this is the third time this winter i've been backed up on orders for bunny paws, my custom-made angora mitts!! these are made from the fiber of my very own bunnies that i comb or shear every couple of months, and then spin and then crochet or knit into these mitts. sometimes i add pearls and lace (for the "fancy paws"). it's kind of impossible (or at least un-fun) to make them the same each time. and i'm so pleased that i've had repeat customers!! i was a little worried when i started selling them because angora can be tricky - some people are allergic, or feel like it sheds too much. but so far, people have loved them and ordered more for their family and friends!!
i hate having to turn people down while waiting for the bunnies to grow hair, but that's just the way it is right now.. slow cloth and all! plus, i can't take *all* their hair off in these super-cold temps. i have five rabbits, although only four of them have good fiber.... and it tends to take two bunny harecuts for one pair of mitts.
in the past, i dreamed of having a rabbit farm where i would make angora products, but then i decided that the rabbits were so much work, and i have no interest in selling rabbits, that i would just take in angoras from from people who didn't want them any more or couldn't care for them. that's how i got three of my bunnies now (the other two came from denise, my rabbit-mentor in kansas). they are really quite a lot of work, especially the satin angoras - their coats can matt so easily and they can even die from wool-block if the hair stays on too long! with the five bunnies i've had now for almost two years now, i've gotten a lot better and more efficient about caring for them and understanding what they need.
i've been skeptical about my ability to make money as a farmer. i couldn't make decisions about animals based on productivity. and i don't want to sell them as pets since i don't believe that they are good pets for most people. they aren't really the most pet-like creatures. they don't show love like a dog or enjoy cuddling like a cat. but i appreciate their personalities, which are very individual. junebug especially is especially sweet and docile. prissy is downright grumpy, and poor junior is mostly blind, so he's always jumpy.
but so with this run on mitts, i've thought about breeding henry and june... i spoke a little with denise about it, and i might try in the spring. i go back and forth on this a lot though, because with five i have now, they can all live in the house (they live in the enclosed porch). but if we had babies in the spring, we'd soon have to build an outdoor rabbitry.. and do i want to spend most of my time caring for bunnies and working with their fiber?? although like my hub said, we have this farm and we don't raise anything, so it would be a way to make it productive. oh well, a lot to consider...
in the short term, i should probably take my custom listings down from my etsy store since i can't keep up with the orders... but i love some of the pics so much that i posted them here..