Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mobius Cowl

I've always wanted to try knitting a Mobius cowl and have finally done it!  Mobius or Moebius, is a surface with only one side; now try wrapping your head around that:)  Here is a good visual:

Do you feel like you are back in geometry class yet?

The technique to cast-on is quite different than the usual method and a bit of a challenge if you have done things the same way for many years.  Thankfully, youtube had a great tutorial.

Here is the beginning, notice the 180 degree twist.  The yarn is black English Angora.
The finished product with the twist on the right.  I may try it again and work out a few problems I had with counting.  Here is the link to the pattern, the youtube link is a must watch if you have not tried this method before

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Time to dust off my blog, it has been 2 months since the last update!  Not much going on except lots of work.
Zelda, my black English Angora, gave birth to 6 healthy buns 3 weeks ago.  3 black and 3 torts.
This is a well fed tort at 2 weeks of age.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I am happy to report that last year's Bluebirds have decided to nest once again this spring on our boxes.  Actually, they never left the area all winter long so we were delighted that they continued to stay on the property.  We started out with three eggs.

And ended up with 2 hatchlings.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A yard/yarn sale

A friend alerted me to a local yard sale with a teaser picture of LOTS of yarn for sale.  I am going to refer to her as my spendy friend as I just attended her pampered chef party the weekend before.  This yard sale did not disappoint as I walked away with a lot of quality yarn.  The greatest find was the big bag of pink and green Rowan Baby Soft yarn for $15.  Normally it would have been $48.  Now to find the time to do something with all this great yarn!

All this for $29!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New skeins

Time to update you on some new skeins.  It's been a while!

This skein hanging out to dry is over 100 yards and is one ply angora and one ply commercial yarn Angel Hair Boucle by Sensation which was a minty green.  I then dyed it in lemon lime Kool-Aid which didn't affect the color of the commercial yarn but accented the angora which did absorb it. I loved the way it turned out since it has the same halo affect of spun angora.  I loved it so much that I tried another skein in a different color which is below.

I didn't add any dye to this skein since the commercial dye was so pretty.  Just one ply white angora and one ply Angel Hair Boucle.  Well over 100 yards.

How about this beautiful color?  This is one ply polyester crochet thread (purple) and one ply angora dyed with cherry and boy blue Country Classic.  I had one heck of a time getting the cherry to do something and ended up rinsing most of it out.  Went back and re-heated the skein and ended up with a little purple with the blue.  Here is a picture after it completely dried,
Who knows what colors will inspire me next...

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Today was the day!  My little friend took the bate and entered the trap.

I am happy to report that the feral cat is a young, healthy male that has now been neutered and vaccinated.  My main concern was that this could be a female cat having litter after litter who may have had feline leukemia.  As it is, this cat will  not be contributing to the gene pool and can go about living his life free of disease.  A big thank you to Pets in Stitches in Dayton, Ohio that offers low cost spay and neuter and works with feral cats and the unpredictable schedule that they keep on getting trapped.
Stay tuned for more updates.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Is today the day?

Now that things have quieted down after Spring break at the kennel I will try to trap my feral friend.  The plan is to get him tested, vaccinated, spayed or neutered and released if he is truly feral.
"Another free meal?  OK."

"I see you.  And I have seen your trap."

Gorgeous!  And still free:)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hark! Who goes there?

Morty is on to the interloper. My fat, happy lap cat has decided to do border patrol.  Who knew the chubby kitty even cared about what goes on out there?

The stray cat has decided it is safe to dig through the trash as long as Morty is not in site. 

Morty pulled all his scary cat moves and after a 2 hour stare down Morty does a victory roll in the dirt.  I guess in cat speak he won?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Free is good!

Now he is more visible.  A good, free meal always lures them in.  And he seems to be getting use to me and my 'camera face.'  At this point I am guessing male with his blocky head.  The jowls seem to give his gender away.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who is stalking who?

Can you see him?  Or at least can you see his eyes?  I can just hear him saying, "I know where you live..."  Very intriguing, he is sticking around.  To be continued....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What do we have here?

If any of you know me, you know I am a huge fan of cats.  In fact, my role model is Hello Kitty.  So imagine my surprise when I discovered this lurking around.

