Friday, July 13, 2018

Bendigo Show Last Minute Showdown !

It’s All happening …all the dyeing, braiding, labelling, packing, badge making, posters, vouchers (yes Bendigo vouchers) , packing the “thank you for being a superbunny for wearing bunny ears at the show!”-bags with pressies for everybody..all the last minute kind of things to get organized to make the Bendigo Show a wonderful experience for everybody. 
Now, here’s a newsflash: I prepare for the Bendigo show for at least a year. Yes, at least a year! Just like my rare breed adventures can take up to 2 even 3 years, all the things for the Bendigo show start the day after the last Bendigo show is done…. I know I should just take it easy for a while after, but that’s not how , as a small farm and small craft business work: There is always so much work to be done and lots of things to take into account. This year however, may be the last year I will be able to do it in that way. I have been quite ill for the last two months now and on orders of my doctor/husband, I need to take some time out. Don’t Panic though! My body may let me down but my brain is still going…for 
 I am especially very happy to announce a special “Sexy Scientist Yarn Range” for the Bendigo Show. I believe it is of the utmost importance to recognize the awesome combination of Yarn and Science, because without science there would be less yarn and less colour. You may think you are not a scientist, but in effect, we are all at least yarn scientists !
 You already have seen my “Sexy Weatherman” yarn and I have dyed up some other Scientist yarns for the Bendigo show. Some are still drying and getting ready , so photos are coming soon, but to keep you all updated!!!! Lots more is going on so please keep an eye on this space… Here are some Sexy Scientists on their way to the Bendigo Show next week:

Every decision, every plan, every spark of imagination or should I say the “vulcanic idea eruptions” that I have, however creative and exciting, they have to be assessed and thought about because of the super limited funds available. 
 Running a small fibre farm and a small craft business is just that: an almost impossible – or should I say clash between chaotic anarchistic creativity with the need of an almost scientific calculations of risk/ non existant availability of funds…. 
 Safe to say: I go with my gut feelings and take it from there, dive in and then ……. After incessantly working almost 24/7 …..fear sets in …soon replaced by my motto of “keep swimming!” or “if you go through hell, keep going!” attitude. So yeah, a pretty normal week…  

Here are some views of the Sexy Scientists planned for the show. There are LOTS of other fields and scientists under consideration of course and please do not hesitate to contact me to suggest your fav scientist to become part of the “Sexy Scientist Yarns” ! and do not forget: the sexy scientist range will be available at the Bendigo Show next weekend !!!! 

I will be in the Flower Shed in the Craft shed area of the show grounds. Here is a photo so you can find me : just go to the red circle...or ...follow the bunny ears and bunny foot prints :

This week’s update is all about a rare sheep breed from a small farm of this amazing breed. Please understand that everytime you buy a rare sheep breed, you support farmers and their well cared for flock of sheep ! Also, please appreciate the research that has gone into this. I am not buying off the shelf here. This is all about support, scientific research of history and breed specifics that can give all of us yarn spinners an insight of the special fibres that make up our yarns. Nothing is easy, or fast in making yarn, and neither is taking care of keeping a rare breed alive and thriving !

So what rare sheep breed is on offer tonight? : It is the Manx Loaghtan

The Manx Loaghtan conjures up images of the movie “Hell Boy” but these sheep are the epitome of gentle awesomeness ! Here are photos illustrating the flow from little lamb to adult heroism:

The origins of these primitive sheep are not fully understood but their ancestors are thought to go back to the Iron Age.

They share many characteristics with other primitive sheep and are part of the Northern Short Tail group of sheep.
These related primitive sheep were spread round Scandinavia, Iceland, the Scottish Islands and the Isle of Man by the Vikings.
The Manx Loaghtan is still one of the rarest of breeds in the British Isles and since 1973 the Rare Breeds Survival Trust has helped promote these wonderful sheep.
Up to the 18th century these sheep covered the Manx hills in their thousands. Gradually they were replaced by modern sheep that mature quicker and are heavier. Obviously modern economics are far from
In the last 120 years the Manx Loaghtan came close to extinction 3 times and was only saved by the dedication and foresight of a few people.
In the 1950s numbers were down to less than a 100!!!
Happily today there are just over a thousand and their future seems much brighter as people have come again to appreciate the wool which is naturally a dark tan colour, soft, light yet very warm.

