Friday, April 21, 2017

a Busy Bunny

Safe to say the Easter bunny is exhausted after delivering all those chocolate easter eggs to you all LOL…no seriously: it has been mental! Not only because of the launch of the new IxCHeL sock yarn blend (and , I will just let the cat out of the bag now: OTHER YARN BLENDS IN THE MAKING !!!! check the blog next week! FOR ANOTHER NEW EXCITING YARN BLEND! OOPS SORRY CAPITAL LETTERS…..phew…breathe breathe breathe). And then I had the brilliant idea to announce a new rare sheep breed adventure, totally forgetting the Clubs also need work ! So,  Seamonster adventure preps and blending and ofcourse the work done to get the April Clubs all ready ! Yep, safe to say, no quiet time here at the farm. So, believe it or not, I forgot to buy chocolate Easter eggs ! Was it not for a gorgeous present given to be by my friend Annet, there would not have been any chocolate easter eggs in the house! Can you believe that ???!!! Outrageous! Well, that’s what happens when you are tied to the studio and dye room.....LOL

Tied may seem a bit of a stretch and I certainly do not want you to get the wrong idea, but , honestly, when you run a farm and craft business, it is extremely hard to make ends meet. Meaning: what you do not have you cannot sell. If I don't work my butt off to offer you all fluffy , enticing fun stuff, it's not like you are going to  give me any monetary reward. In cslow craft, as I like to call spinning and dyeing and weaving, knitting (not to mention embroidery and quilting) ; everything takes a long time. a Loooooooong time. it's not like opening a  bag and  in 5 seconds you have product to sell on a website. No , that does not happen here. This week for example I had a very sick bunny: TicTac. She is quite old and has huge eye problems as well as I fear arthritis and neurological problems that are catching up with her. She has been with us for over 8 years. I am grateful for her company and the love and fluff she has given us over all those years. The deal is that I clean her up, am on poo duty, make sure she is  very comfortable and hand feed her.  That is not even counting the day to day caring of all our other animals and the clipping and grooming, blending, sorting, toe nail clipping, etc yes,I forget to get chocolate eggs and to eat...The animals come first. they are the reason I am here and in second place, all of you. Yes YOU! YOu are the reason I am doing what I do. If it was not for you, there would not be an IxCHeL fibre farm, no rare sheep breed adventures and bunny care for me. So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

For todays update I have some awesome Icelandic sheep tops I dyed with natural homegrown dyes like woad, weld, indigo and mushroom and madder root ! Madder root is amazing to work with but you really have to take care of keeping an eye on the temperature when you are dyeing: if the temperature gets too hot the red colour will turn to a muddy brown ..I wanted to have a nice deep warm I had to baby sit the dyepot for those and if I may say, the three years of nurturing those madder plants and then pulling them out hesitantly (awwww) to become the madder root pigment to dye with was an adventure! And well worth it !

There are not many wild or domesticated local animals in Iceland, but the wildlife and farm animals Iceland do have are very special. Did you know there are more Icelandic sheep in Iceland than people?! Some farmers own nearly a thousand sheep of their own. The extensive farm land around Iceland's coast is full of them, and every summer they roam the highlands and mountains freely. They're tough, sturdy little animals, and grow lots of fluffy wool that the Icelanders use to make all their woollen goods. Icelandic sheep are a breed that has remained virtually unchanged for over 1,000 years, maybe the oldest and most genetically pure sheep breed in the world. Modern Icelandic sheep descend from sheep ferried by Vikings to Iceland during the 8th and 9th Centuries. Attempts to “improve” the breed by outcrossing generally resulted in increased vulnerability to disease, and so raisers on this island nation decided to keep their selective breeding attempts confined within the breed.

The Icelandic sheep is an ancient North European breed, slightly smaller than modern varieties, whose double-layered coat is uniquely suited to cold and wet conditions.

A few weeks after the lambing in May, sheep are sent to run free and graze in mountain pastures until autumn, feeding on the rich and nourishing vegetation. Many farmers formerly allowed their sheep to graze in outlying pastures over the summer months, but as a result of the recent reduction in flocks, animals are increasingly kept on home pastures. Farmers gather their flocks in the autumn. Usually, the round-up is carried out on horseback with assistance of sheepdogs. The process can take up to a week. During this time, participants stay overnight in mountain huts located throughout the highlands. Each sheep farmer has his own earmark in order to identify his livestock. After the gathering, the sheep are all sorted into designated pens, according to earmarks. Many people, farmers or not, come to watch or take part in this event on the last day, which is usually followed by a big celebration the same night. This is a tradition cherished by Icelanders.

