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de-coat the goat

One more before-and-after – this one from the Funny Farm and shearing The Hairy One.

Before: badly in need of a haircut

Before: Remember these guys? Badly in need of a haircut!

After: (Elmer) shedding the 12 lb. mohair coat ... aaaahhh; that feels good!

After: (Elmer) shedding the 12 lb. mohair coat ... aaaahhh; that feels good!

OK, I am no pro at shearing – in fact, I’m pretty bad at it – but I can basically get the job done.  With some help holding the “handles” (i.e., horns) during the process.

Since a few have asked – Elmer (and the former Ruby Pearl) are Angora goats.  The fiber they produce, however, is not angora – it’s mohair.  In the past I have had some of the fleeces spun into some very lovely yarn.  But the truth is – it’s not worth the expense and hassle (the fleece is a nasty pain to wash/clean, and the spinery I used had a very lengthy turn around time and was awfully expensive).  In the end, unless I decided to buy a spinning wheel and do it myself (nope), I can typically buy finished mohair yarn cheaper than what I can have made from our own fleece.

I had also sent some of the longest and curliest cleaned locks to a friend in MO who did some brilliant Santa Claus sculptures.  I got a couple of really neat Santas out of the deal.

Cleaned fleece and the mohair yarn (un-dyed and dyed)

Cleaned fleece and the mohair yarn (un-dyed and dyed)

A final fiber fact … Angora goats produce mohair.  And Angora rabbits produce – yep, you guessed it – angora.  (We have one of those too.  But sorry, no Angora yarn).

(And I promise – no more goofy non-bicycle stuff next post!)

Snoopy the Wonder Bunny (Angora), and Molly the Wonder Mutt (Westie)

Snoopy the Wonder-Bunny (Angora), and Molly the Wonder-Mutt (Westie); they're friends

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