Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wilmington, Ohio NYE show

Despite a minor snow storm and much work to do at the kennel I made it to the NYE show in Wilmington yesterday.  It was probably the smallest show I have been to as most exhibitors were deterred by the weather.  I can't blame them, better to be safe than sorry but since the show site was only 20 miles from my house I gave it a go.  The show was delayed by an hour to try to give more people travel time so that helped.
I had an enjoyable time but missed my fellow competitors as I was the only French Angora or English Angora exhibitor to show despite being sanctioned.  My smarter counterparts were probably at home spinning and knitting.  By the time the show had ended the roads were clear so the drive home went well.
This was as full as the show room got.  Youth were in a separate building as they expected a larger turn out.  It was kind of nice to have space to spread out.

Judge Joe Calucci in show A with Eve, the French Angora.

Rhea, the English Angora in show A.
Judge Nita Butler in show B with Eve.

Rhea in show B.
A photo of Eve taken at home the day after the show.  This was her last show to be shown as a junior.  She will soon be a lovely senior.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a peaceful and Merry Christmas.  It has been busy at the kennel but I did manage to finish my latest pair of black English Angora mittens.  There just seems to be no other color for me.  My timing couldn't be better as we are expecting a winter storm to blow through in the night. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Roman's last show

Ah, all good things must come to an end, I suppose.  The Lancaster show was Roman's last show before I cut his coat off.  It was such a pleasure to show such a fine buck who ultimately won a Best in Specialty show and a Best 4 class.

 Positively handsome.
Best in show judging show A.
Best in show judging show B.
Another show B picture.  Lots of fiber to spin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lancaster, Ohio rabbit show

I've been a little slow to update my blog due to some computer issues, mainly upgrading to Windows 8 which entailed a bit larger of a learning curve than I'd like to admit to.  I really hate change but I think I may be getting the hang of it.
A couple of weekends ago we attended the Lancaster, Ohio double show which was Eve's first big outing since I acquired her.  I was really excited to see how she would do.  In show A she placed an admirable 3 out of 6 colored junior does who were more mature than her.  In show B I was thrilled to see her take a first in her class then go on to Best Opposite Sex of Breed over the colored and REW does which included several seniors.  Every judge has an opinion, some better than others depending on how you look at it.
Eve peaking out of her box.
Judge Lynn going over Eve.
 Debating on where she will place her.  Eventually, Eve took best opposite sex of breed in this show.
Eve decides she is done with the beauty pageant.  Exit, please!
OK we are done at the show, can we go home now?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A new hobby

So.... I was saying to myself the other day, "Gee, you don't have enough to do with your free time.  Why don't you take up sewing again?"  So I responded and got my old Elgin sewing machine a tune-up and delved into up cycled mittens that a friend told me about.  I really like just about anything that finds a new use for an old object and in this case it is wool/cashmere sweaters that you cut up and sew into hats, scarves, and mittens.  I have been having a great time searching for just the right sweaters at the Salvation Army that you can get dirt cheap around $1 or $2 a sweater.  You then take them home and do the unthinkable- wash them in really hot water AND then dry them in the dryer!  To see the process check out Roman cake designs on youtube at 

The first pair.  Not too bad.
The second pair turned out much better, I love them!  This is what can become of a J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Ann Taylor if you dig deep at Salvation Army.  Or your closet;)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New dyes

It's always fun to get a fiber related package in the mail.  I ordered these four Country Classic dyes from Paradise fibers at on Sunday and received them this Thursday.  Considering Monday was a holiday I think the response rate was great. 
Did you know that it is cheaper to use Country Classic dyes than Kool-Aid?  As much as I love the safety and convenience of Kool-Aid, sometimes you need a color a little less vibrant and I find Country Classic to be just as simple to use.  There is a large variety of colors to choose from as well.
This certainly inspires me to finish the spinning on my wheel and add a little color.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


My dear Sweetpea passed away yesterday. My love of black angora was spawned from her.   She was not an award winning rabbit but was quite priceless to me.  She will be missed at Big Times Kennel.

Sweetpea was spayed at a young age.  I believe it helped her live a long, quality life of over 8 years.

My signature black mittens were all from Sweetpea.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Morty meets BCW3D

Far be it from Morty to let an opportunity to greet a new rabbit go.  BCW3D (no name yet) is unsure of her new found friend but Morty has a tendency to grow on the rabbits.
"Well, hello there!"

"Is it just me or do we have the same inherited broken gene?"
"Hey, why is she ignoring me?"
"I'll just give her a minute or two.  We'll be good friends in no time."
"I hate to be pushy but... Well, I am pushy so that's the way it goes."

Friday, November 2, 2012

A French Angora? Why not!

I have had the pleasure of living vicariously through my friend Betty in her recent endeavor of raising a litter of French Angoras.  It has been such fun watching and hoping for them from conception until the time came for them to find homes.  I didn't really envision one for myself since my heart is in English Angoras but there are some advantages to owning and showing French Angoras like less grooming and a longer show life with the same benefit of fiber for spinning.  It didn't take too much arm twisting to get me to agree to take one, who doesn't love a new bunny! (All photos taken by Betty Chu.)