The first thing that you notice about Manx Loaghtan sheep is their impressive set of horns. Both sexes have 2, 4 or even 6 horns!

As the name suggests, the Manx Loaghtan originated on the Isle Of Man. It is a small, ancient hill breed. Originally white with some grey and black sheep but few of the reddish-brown colour we see today (the word 'Loaghtan' comes from the Manx for 'mouse brown').

Like many other heritage breeds, the Loaghtan was once popular but declined in the early 20th century. The breed was rescued by enthusiasts both on the Isle of Man and in Scotland (where I got these beauties from) , and is now popular as a conservation grazer that will eat almost anything!

The breed is considered 'at risk' by the Rare Breed Survival Trust, with fewer than 1,500 registered breeding ewes.

Most Loaghtans have a medium staple length fleece, which in varying shades of brown getting paler with age, although they bleach to cream in the sun. The lambs are born black and generally achieve their particular shade of brown during the first year.

The fleece is very nice and soft witjh a staple length of between 70mm-100mm with around 22-28micron. It is great to spin for close to skin wear or for outerwear as well. I love this sheep. It has such an old world feel to it and so ancient in a way and ofcourse the fleece itself is just magic to spin up.

Please understand that I do not have a lot of stock of this exceptional rare breed fibre. Do not wait too long to pounce on this week’s update to avoid disappointment. I am offering you this all scoured and cleaned and pulled into luscious tops ready to spin in its natural colour. I will always be tempted to overdye grey fleeces (like you will see in later updates with the grey merino and silk blend I am working on as well) but there is no way I am tempted to overdye this luscious honey brown caramel coloured Manx Loughtan fibre. It is amazing just the way it is !

Have a fun weekend with lots of giggles!!

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 to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry. Have fun !!!

Manx Loughtan
Rare Sheep breed Tops 

A rare sheep breed that is a magical addition to your stash !

100grams (+/-3.5Oz); AU$22  FREE POST (for all in Australia and IxCHeL Club Members)

Manx Loaghtan top

Have a fun weekend Creating your Dreams!

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 also to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry.

Have a Creative and Fun week!

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.
4. message me on Instagram 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.

Dates to put in your Calendar

Friday July 20th to Sunday July 22nd 

Australian Sheep and Wool Show, Bendigo.
Go to to see what is happening and book your tickets. The Bendigo Sheep and Wool show is the biggest wool show in Australia ! with an amazing amount of woolcraft, indie dyers, a huge amount of tops, yarn, craft, felt and spindles, spinning wheels and anything you need for your knitting,crocheting and crafting.
I will be there with an amazing amount of new exclusive wool blends and yarns, batts, felt and landscape and botanical natural dyes and so much more !!!
I will also have spindles by the amazing Bearded Dragon and lots of fibre tools as well from darning mushrooms to noste pinne and needle cases to distaffs. And, there will also be some wonderful Turkish spindles from my friend Scott Snyder available again !

Get ready for a fabulous weekend filled with lots of craft and fun !!!

Sunday September 30th

Sheep and Woolcraft Field day
Pakenham Hall
Corner Henry and John Street , Pakenham
9.30 - 3.00pm

This awesome event is hosted by the Black & Coloured Sheep Breeders of South East Victoria
There will be craft demos, wonderful fleeces, a petting farm from the Elisabeth Murdoch College, Raffle prizes and of course a huge amount of stall holders offering fantastic fluffy fibres and yarns. I will be there again as well of course (would not miss it for the world) and I will have some new products again that could not be ready for the Bendigo Show like, natural dyes, plant seeds to grow your own dye garden, natural dye kits, new yarn and design kits as well as my usual range of super fluffy yarns and blends. I will give you a nice list closer to the date to help you prepare your shopping list  ;-)


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