Northern California Angora Guild

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Elsa Gets Ready For The Show

Elsa loves to go to shows. She cannot wait to make Pudge beautiful to compete on the show table. Mama Gabrielle says, "Elsa spends Friday after school grooming rabbits in preparation for the show."

This pretty much summarizes how all we show people feel, we cannot wait to go to a show and Friday is the time to do preparation.

Showing is not all about breeding, showing is also about preparation and some luck. Luck does not fall on those who are not prepared to catch it.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Three Handsome English Angora Bucks

Chu's Eddy, a tort buck.

Chu's Fawnderas, a fawn buck.

Chu's Dalton, a white buck.

Bucks usually get overlooked when it comes to our blog posts because usually the does win the Best of Breed. Just for the fun, here are photos of Betty's three handsome boys that are competing against each other in shows. They take turns in winning the Best Opposite Sex of Breed.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Gabrielle Sets Up Her Mill

Gabrielle says,

"13-months ago, I paid a 75% deposit on the equipment to set-up my mill. I was told that it would take 4-months for the parts to be ready for assembly. (The carder cloth/rollers came from England.) We scheduled our mill installation for "the end of May." After several delays, our engineer finally assembled the equipment. Here are pictures from the first few runs.

First run through the carder is a small amount of my dark brown/charcoal colored merino, "Ramington Steele," 19 micron. (He changed colors throughout the year.) After this small section, we ran a nice size batt of his fleece.

The carder is "self-cleaning." Just 15-minutes after I ran the dark brown merino, I ran Grade 4 (26 - 28.9 micron) white alpaca, with no color contamination happening from the merino. It is splitting into two slivers and coiling into the bucket.

My dad watches the fluffy and lofty alpaca sliver feed into the pin drafter. The pin drafter evens out the sliver and makes the fibers more parallel to each other, making for a denser roving.

My third run was 50% merino "Ramington Steele" with 50% angora (the groomings from our rabbits.) This is it picked and feeding into the carder.

The 50/50 angora/merino blend feeding out the front end of the card into sliver. (We spinners call it roving. But, technically, it's called "sliver.") I was expecting a lot of clumps and lumps and matts because there were matts in the groomings that I was feeding into the machine. But... it did an amazing job!!"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dominique and Elsa Compete In Showmanship

Dominique borrows Pudge for Showmanship.

Dominique being judged in Showmanship.

Dominique examines toes and nails in Showmanship.

Elsa and Pudge being judged in Showmanship

Elsa could have used a stool to better examine eyes, nose and teeth. Pudge patiently waited through it all.

Mama Gabrielle says,

"The girls have never done Showmanship before. I thought that they were too young, too inexperienced. I had no idea what they were supposed to do, what type of questions are asked, what the point system is about or what they're being judged on... But, thought, "Why not?" I asked the judge for information. She let the girls watch and listen to other presenters. Then we went back and practiced. After a long wait, Elsa was first to present Pudge. Dominique went next. They were both in the 1st year Primary class. For never having done it before, not practicing, not knowing what to do, how to do it, or what they were being judged on, they did very well!! Dominique placed 3rd and Elsa took 4th. I'm not sure how many total were in the class. I was very proud of the effort that they put forth. Pudge was very patient through the ordeal and long wait in line. Poor Elsa had to stand on her tippy-toes to see up on the table to check ears, nose, eyes & teeth. Made for a great picture though."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pudge Wins All Breed Reserve In Show

Elsa and Dominique with Judge Manuel who picked Pudge as the Reserve In Show. Elsa is holding her prize money $25.

Pudge is bigger than Elsa!

Manuel judges Best In Show.

Cathy judges French Angora.

Cathy interacting with exhibitors. Elsa and Dominique have a hard time seeing what's going on at the judging table.

Gabrielle reports,

"Elsa & Pudge won Reserve in Show for Show A in OPEN!!! Cathy Szychulda judged our Show A class. Manuel Hidalgo judged Show A BIS. He even commented, "I'm a New Zealand breeder, so, I always look closely at body type. And I can't believe that I'm doing this, but Reserve in Show is the French Angora." He told me later that it's not very often that a French Angora even gets a second look, but that she is a very nice rabbit. Elsa was awarded $25 cash."

Betty says, "I wish I was there to see Elsa's face. What a precious moment! The girls are doing a great job."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fiber Display In Chico

Tracy's fiber products.

Lindsay's beautiful scarves.

News from Chico show, the participants had a great time and Elsa's French Angora had a big win. No picture is available at this time.

Tracy and Lindsay both had displays of their fiber products. Their beautiful work were well received and they both were able to cover their expenses of the show.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Cookies Anyone?

A newborn litter in a round cookie can and placed inside their nestbox.

A 3-week-old bunny in a cookie can.

Three 3-week-old bunnies in their square cookie can. They are old enough to hop in and out of their "bed".

Three 5-week-old bunnies in a good size carrier without their cookie can. They are too big to fit into any cookie cans.

Betty says,

"I like to use cookie cans for my bunnies. When I'm expecting a litter, I'd line a cookie can with a towel and a couple of old knitted Angora pieces. As soon as the mama finishes cleaning the bunnies, I'd move the bunnies into the lined cookie can then put the cookie can inside the nestbox and put the nestbox in a carrier. Once or twice a day depending on the mama rabbit's preference, I'd move the bunnies back to the nestbox and give the box to the mama for nursing. After nursing, I’d go through the same routine of bunnies into the cookie can, cookie can into the nestbox, and nestbox into the carrier.

The cookie can is way smaller than the nestbox; the entire litter has no choice but to snuggle together; it reduces the chance of a single bunny strays away from the rest of the litter and gets chilled. Putting the cookie can in the nestbox prevents bunnies from being chilled just in case one climbs out of the cookie can. Putting the entire nestbox in a carrier prevents any possible predator from getting to the bunnies.

When the bunnies are old enough to hop out of the cookie can, I'd put the can in a carrier with a towel lining the wire floor. Bunnies can hop in and out of the can; the bunnies consider the cookie can as their bed."