It took me a while, but I have finally started to teach myself how to spin angora fibre from the buns. I made a few attempts at using the spinning wheel, but clearly I needed a crash course in hand spinning before I was going to be successful at spinning with a wheel. I bought a top whorl drop spindle and spun a small handful of Nibbler’s fluff for practice and discovered that it is pretty easy!
Nibbler’s fur was ready for shedding last week so I gave her a haircut and brushed out the loose fibre, leaving me with the pile you see above. Isn’t she adorable, by the way? She is very good during grooming and even lets me snip out her mats without squirming – which is more than I can say for Fry. A few months ago I bought a set of Scaredy Cut scissors which have been really helpful! The set comes with a bunch of guards for trimming to different lengths and keep the skin from accidentally getting in the way of the blades. I also have a pair of very tiny manicure scissors which I use to snip out mats that have gotten close to the skin; pulling the mat away from the skin and brushing all extra fluff out of the way I can use these tiny snips to trim the hair at the very base of the mat little by little until it comes free without damaging the skin. Bunny skin is like tissue paper, seriously.
Using the drop spindle was really simple, I just looked up a video on the youtubes and away I went! I was able to spin a small amount of yard with relative ease, but I think having a set of hand carders would make it easier to prep the fibre beforehand. I spent a lot of time fiddling with the fibre trying to get it to spin evenly… I ordered the cheapest set of light weight hand carders I could find (those babies are pricey!) and they should be here soon. Then I’ll be able to start processing the fibre I have collected over the last 8 months or so. Weee!