We live on 10 acres and are surrounded by farm land but it is actually rare for me to see feral cats.  But in the event that I do have one, I try my best to trap, spay/neuter and release.  Stay tuned for more cat sightings as this story unravels.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Yes, yes I know they are out there.  But I never see them in my backyard.  What a treat!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bunny power

Finally!  Something to blog about.  I know, it's not much but it's that time of year to get our gardens started now that Mother Nature seems to be done with the snow...  Hopefully.  With the amount of rabbits that I have, I accumulate a lot of droppings.  Sometimes I get people contacting me that want to take it for their gardens.  I hear it does wonders for hostas.  But this year I decided to make an effort and use some of it myself.  I don't have time to garden as summer is our busy season at the kennel but my neighbor grows a very nice garden that I can visit as often as I like so I took some time to load up my trailer and took several loads over.  This stuff isn't light, let me tell you, so I will make a greater effort to pick a few vegetables once they start growing.  Their is great satisfaction knowing my rabbits helped grow something!

Stay tuned for pictures of the growing garden.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hello Halo!

Not much has been happening in the angora department for the last couple of months, hence, the lack of blogging.  I attended a show several weeks ago but only had one French Angora to show and no competition.  There was a new English Angora exhibitor so that was a pleasant surprise.  I hope she sticks around.
The time had finally come to cut Eve, the French Angora, down.  She really needs to grow an adult coat so I am anxiously awaiting to see how it comes in.  I scissor cut her as it didn't seem to lend itself to plucking for which I am grateful.  Honestly, I wouldn't look forward to plucking a rabbit since I have never done it before.  Wow, is the yield so much less than an English Angora.  English are so much more high maintenance but you could easily get four times as much per clipping.  So much better of a return on your investment in rabbit pellets alone.  But you do have to factor in how much easier it is to care for a French Angora as well. 
Although I posted this picture before it's nice to see these two pictures together so you get a good visual of what it looks like ON the rabbit and what it looks like after spinning.

Don't you just love the halo? That's the fuzziness brought about by the guard hairs that the French Angora should have.  I didn't think little baby Eve had that much!  It is super soft and quite a lovely color.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Zoe, our 19 year old office cat, passed away today.  We had the pleasure of sharing the office with her for the last fifteen years and her presence will be missed.  Zoe had supreme catitude and a fondness mostly for herself.  She had great disdain for the boarding dogs and even the cats she lived with so it was ironic that she lived her life in a kennel office.  Big Times Kennel will not be the same without her.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rapunzel's yarn

Just finished spinning Rapunzel's first coat.  I got 185 yards of lace weight and 100 yards of closer to sport weight.  That's what happens when I spin it at different times, I get different thickness.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tie-dye yarn

 Who doesn't love a little tie-dye?  Although this isn't really  tie-dyed yarn I was inspired to try to recreate the look using a couple different bowls in a larger pot.  This pot is only used for dyeing fiber so it's OK to use a combination of commercial dyes and food dyes.  The hot pink and blue are Country Classic dyes (haven't decided yet if these are as safe as Kool-Aid) and the yellow is Wilton's cake dye with a little bit of vinegar for a mordant.  I wished the colors didn't mix as much as they did but it took longer to heat up the smaller dishes so the blue kept bubbling up into the other colors.  That's OK though since I really liked the finished product.
This is where I start to get a little anxious.  I have a lovely hank of natural white yarn pre-soaked and I don't want to mess it up with less than desirable colors so I better think carefully before dyeing it.

But the fact of the matter is, if pink is involved I will LOVE it.

Indeed I DO love it.  The blue combined with the pink to make purple as well.   I always google color combinations to make sure I am using complimentary colors or colors that do not  inadvertently make brown.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I really enjoyed working with this yarn.  The finished baby blanket ended up being 33 inches squared.  Quite fun:)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bunny Tails

What a perfect name for this yarn and a perfect yarn for me to work with.  I have been eyeing this yarn at Michael's craft store for quite some time but I thought it was a bit pricey at $5 for 46 yards.  This past week it is on sale for $2  so I couldn't resist and bought enough to make a baby blanket.  6 skeins will make an ample blanket.

Loops and Threads Bunny Tail yarn.
A work in progress.  This pattern is very simple and only uses the knit stitch, it is knit on the diagonal.  The pattern is:
Cast on 2 stitches.
K1, K2 in next stitch.  Turn.
K1, K2 in next stitch.  K to end. Turn.
Continue on in this pattern until desired width.
K1, K2 together, K to end.  Repeat until 2 stitches remain.  Bind off.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Roman's yarn

I save just about every bit of fiber that comes off of my angoras.  These three skeins are made from the combings and some mats off of  my chocolate tort buck, Big Times Roman. 


Roman before...


Roman after


The skein on the far right is one ply angora and one ply viscose made from bamboo.  This is a perfect natural color that needs no dyeing in my opinion.