Ermine...what the heck is an ermine?! Some freak alien bunny!? Actually I had this question last year, but it wasn't what is an ermine, it's how do I classify this white that has neither blue or red eyes? I did some research and asked around, and the answer was you have an ermine. Ok, so now what do I do with this ermine? I actually had three of them and no idea of what to do with them. So I sold them because I didn't want them interfering with my Vienna mark project. Well two of them came back to me. I fell in love with these girls. They are so sweet and loving, so I decided they would be my new spinsters. I had one pass away a few years ago, and the other I just lost this month.
Let me back up for a second before I move forward. What exactly is an ermine. Well Webster's defines it as; any of several weasels whose coats become white in the winter usually with black on the tip of the tail. (Ok, doesn't help much. We are talking about rabbits here, not their natural preditor). Dictionary.com has it as again; a stout (weasel) especially when in its white winter coat.
So let me get this straight, a ermine is a weasel with a white winter coat with black tips, kinda like a ermine bunny is a white bunny with color tips. But one more type of white bunny falls under this catagory too, any white bunny with other than blue or red eyes. This too is known as an ermine.
Now I am a part of a lot of angora rabbit groups like many of you I'm sure, and they have a lot of show people there. Ermine is not one that is looked highly upon. It is useless in the show ring, and for any blue eyed white program you are trying to have, trust me I know. BUT as a spinner who raises angoras strictly for wool, they are beautiful and have their uses. As I mentioned earlier, I have two girls, Lavender and Daffodil. Lavender is white as the snow, but she has gray eyes, and Daffodil is this gorgeous white with lilac ticking, her yarn makes a gorgeous cream color. These girls have also given me my first chinchilla colors. Lavender gave me a very handsome chocolate chinchilla buck and Daffodil gave me three stunning chinchillas, one chocolate and two amazing lilacs.
So the next time you hear someone mention an ermine, first, now you know what the heck it is, and second, don't shy away. They have a lot in them to offer, and some of the sweetest rabbits I have seen.
I am Amanda Fontaine, I run Samollynn Angoras and have been doing so for about five years now. I hope to spread not only the lovely fiber that they share with me, but the knowledge that I have learned over the years from others, and my own experience.