Black Diamond Kits

Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rabbit Kit Cowl for Lydia

I think for most fiber animals, the wool from babies is more desirable than wool from adults.  However, this is not true for angora rabbits.  The fiber from the back and sides of adult rabbits is far superior to anything obtained from junior rabbits and kits.  Junior fiber is generally too soft (if such a thing were possible--not in my world!) and it can mat very easily.  Out of the ten kits in this litter, only Velvet, the self-black, needed next to no grooming and had only two or three tiny tangles.  Shirley was gone as soon as he was ten weeks old, so there were eight rabbits left to comb.

The eight kits produced over 1.4 ounces of fiber in four different colors: white, sable agouti (a light gray), chestnut (a darker gray), and fawn (cream).

I decided that Lydia should have something knit from these kits to remember this remarkable litter (she'll gross over $850 from them, and net about $720).  Because there were so many little tangles, I needed a project where that wouldn't be a problem.  And I needed something that would be quick to knit, as I wanted to enter it in the Nevada State Fair, in the Nevada Home Grown hand spun and hand knit competition.  I really should have started thinking about that a lot sooner.

Anyway, I wanted to use all the different colors, so I spun each color for about twenty minutes before changing colors.  I then Navajo plied the yarn to keep the colors separate from one another.

Lydia didn't like the resulting colors of the yarn.  Truth be told, neither did I.  I think I would have liked it better knitted up, but we'll never know for sure.

So I asked Lydia if she wanted me to dye the yarn.  She wanted a light blue.  I used sapphire blue from Dharma Dye.  I tried to make it light.  I failed.  But Lydia liked the color anyway.

I forgot to take a picture of the dyed skein before knitting.  Oops.  

I had selected this pattern to use for the cowl.  I think it's beautiful and thought it would work really well with the yarn.  Simple Mohair Lace Scarf - Purl Avenue

But I was in a hurry.  I had only six days left to finish it before it needed to be entered in the fair.  After knitting about an inch, I decided it just wasn't going to work.  So I had to look for another pattern.


This is the one I settled on, the Cashmere Cowl by Purlbee.

I decided to use size 9 needles instead of size 8.  I think that was a mistake.  And because I was making it for Lydia, I made it slightly smaller.

Here's how it turned out.

Now, off to the fair. 

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