Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rabbit care: Recycling assistant

More photos of Rosalind, who has the biggest character of the bunnies in our house. Occasionally I give her a used box to "play with" (i.e. destroy). Those of you with cats and children already know boxes are awesome. Apparently bunnies know this too. Roz will dig at it, chew on it, move it, flip it over, and hide in it. Just before I took this photo she was completely in it, with only her periscope like ears peeking out. But also like cats, bunnies know when you're going for the camera.

This isn't just a funny post, though. Activity and entertainment is important for the health and happiness of bunnies, just as it is for any pet. Boxes are cheap or free and can provide hours of fun until they're destroyed, at which time the remnants can be swept into the compost pile or sent to the recycling bin. I generally remove all tape and labels, then fold one end of the box in the overlapping style and drop it in the cage. And of course, don't use any box that may have contained hazardous materials.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Available Babydoll Southdown fleeces

For sale, several Babydoll Southdown fleeces in the grease, in natural shades of pale gray to charcoal with sunkissed, oatmeal-colored tips. This is still rather a rare breed, though I believe as of this year they have been removed from the rare breed 'endangered/watch' list.

For your spinning or felting pleasure, Babydoll fleece has a excellent spiraling crimp that gives that characteristic bounce to Babydoll wool. This is a fluffy and delightful wool with maximum springiness, any way you spin it it will have more stretch and snap back action than the average fleece.

Like many fine wools, this fleece is on the short side, averaging 2-3 inch staple length. But be not afraid! Due to the excellent spiraling curl, it holds together just enough to be easy to control. Another spinner who bought one of our fleeces commented that it made a lovely, bouncy yarn. This is the type of fleece that will give you “comfort yarn”.

Babydoll facts: Samples of Babydoll fleece were tested and found to be 19 to 22 microns. The Babydoll's fleece also has more barbs per inch then any other wool types, making it an ideal blend with either Angora rabbit or Angora goat. This is a miniature breed of sheep, standing typically 24 inches at the shoulder. They are adorable and typically friendly for sheep, and suitable for smaller acreage. They are making a comeback as pets and for small spinner’s flocks. These fleeces are from Sweetwater Farm in Hampstead, MD. You may also remember photos from shearing day. Please note sheep are not coated and may contain some VM.

Prices below are for fleece only, shipping from 21788, USA via USPS will also be added. To request a fleece, I can be contacted through Ravelry (username SapphireChild) or by leaving a comment on this post with email address attached (comments to this post will be delivered to my inbox but not published, so your email address will not be shown online).

Star, fleece weight 3lbs, 7oz, $40
Great color and texture, has a bit more VM than most, much of which should shake out or fall out during processing, but price is reduced to compensate anyway. NOW LISTED ON ETSY

Bacardi, fleece weight 4lbs, 1oz, $58
Staples have consistent color and quality. Slightly more open crimp than typical, but always an enjoyable fleece. ***SOLD***

Sadie, fleece weight 3lbs, 6oz, $48
Wonderful colors from oatmeal cookie to milk chocolate to granite, fantastic texture, delightful. ***SOLD***

Sophie, fleece weight 3lbs, $35
Color: palest vapor gray with short staple to medium-dark gray with longer staple. Price reflects variable staple length. ***SOLD***

Lizzie, fleece weight 2lbs, 2oz, $25
Very short (~1"), very dense and crimpy. NOW LISTED ON ETSY