Hand Spun

Hand Spun
Campfire Hat

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Goings on at the Wren's Nest

Our rabbitry (OK - just 3 bunnies but STILL!) has undergone a radical change thanks to Jeff. He's amazing! He built a bunny condo. Licorice, my first angora has a ginormous cage that she thoroughly enjoys. However the baby bunnies I'm raising have been stuck in little cages in the garage on saw horses to be up and away from the cats. Kitty likes to sleep near the bunnies and Butterscotch is very allergic to cats. Yep. It's true. Anyway, Jeff built a 3-bunny condo for me to house all the bunnies in.
 Each bunny has their own compartment. Between each compartment is a small sliver of space I can slide hay into for them to self dispense. Last night Butterscotch decided to self dispense herself into Abbi's area through this compartment so Jeff is going to work on it a bit more.  But it's so nice to have them OUT of the garage and into this new space. They each get a little sliver of sunshine in their cage each day but they can move in and out of the sun at will. They're under a carport type of shelter so no direct rain or snow will get into or on their hutches and I can sweep everything out of the doors of the hutches onto the concrete floor below for easy cleaning. Licorice already misses her litter box but I was spending a small fortune on kitty litter for her. I may go back to letting her use it if she continues to pout about it but she'll be the only one.  They hay dispensers are keeping them from "nesting" in their hay and letting it mat their fur so I'll have better quality angora to spin after shearing. Hooray!!
Speaking of spinning angora, I dyed my first loose angora. Carol, my mentor, gave me some white angora a while back to practice spinning with. I needed some blue angora to match to some amazing wool I just spun and she walked me via e-mial through dyeing it before spinning it. I was so scared I was going to felt it. But I used Gaywool dye in cornflower, put it in my crockpot in the bathroom with the fan on and the window open (because it's an acid dye and would be harmful to my parrots) and let it "cook" for two hours.

Afterward I let it cool in the pot overnight. I achieved complete dye exhaust and the water was clear the next morning. I washed it all in Kookaburra and set it out to dry. Yesterday some of it was dry enough to drum card. Previously I had not had good luck with drum carding angora. Now I believe I was expecting too much from my poor drum carder because yesterday I got some beautiful batts off it. Here's my cotton candy colored angora.
Isn't it lovely? And it's a perfect match to my spun wool. I hope to start spinning it very soon. I still have about half of what I dyed left to drum card. It should be dry enough to work on more tonight. I had yesterday off and it was so nice. I could really get used to staying home and doing "farm" chores all the time. Alas, that will not happen. But it's a nice dream. My mom worked outside the home until the day she died.  If it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me. But a girl can dream!
Daisy has been making HUGE strides in learning to sing You Are My Sunshine and she's teaching Qwynn to sing it as well. She doesn't like being recorded but I managed to get a little of her song on my phone.
I love her little voice. When she first started to get her voice she sounded possessed. She's much better now. There's so much going on here right now! Things are busy at the Nest and we're all working hard and making the best of every opportunity. I am making more soap. Jeff bought me a new double soap mold for Mother's Day and I've played with it already.

It turned out some nice soap that I used the crinkle cutter on. This is what i got.

I set up my ArtFire studio online for anyone who wants to buy soap or yarn. So far, no bites. But I've sold a lot of soap at work to co-workers. I finally perfected my recipe and I'm turning out some nice soap. I'm pretty pleased. When my husband calls me on the phone to tell me the soap he used that morning was awesome, I count that as a success. Jeff loves me and encourages me but for him to call me over soap is a pretty big deal in my mind. 
Well, that's it for now. New things are happening here every day and I'll write more as I can. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


  1. I just love the cornflower color,it looks so soft as I know it is.
    Your soap is pretty colors too.I`m always thinking when I see yours that I must get my scents used up & made.
    Your Jeff did an excellant job on the coops!I wonder how many more bunnies we`ll end up with?! I know I`m getting a ginger colored doe who`s 3 years old,the breeder doesn`t want her bred anymore as she has trouble & asked me if I wanted her.Of course I said yes!I just can`t get over how soft they are.And I thought mohair was soft!!!
    Have a great weekend!phyllis

  2. Dear friend
    Love your blog and loved reading your posts. What amazing bunny condos, and my goodness the result with that wool - it's really beautiful. I found three huge bags of discarded sheep wool a few weeks ago (a Greek farmer had just left it by the dumpsters) and my fingers were madly itching to take it and do something beautiful with it. In that moment I really wished I knew something about how to treat it and how to spin it. I love crafting (many things) myself and love seeing your gorgeous produce. The soaps look wonderful too - I've tried making lavender soap which I love, but some ingredient was missing because apart from a heavenly smell, it left the skin dry.
    So pleased to have met you and thanks for your lovely comment over at Gods Little People.
    Love from Joan

  3. You create a peaceful haven for yourself on earth - I can see it in your photos. I always think you are so creative and amazing. (((HUG)))