It all starts with a twinkle in the eye;)  Mr. Broken Tort meets Ms. Chocolate.  What colors could we possibly make?
After the appropriate number of days (which seems like an eternity) you get your bundles of joy.  I see 5 broken torts in the daddy's likeness, a black, a broken blue, and a broken black.

Family photo time.  Everybody look this way!
And when it's all said and done you become the proud rabbit parent of a beautiful broken tort doe.  I look forward to showing this beauty in the coming months.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pretty Scarves

Pictured are two scarves I just finished.  The brown/tort is made from second cut tort English Angora with one ply commercial viscose made from bamboo.  The black is 1 ply second English Angora cuts and one ply commercial acrylic/mohair/wool. 

I would never think to use second cuts which is the stuff you get from the rabbits cheeks, stomach and feet if not for my friend Betty suggesting I could make good use of them.  In fact, I think it makes for prettier scarves than first cuts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Oh, the fun part of angoras!  After spinning comes dyeing.

Lime green hank 83 yards $30
Ice blue hank 80 yards $28
Plus shipping
Contact me at if interested.  Paypal accepted.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Birthday...

To me:)   I have been waiting to see Rabbit Fever and John must have heard me because he bought me the DVD.  Great way to spend part of the day.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Best 4 Class Win

After attending a triple show in Marietta I decided I couldn't miss the double show in Xenia which is the closest show to my house.  Since the car was still packed from the day before I would be crazy (lazy) not to attend.  Angoras weren't sanctioned but a shows a show.  My efforts were well rewarded, Big Times Roman came up with another big win.  He won a best 4 class which is comparable to a reserve in show.  Way to go, Roman!
Me, Roman, and Judge Jacinta

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A specialty Best in Show

John, the rabbits, and I attended the Blannerhasset Rabbit Show in Marietta, Ohio this past Saturday.  Big Times Roman won specialty Best in Show.  There were 32 angoras entered.  A great win for a great buck...
Judge Hannah, me, and Roman.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More show pictures

Judge Ron Riddle deciding between Big Times Roman and Big Times Rhea.  Roman wins best of breed in show A.

Judge Danny Long deciding between Rhea and Roman for best of breed.  Rhea wins best of breed in this show.
Just a couple of writers watching the French Angora judging.  The tables were so full of shavings the judge asked the exhibitors to hold on to their rabbits while he examined them individually on a clean carpet square.  It got a little confusing but it is no fun picking shavings out of angoras for days.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Big Times Rhea wins Best in Show

John and I had a very successful day yesterday at the Springfield Rabbit and Cavy Breeder's Association show in Springfield, Ohio.  My senior white doe, Rhea won open Best in Show B.  Reportedly there were 1999 rabbits entered which included open and youth entries. 

Rhea, Maureen, and judge Stacy Martin.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


When things slow down a little bit at work I feel more inspired to do fun stuff like dye my yarn.  The safest and most fun method of dying is Kool-aid.  If you can drink it, surely it is safe to dye with.   

 I was trying to do a blue/green combo but my mind always says, "PINK! PINK!" so  threw in a little of that, too.
You need to be open minded to what you will end up with since dyeing can take a direction all it's own.  And since you can't 'erase' it and start over, it's just best to embrace the end product.  This hank sort of reminded me of confetti.   I love it.
These are ponytail holders embelished with cotton yarn and angora yarn.  The top left hairband and top right are done using the confetti hank.  These are quick little projects that can be completed in a matter of minutes. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Wool Gathering

John and I visited the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Ohio at Young's Jersey Dairy as we do every year for the last 13 years or so.  In fact, I think we attended the very first Wool Gathering when it was held in one tent in the parking lot.  My has it grown!  It is now in 3 very large tents with multiple booths outside and the parking lot has expanded to a lot across the road.  If anyone ever thought that hand crafts are a lost art I can assure you that they are alive and well with the number of attendants and booths there today.  I behaved myself for the most part resisting the temptation to purchase more fiber or yarn and stuck to my very short list of things I needed which included 2 sets of circular needles and the standard Wool Gathering t-shirt. 

The shirt says, "I knit so I don't kill people."  It seemed perfect for me;)
Alpaca was very well represented.  I was surprised to see the amount of alpaca fiber and yarn available and the quality was exquisite. 
Two cute Buckeye fans checking out the alpacas.  I was as conflicted as they probably were whether or not to miss the game to come the Wool Gathering.  Thankfully we had sports tap keeping us updated.
This is what awesome husbands do when their wives need a fiber fix!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Moon Cakes

Moon cakes?  For years I have wondered about these pastries my friend Betty features on her blog in the month of September every year to celebrate Mid-Autumn festival.  Today John and I were driving all over Dayton in search of something else when we came across a Chinese grocery store.  I was feeling bold (he wasn't) and wandered in.  It was interesting with roasting rotisserie ducks and exotic fish swimming around in tanks but the highlight of the adventure was finding this beautiful tin of MOON CAKES! 


Indeed, they do taste pretty bad.  However, it is quite pretty to look at.  With 630 calories and 24 g of fat in each piece it's a good thing they don't taste good to me otherwise I would eat all 4 pieces.