Icelandic sheep are a beautiful and eye-catching breed of sheep with incredible colour variations and seventeen possible combinations of colours and patterns. Known around the world for their fibre, the Icelandic sheep provides a soft, lustrous dual coated fleece. Icelandic sheep come in a range of natural colours and patterns which provide lovely wool that is very versatile and easy to spin, making this wool a handspinners dream.  There is heaps of information and even videos I put on my autumn shearing of the icelandic sheep on my blog  a while ago in case you want to have a look at the whole story and some more cute photos.(here's the linkie to the Icelandic Leadersheep blog I did. There is another adventure planned later in the year for these amazing sheep for which you can sign up)

Anyway, here I am, it is Friday again and update day and this week, filled again with Nordic Splendour (I’m obviously still in a Viking mood! . Here are some of the Icelandic Beauties responsible for this weeks fibery update :

Have a fun weekend and snaffle ! All the “ how to order details” are shown at the bottom of this blog. You can always contact me on facebook or ravelry and even if you do not see something here , ask me: I am always happy to enable !

Icelandic Natural dyed tops Tops

Beautifully slightly blended black and silver grey Icelandic Autumn Shearing tops, naturally dyed
100+gram tops AU$23

Natural white Icelandic tops-3 left-

dyed with woad (home grown and fermented  
-don't ask! phew!!!-  on the farm)-4left-

dyed with Weld (home grown on the farm)-2left-

Icelandic tops dyed with mushroom pigment -2left-

dyed with Madder root (grown for 4 years here on the farm) SOLD

dyed with Japanese Indigo , grown at the farm -only 7 left-

The custom Victorian spun IxCHeL sock yarn blend 3 weeks ago and the update of last week went so astronomically well and I love working with this yarn: it is smoochy, super soft and is very colour hungry. Dyeing the speckled yarns and coming up with the colour combinations is the most invigorating thing ever: another couple of new colour variations.
Happy snaffling  !!

IxCHeL Angora bunny and Wallaby Yarn

from our English angora bunnies who are given a haircut every 3 months and wallaby fibre  (70% angora, 30% Wallaby)

50grams     $35 

 Handspun, natural, super fluffy, 

appr 90-100meters per 50 grams

Angora Wallaby Yarn -ONLY 4 LEFT- 

Angora Wallaby yarn close up

IxCHeL Merino Silk Nylon Sock yarn 4 ply Fingering Weight

Great yarn with fab stitch definition and drape. All Spun in Victoria and hand dyed on the IxCHeL Fibre farm with Love by me right here in the Yarra Valley !

+/- 410 meters per 100g

Merino 75% Silk 5% Nylon 20%
100+gram skeins     

Another colour combo with a speckle and a semi solid that work so well together

another Peacock Colour combo

Unicorn Blah Ba

Purple Rain-sold-

Everybody Loves a Peacock-sold-

Heathery Haze-sold-

Rusty Nail-sold-

Dates to put in your Calendar !!


Saturday May 6th   10am-3pm

Healesville Spinners and Weavers Guild AGM and talk and shop (it is a general meeting and after 12am I will give a talk and there will be fluff for sale. It will be just me there though: not a spin in as such. So Please contact the Healesville spinners and bring a plate to celebrate !)

Please join me with the Healesville Spinners and Weavers on Saturday for their annual meeting and celebration.
I will be doing a talk about the IxCHeLbunny farm, fibres and yarns and lots more !!! There will be fibres to cuddle (and buy) and also spindles of all shapes and sizes.

The event is open to all but everybody is asked to bring a plate of food to share with the others to make it even more fun. The Hall opens at 11am with a group meeting and my talk will start around 12. After the talk there will be ample opportunity to browse, shop and mingle.

V.C. Mullett Hall (Badger Creek Hall), 358 Badger Creek Road, Badger Creek.
The hall is located next to the Badger Creek C.F.A. Station and opposite the Badger Creek Primary School. There is off road parking.

Sunday May 21st 10am-3pm

Victorian Hand Knitters Guild Show Coburg Town Hall

THE extra ordinary super fluffy yarny event in Melbourne !!!
I will be there with lots of hand dyed tops for spinning and felting and happy rainbow yarn and sock yarn, some extra special art yarns and much much more!!!!
As well as some amazing Lair of the Bearded Dragon spindles and bowls that are pure magic to spin with !


Friday July 14th- Sunday 16th, 9am-5pm

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
THE event of the year !!!! Not to be missed!! I will be there in the Flower (Power Bunny) Shed again with heaps of new goodies, hand dyed and hand spun, IxCHeL new blends and rare sheep breed adventures and much much more ! Including a world first of something AMAZING AND FUN!!!!! Shhh not telling ! but it is AWESOME !!!!


date and venue info to follow soon.

Black n Coloured Sheep FIELD DAY  in Pakenham!

Landscape dyes 

 100g tubs   AU$11 
250 g tubs AU$26

Want to dye your own with easy to use acid dyes? I have been selling these Landscape dyes at my workshops and shows for a long time :  They are extremely easy to use and come in great shades.
Just contact me with the name of the colour you are after and I will get right back to you.

Have a creative week!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? : Always happy to enable.

All my contact details are here:

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. Message me on facebook or 
3. Message me on  where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? : Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.

Thank you so much for your help and support !


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