Sunday, May 27, 2007

I feel another Rabbit Post coming on in response to yesterday’s wonderful comments, but again I had better put Sam first.

He went much better yesterday. The fourth attempt at the neck, or however many it was, finally clicked. It wasn’t exactly soothing, but he proved just as compulsive a just-one-more-row’er as any other project. Now I’ve progressed to a really easy section, a 12-stitch-wide Aran panel which will form his back. (I'll photograph him on a light-coloured background next time.)

The construction really is most ingenious, and should impress any judge who knows anything at all about knitting, if I can pull it off. And the Aran panels are there to impress a slightly less knowledgeable judge.

Phyllis, I really don’t think he’ll need dressing up. I remember one year when the category was “a 6-inch knitted square, to be donated”. (They were all going to be sewn together for an afghan for some charitable object.) I did something that looked not unlike a knitted wedding cake, based on Leigh Witchell’s square for the Great American Afghan in Knitter’s. It was unplaced – the winners were all plain garter stitch which in retrospect I think may have been implied in the word “knitted”.

Rabbits Reprised

Ann (yet another) – there are recipes for squirrel in my old copy of Joy of Cooking. We were plagued with them in Birmingham, and had a very effective live trap in which we then drowned them. Our neighbours were aghast, but approving. But we were never tempted to try eating them – although I am sure Parisians during the War exchanged recipes for rat. They are absent in Strathardle – we have beloved red squirrels, very rarely sighted. That trap is ready and waiting for the first sight of a grey.

Kate, we need to know more about the colesi virus. Miximatosis was I think imported deliberately from Australia as a form of rabbit control some decades ago. For a while it worked. They died unpleasantly and it wasn’t very nice. But then they developed immunity and they’re more abundant than ever and feeling fine, thanks. I wonder why colesi hasn’t been tried here?

Jamie Oliver agrees that farmed rabbit isn’t nearly as good. Simon Hopkinson says that French farmed rabbits are pretty tasty. They would be.

Sarah, I’ll look out that Grigson recipe. Funny that you and Kate, among yesterday’s commenters, should both be blocking lace in your own blog entries.


  1. You used to be able to buy packets of 'boneless Chinese rabbit' in the frozen meat section of British supermarkets in the early 1980s, but I haven't seen it for a long time. The boyfriend of a friend of mine said they must have been the original flopsy bunnies.

  2. Jean, it's actually spelt calicivirus. DH and I were living on a sheep farm in New South Wales when it was generally released.

    The rabbits died very quickly and more humanely than with myxomatosis, and numbers stayed down, even ten years later (my sister is still on the farm next door to where we lived).

    There was some evidence that young rabbits, or kittens, exposed to the virus under a certain age, gained immunity, but it's thought that this immunity is not passed on.

    I have the pattern for Sam as well (as well as Sue the Ewe), and my fingers are itching to join you, using some of my handspun.

    However, I am striving for strictness in finishing something first. The strain may be too much for me :)

  3. Here's some more info about the calicivirus for you: