View Full Version : 100% handspun angora knee socks
10-07-2006, 10:27 AM
I'm just finishing up a pair of *devinely soft* angora knee socks. I bred the bunny, fed him, raised him, clipped him and spun the yarn and now he is about to warm my feet! Instead of the usual short row heel, I used the classic heel this time, with K1Slip1 panel for the back of the heel and I held silk thread along with the angora for the heel and toe sections. Next time, I'm going to make the type of toe that has the seam across the top instead of just closing off the stitches at the end of the tube. I don't like that lump there. :eyebrow: :pout:
I also have to make another glove. My dog got one of my mohair/targhee gloves that I had already finished, darn it. (Actually I can't "darn it" the damage is too bad.) My next project is going to be the fabulous Meg Swanson socks featured in the current issue of Vogue Knitting. Then there is that beaded berret... then there is that beautiful angora shrug... Oh yea, did I mention that I have the pieces felted for a jacket too?
10-07-2006, 10:33 AM
I bet the socks are divine :cheering:
How cool is that?! You are knitting with the hair of your very own bunny! Can't wait to see them!
I agree with you, I, too, enjoy a short row toe more than the others :wink:
10-07-2006, 12:12 PM
Ooh ooh ooh, I wanna see! I've been saving my bunny's hair to have it spun, though he's not angora. He is really really soft (my other bunny's fur isn't nearly so nice). Pictures, please!
10-08-2006, 02:33 AM
Believe me, when those socks are done, I'll be posting pictures! They were knit in plain stitches, just to display the beauty of the handspun yarn. Nothing fancy, but I'm expecting toasty warm legs and feet this winter. I'm putting them inside a pair of slippers that I knitted from roving (not yarn) and then felted using the washing machine, so they never really touch the dirty floor. They are too precious for that! Donna
10-08-2006, 01:44 PM
I do believe you've brought DIY to its limits, save for using your own hair for yarn (is that even possible?) What do you think it is that drives creative people to start from the rawest of materials? Is it a control thing or is it a challenge thing?
In either case, I'm sure the finish product will be pretty satisfying. If you don't mind my asking, how did the bunny respond to being shorn?
10-08-2006, 08:33 PM
I actually raise German angora rabbits, bred specifically for their wool production. Having been bred for generations to submit to handling and grooming, they are pretty mellow. Mine usually sit stil for the topside getting done. But they don't like it when I flip them onto their backs to shear their undersides, they feel vulnerable So I try to handle young kits a LOT, flipping themover often. But even so, it is an individual thing, no two buns react the same. I send 90% of the fiber I get from them off to a mini mill to have it spun into yarm for me. But I keep some of the softer textured fiber here for my own pleasure in spinning too.
The creative urges are so inexplicable. I know I feel some sort of bondedness with ancestors who came before me. I often imagine how it might have been to be a lace knitter in the Shetland Islands, one of the most significant items for export that were produced there, and the one that virtually saved it from extinction during a very rough economic time. Or how it might have been to be the knitter for the Sultan, back when knitting was introduced to the world by the middle east. In some way, it is a way to imagine I was productive (and therefore safe) in some other incarnation. Something along those lines. :) I'm sure that those people collected and spun their own fiber into yarn too.
As for raising the rabbits, that is simple. I craved luxury yarns and could not afford them in enough quantity for my yearnings! (Not to mention that the quality of the commercial stuff is pretty cr@ppy.
So I decided to raise my own. It is the only hobby I've ever had that actually pays for itself, while still providing me something very valuable to myself too. The raw fiber sells well, the completed yarn sells well, and I can pick and choose exactly whom I'm going to bestow a favor on, with completed items. (Only sufficiently appreciate people are bless with an angora item from me!)
Now these socks? They are from my dealy beloved, departed buck, Hercules. He was a sweetheart, my very favorite bunny. These will always occupy a special place in my heart.
10-09-2006, 01:01 AM
I'll bet your bunnies have names too!
10-11-2006, 05:46 PM
Well, doh. Names? Yes, most of them do. They have to. They are pedigreed and if you think your bun is good enough, there is a registration process whereby his productiveness may be measured and found worthy of a registration. they do have ear numbers tatooed in their ears, but for pedigree purposes there would be names. Now, not all of them are a pleasure to handle. In 6 years, I've had one biter and I was happy to send him off to someone else's rabbitry. She knew about him, and she also made a lot of hassenpfeffer. I have to say I think he jumped into the stew pot after he bit her. :shrug: And she did it with my blessing too. But we all have that one "special" one that seems to exhibit a little sense (usual for a rabbit) or whose habits are anthromophized into something appealing to us. Herc was one of those guys. And incidentally, bucks are easier to handle than does. MUCH more mellow.
10-11-2006, 06:55 PM
Not have names?! Bunnies are also pets. It's like someone's dogs not having names. :shock:
Enif and Toki were :shock: just at the thought!
10-16-2006, 12:24 PM
Your buns are adorable!
10-18-2006, 07:18 AM
Your buns are adorable!
Only in this forum could that be seen as non-suggestive. :teehee: Makes me proud to be a knitter. :muah:
10-18-2006, 10:20 AM
Donna, the socks are absolutely GORGEOUS! I was reading your blog and was interested in the earwamer pattern but I couldn't get to it. Any way I could get that pattern from you? It's awesome!
Shelley (big lurker, but angora brings me out!)
10-18-2006, 09:32 PM
Those socks are beautiful!
10-19-2006, 02:49 PM
The socks are gorgeous, and they look so soft and warm!
10-24-2006, 11:26 AM
Thank you everyone for all the nice comments. I love those socks, they are soooooo lush. And the shaping wasn't too bad either, since I did not use a pattern at all.
Shelly, I would be happy to send you the pattern for the ear warmers. Just send me an PM with your email address, and I'll check my serverto see why it isn't loading. It is a pdf file, do you have Adobe Acrobat?
Now, I have a pair of slippers up that are NOT angora at all. They are knitting from roving, using size 15 or 17 needles! They go extremely fast, I knitted one slipper in one evening. I've put the URL to the pattern up too, plus I told about my modifications on the blog. Happy knitting.
your socks look fantastic! Wish I could feel them through the screen :)