Better Than the Easter Bunny!
When the month of April rolls around each year some of the things that come to mind are Easter egg hunts, baskets, dying eggs and of course the Easter Bunny. This year in April, a different kind of bunny visited the Community Members at Creekside! A lovely young lady, Anna Lang, brought her beautiful Angora rabbits to introduce us to this rare breed of rabbit.
Anna raises Angora rabbits for their fiber and wool as well as to show in National Competition. Currently, she has 13 rabbits that she breeds to national standard and sells their offspring throughout the country. These rabbits look like they weigh a significant amount; however it is the length of their wool that makes them appear heavy. The rabbits actually only weigh 5 or 6 pounds when they are full grown. Their coat gets between 5 to 10 inches long before it is removed. Unlike other rabbits, the English Angora Rabbit has wool all over them; in fact, their ears and face are covered in long wool as well. They are giant fluff balls of love….according to our Community Members.
Their temperament is nothing like others rabbits. They are natural little cuddle bunnies. They are not hyper and love to be held. Anna compares the English Angoras to loving lap dogs. They are easily litter-box trained and make great companions and indoor pets. Her rabbits were passed around for the Community Members to hold for over an hour and the rabbits were calm and loving the entire time. It was difficult to pass them around ONLY because no one wanted to give them up. They have a very calming effect on anyone who holds them! These rabbits were popular pets with French royalty back in the mid-18th century and quickly spread to other parts of Europe. It is easy to see why they were so popular and now they are at Creekside as well.
Along with the Angora rabbits, Anna brought along her items to do her historical demonstration for us. She travels the country to heirloom craft festivals to share the rich history behind these rabbits and their wool. Her goal with doing the demonstration is to give people the chance to see, from start to finish, how the rabbit’s fiber, wool production and spinning has been done for the past 300 plus years. She uses her grandmother’s traditional Ashford spinning wheel that her grandfather originally purchased from a Sears and Roebuck catalog. She sits with a bunny on her lap, spinning right off of the bunny, and shows how shearing, plucking, brushing and wool harvesting is done. She brought along wool for everyone to touch as well as finished garments and knitted items that she has made from her own rabbits. This is an amazing old-time art passed down from generation to generation! We are so glad that Anna came and shared with us……twice. That’s right, once was not enough!