Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Life and ....Alpaca angora tops!

Eowins golden haired Angora baby after 6 days!
It has been, as always, a hectic hopping around and lots and lots has happened! Eowin has fully recovered from her experience giving birth to her bunny angora babies and Minne, who delivered two gorgeous babies has been through somewhat of an ordeal: the angora baby we named "Peppahr", didn't make it...

Early Saturday morning when I went and checked on the little ones I found it in Minnes cage outside of its nestbox. Being outside of the comfy warm nestbox by yourself as a newborn bunny is certain disaster, because unfortunately the mum cannot put you back into the nestbox, bunnies just do not have that capability. So Saturday morning was quite heartbreaking, also because now Soul (as part of the "salt and pepper"team...was all by itself. It would certainly die without another bunny in the nestbox to give it warmth. We only had one choice to ensure its survival and that was to put it in the nestbox with the other bunnies, making sure it would be warm and fed. That meant that Minne would be left without any of her babies, but it was the best thing to do. I gave her huge cuddles and lots of her favourite nibbles and she is doing fine now.
All four angora bunny babies in the nestbox bed : a gold, blue grey(Minnes little baby born a day after the others), a dark brown one with light rings around its ears and a light belly!) and "Tineetim" whose little face you can just see underneath the tail of the big gold one.

To make sure that Minnes' baby would be accepted by Eowin and the other babies, we checked very very often....On Sunday morning for example we found Minnes' baby all the way in the corner of the nestbox on its own in a whole heap of angora fibre that had somehow formed a noose around its little head ! I carefully cut the fibre loose and put it back with the other bunnies and it has been fine ever since and has not strayed far from the bed anymore. Although it's a week after they are born, things can still happen and life still is very fragile. I have weighed the bunnies yesterday and must say, apart from the golden angora bunny(yes, little stubs of hair come through now! ) that weighs 99grams now ,all others have quite a low weight, especially "Tineetim" who only weighs 46grams !
The little blue grey baby angora of Minne, just after being weighed.

We always weigh the babies a couple of days to a week after they are born to check their progress. The weights are written next to all the bunnies on the picture here.
Something new to SPIN! (or felt..)
Yes, we have some gorgeous new organic alpaca and angora blend in tops! Great for spinning and felting and sooooooo yummy! The blend is 5% angora bunny and the rest is organic alpaca natural coloured in beautiful soft grey and black tones. There is only a limited amount available (we only have one grey and one black alpaca to blend with the angora....) so email me ( if you want some and I will send it out to you. The special price of the organic angora-alpaca blend is AU$20 per 100grams! The blend is so easy to spin it almost flies on the wheel by itself! :-) and it is supersoft (angora is 10micron and the alpaca is 19-20 micron!)
Better get going again: I have two markets on this weekend (Saturday is Red Hill Craft Market from 8am-2pm, and Sunday is the Arts Centre Craft Market at Southgate in Melbourne) and there is still lots and lots to spin and dye ! Have Fun!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Minne delivered "Soul"n"Peppahr"

Minne getting the nestbox ready...

Last night our Red eyed white angora Minne, gave birth to two beautiful huge angora bunnies! The dad, our golden haired boy "Gilderoy" is totally oblivious to the event and just has eyes for food, drink and his new neighbour "Mojo"...hmmm..the mother is doing absolutely fine! and has made the most beautful fluffy nest I ever saw! Her belly is totally naked because she pulled out every bit of fluff she had there and even started to pull out bits off her legs!,,,(can you imagine doing that yorself? My, it does take the edge off the whole birthing experience I The whole nestbox was just filled with fluffy angora fibre and I guess she must have thought that the weather was going to turn nasty because those little ones are going to have the best insulated nest ever!
Here are a couple of photos of "soul'n'Peppahr" so named because one seems a very light colour and the other a dark brown or blue grey one.

Just a few minutes after Soul'n'Peppahr were born..

(the yellow is just the flashlight by the way...)

Soul'n'Peppahr this morning....
Our other new mother Eowin is doing alright although I am a bit worried because she is till losing a bit of is normal but will have to subside after two days, so I am constantly monitoring her and making sure she eats a bit of green that has lost of nutrients in them like spinach and dandelion and broccoli. Her three babies are getting bigger, except the one I call "Tiny Tim", it is still fingers crossed for that little one...If the little ones survive 4 days it is almost certain they will make it.
Hardly had any time spinning and no time for any dyeing. Today is Paul's birthday and we are going out for dinner ! Yeah, no cooking! lol...
This Saturday is harvesting time again, we will be clipping the bunnies so there will be a bit of raw COLOURED organic angora bunny fibre available again! Just email me if you are interested in getting some for your next spinning project: white, smoke grey, light brown and silver are on the harvesting list. Be quick, because we only get about 50g per bunny...If you are interested in a particular bunny fibre let me know !
have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Angora Bunny Babies !

This morning at 6:10 our gorgeous Silver grey English Angora Doe gave birth for the first time and delivered three beautiful babies in her carefully made nest ! She already started making the nest ready a week and a bit ago and made sure that everything was alright and ready for the upcoming event! It was a good sign because some pregnant Angora bunnies do not have that motherly instinct at all ! Some just leave it til the very last minute and some might not even make a nest at all and just drop the babies where ever...Since the babies need a very comfy warm spot a good nest is very important. I was very proud of Eowin !

Eowin, just after giving birth and making sure the babies were okay, cleaning herself.

