Black Diamond Kits

Black Diamond Kits
Sage's Kits, Nine Weeks Old

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Sad Bit of Angora History

Any historical information on angora rabbits is pretty hard to come by.  There are little snippets here and there in encyclopedias on online, but just not a whole lot of detailed information.  Even books dedicated to angoras are a bit sketchy about their history.

So today I came across an intriguing link on Facebook.  I checked all over the website, but I couldn't find their rules governing reprinting their articles, so I hesitate to post the article here.  I'm including the link so you can read for yourself (and so I can find the article when I want to).

I already knew the basics that the article covers, and I'll share them with you so that you can decide whether it's something you want to learn more about. 

The author tells about the raising of angora rabbits in Nazi Germany at the concentration camps.  Of course, the rabbits were treated vastly better than the Jews.  While the subject itself is disturbing to ponder, there are not any photographs in the article to worry about showing to children. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Novelty Yarn (Don't Throw Those Little Mats Away!)

Our view count is down some days, so I had hoped that the traffic from icky sites was shrinking, but alas, such is not the case.  I wish it didn't bother me so much, but it does.

Anyway, on to a topic that people raising angoras don't normally discuss in public.  Mats.  We just don't want to confess that we sometimes get them in our rabbits, and we want to believe that other breeders don't have this problem, either.

We started raising French angoras because we don't want to deal with mats.  And we still prefer to avoid them when at all possible.  The senior rabbits the girls have here all grow relatively carefree coats.  They really only need two minutes of grooming per week until they are close to shedding their coat.  But junior rabbits usually are an entirely different matter.  Sometimes they have coats that mat way too quickly, even with grooming several times per week.  Usually it is just the nature of the baby fiber, but it can also happen when they take a fancy to rubbing against their water bottles or playing in water crocks, or rubbing against each other if they are sharing a cage.

It used to be so annoying because I viewed it as a complete waste of beautiful fiber.

But now I've come to see it as not a complete waste.  I become a lot less stressed when the girls miss grooming an area on the rabbit and find some mats.  It's good to chill out.

Anyway, the mats are spun into the yarn and provide an interesting texture.  It gets called novelty yarn, and I've been told that novelty yarn actually sells better and commands a higher price than evenly spun yarn.  I can't comment because I can't compare.  I've only sold two mini-skeins of yarn, and those were both novelty yarn.  I've got a couple of skeins to put in our Etsy shop, one white novelty yarn skein and one chocolate lace-weight yarn skein.  We'll see which one sells first.

I think it makes beautiful mittens. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bad Stuff Happening

We haven't been posting much at all because we're just depressed about what is going on with the blog.  Unfortunately, for some reason, our traffic has jumped about eight-fold, from the normal 30 hits per day to well over 200.  And it's all due to hits coming from sites dedicated to the number one internet use, which shall remain unmentioned in the hopes of not attracting more of that attention.

So I'm going to delete a bunch of the posts that I think attract that attention and hope that it will correct the problem.  It probably won't, but I have to try.