder of any type. One pass for fleece in my two-row combs has made a lovely preparation and flicking also works. I know people blend cormo but I have no idea how that would be possible – to get a nice blend without producing a heap of neps.
    Right above me is a spam comment from Japan, selling clothing, which has a lovely zen inscrutability but will probably be gone before people can see it because you don’t want to give those people exposure for their URLs. It’s almost a haiku: “Obtain clothings, Adhering to a number of best and newest visits right here, however, Is now progressively more stylish.” Does Google Translate write such poetry??

  96. Even an absolute beginner (me) can produce spinnable fibre and usable yarn with 5-pitch woolcombs. I know this because I just did it for a guild challenge–and was I ever surprised!

  97. Is it possible to spin the angora alone into a fine yarn? And pair it with an equally fine wool yarn for knitting two-stranded? If you’re short on bunny, that would let you put it in parts of the finished object and not in others, maybe using two strands of the wool where you’re not putting bunny.

  98. It’s been 4 days since your last post… We usually at least get some cute pictures of your travels while you’re gone. You must be uber busy!!

  99. Derp…should’ve just asked you how much do you need and what color? My plan (and we all know what can happen to them) is to dye and blend some wools and some bunny blends (my go to is 20%) for this year’s festivals. Colors have not been chosen as yet. I have some Cormo (light moorit) and lots of bunny (white…limited quantities of colored angora).

  100. I actually spun a 50/50 blend of cormo/angora a few years ago. I didn’t have cormo locks, I used pre-prepared cormo roving, maybe that made it easier to work with? I blended it on my handcards (they’re for fine wool, I don’t know the TPI offhand though). I sandwiched the angora between the cormo, and loaded up the cards with only about half the amount of fiber I normally would. I also carded very gently! It took ages but actually turned out pretty nicely.

  101. Can’t card cormo on a coarse carder. Not happening.
    You could, if you have a lot, send it off to a mill experienced in fine fibers.

  102. I raise cormo sheep and I hardly ever card it. If I do want to card to blend with another fiber I use a carder with very fine teeth, like a Patrick Greene with a merino or a fur drum, and go VERY slowly. I would go one time through and no more. Often if the grease is not completely removed from the fiber it will noil or nep in a carder. Generally I either comb or flick card the locks. Cormo needs to be handled very carefully. It is a very bouncy, very fine crimpy fiber which can create wonderful fabric; but you have to work with it instead of against it. Minimal processing is best. My favorite is just a gentle flick carding to open a lock before spinning. Margaret Stove’s book “Merino: Handspinning, Dyeing and Working With Merino and Superfine Wools” has been a great help to me.

  103. Things I love:
    Knitting, reading about Knitting, connecting with other knitters and hearing what the YH has to offer so I may learn from her.
    Things I do not love:
    Opening a blog for 6 days and finding the same post.
    124 comments saying exactly the same thing.
    And the entry is totally about spinning “bunny” about which I have no interest (and I suppose others may not either.)
    How about a separate blog for those who want to read about non knitting interests like spinning and perhaps weaving?
    How about commenters reading what those who wrote before them and not post the exact same comment.
    Love this blog – but hate getting “blogged” down by things that are irrelevant.

  104. The bunny is okay, but is the Stephanie okay? Getting worried that you haven’t posted in a while and I hope that you are alright and have exited delayed flight hell.

  105. I’ve been wondering the same thing, Rachel. Where’s the harlot? We miss ya!

  106. Whoa there, Claudia. That seems off-base, for a number of reasons. First, as I understand it, blog writers have lives and it is not their sole purpose to crank out content for our entertainment. Second, if you have no interest in the content of a post, don’t read it! There is no need for Stephanie to make a separate blog. If this is what she wants to put in a blog about her life and fiber adventures, then spinning and weaving fit just fine.
    I don’t mean to be a pill, but I am completely flummoxed by your logic, Claudia, that this blog needs to be all about you.
    Stephanie, I think you have a wonderful blog. I look forward to reading it whenever it comes out.

  107. Crap, it took out the “Slow clap” part! Anywho, thanks, Elin! That was articulated perfectly! Was thinking the same thing, but anything I said in response would be filled with profanities.

  108. i would recommend 100 Years of Solitude. It is by far the most beautiful book I have ever read. His descriptions are exquisite; I have been a hospice volunteer for many years and I know that I would love to read or reread this book in similar circumstances.

  109. I say suck it up! Seriously, no matter what you put with the bunny, it will appear soft, because you added bunny. Finn, romney (finer count), I like the idea of polworth, but i suspect it is too delicate…Enjoy your bunny stuff, don’t worry, you can never run out…you have friends.

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