Of the three new born bunny babies, One is a huge silver white kitten (that's what little bunny babies are don't worry we did not genetically manipulate, another kitten is very deep brown and the other tiny one looks very dark blue grey, but it is very hard to tell the exact colours now, because they are ofcourse NAKED! (the hair will start to grow in the next couple of days, but you can tell a bit about the colours by the colour of their skin) and..... they are blind for the next ten days.

Eowin is a very protective mum and keeps hopping in and out of the nestbox to check on her offspring....I always keep my fingers crossed that she doesn't squash one in the process.... A lot can still happen and new life is very fragile. We will keep you updated how everything is going ofcourse !

The free Cashmerino Wave Shawl pattern !

Yep, as I promised I am posting the cashmerino shawl pattern here on my blog for all of you who emailed me asking for patterns using the Cashmerino that I posted last Monday. Well, Here it is! Please let me know if you have any problems or questions and keep a look out on this Ixchel blog as well for future FREE PATTERNS!

Cashmerino Wave Shawl Pattern
Yarn: Ixchel organic cashmerino (70% superfine merino, 30% Australian Cashmere), hand dyed 1 ply yarn 1 skein of 50g (yardage: 550m/50g); Needles: 4.5mm or 5,5 mm
Never worry about dropping stitches again ! It is very easy to knit & the result has a 10 + on the WOW- energy scale ! Wear the shawl in lots of stunning ways and wrap yourself in this luxurious shawl !
Final measurements: appr. 170cm x 28cm.

Cast on 188 st (stitch works with a repeat of 10+8st.
Energy Wave Pattern
Rows 1+2 :knit
Row 3 (rs): K7 *yo twice, k1, yo 3times, k1, yo 4times, k1, yo 3times, k1, yo 2times, k6* repeat from *, end k7.

Row 4 (ws): Knit, dropping all yos off needle.

Row 5 + 6: knit

Row 7: k2, repeat from * of row 3, end last repeat k2.

Row 8: knit dropping all yos from needle.
Repeat rows 1-8 until shrug is 11”/28cm or until yarn runs out !

Cast off & Enjoy your shawl !

Monday, October 20, 2008

A great way to relax

Life can be full of stress for whatever kind of reasons: ....The best way to get away from it all is...yep, you guessed it: play with some fibre, enjoy spinning, work on some weaving project and smile.....a bit of chocolate helps as well......but more of that later :-)
I feel extremely lucky and ...yes..relaxed :-) Last week I visited a good friend, Christina, who is also a Bunny enthusiast and we now are the proud "parents" of two new bunnies we got from Christina so we can introduce new bloodlines into the Angora lines we already have. One is called "Topping" a gorgeous chocolate doe and the other is "Mojo", a fiery blue grey doe.
"(chocolate) Topping", our beautiful sweet Angora Doe
Apart from all the bunnies hopping around I have been busy dyeing our laceweight Australian Cashmerino in some fabulous new colours. It is just fabulous to knit and weave with. Because it is laceweight the yardage per 50grams is fantastic: 550meters ! So if you plan to do a huge triangular shawl you only need two skeins and for the pattern that I use and is on (my laceweight wave shawl) you only need ONE skein! and because it uses a drop stitch pattern it grows amazingly fast ! In short : ALL good ! All the skeins are hand dyed, come from our Australian Cashmere goats mixed in with superfine merino, is organic ! and available now (50grams/AU$18) and if you want me to dye some for you in your own colour combo , just let me know by emailing me. Now just sit back, relax and enjoy the cashmerino colours:
"Walnut blossom"

"Pacific shadow"

"Eucalypt forest"

"Walnut Rose"

Cashmerino Yarn "Waratah"

Cashmerino yarn "Spice"

Cashmerino yarn "Moss"

Cashmerino Yarn "Barossa valley"

Cashmerino yarn "orange crush"

Cashmerino yarn "Dusky"

"waves in blue"


"Midnight blue"

"Pacific glow"

"Autumn Forest"


"Dusk on the heather"

"Moss Rose"



"Salmon red"

"Lilac wine"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Angorino Day and Frilled Lizards !

Angorinos drying in the soft breeze...a heavenly day on the Ixchel fibre farm

A very late blogmessage from me on a friday, but as usual I ran out of time....I had the greatest time thinking about new colour combinations and trying them out on angorino tops and our own cashmere/merino lace yarn. Please let me know what you think and if you want to adopt some of the new angorino braids or the yarn: I can send them to you easy as and as you know , because I only do relatively small batches, there are only a few braids in the colour combinations available: so just NAG ME anytime anywhere if you want one or a couple. Happy to help.

The colours around me on the farm are gorgeous: the apple, pear, nectarine and cherry trees are blossoming, the sun is shining!, the sky is the most magnificent blue and the walnut tree has the most amazing hues of green. In short it is all amazingly tempting and inspirational when you are dyeing fibre ! and most of all: it is FUN!

So here they are the new angorino braids! YEAH! They are all still AU$19 ! So grab one (or more...:-) and give them a good new home !

Walnut blossoms

Raspberry dream

Wild strawberries

Eucalypt forest at dusk

Kookaburra blues

Opals and sage

Walnut Berry Bash

Sunny Day!

Frilled Lizard sock kits!

I just had to spin !!! so I made some new sock knit kits for the bunny sock lovers among you. Here are the new colours I came up with. All the sock kits are AU$24 and coem with a super fun and easy pattern. The frilled lizard sock kits will make socks that fit young ones and women up to size 10 feet. Have a go and pamper yourself with these soft and cuddly sock kits!

Spring !