52 Weeks of Wool

2/52 Weeks of Wool: Cormo

January 27, 2016

In spite of my growing spinning habit (read – can’t stop won’t stop spinning), I’m a bit behind on my 52 Week of Wool posts here on the blog. I’m currently working from SF this week and so I have my evenings to catch up.

This marks my second week’s wool and it’s my most favorite sheep breed of all…Cormo.

cormowool_2
I’m having a lot of fun spinning. Far more than I anticipated I would. Like, ‘let Coltrane stay up two hours past his bedtime so I can spin more’ fun. Try as I might, I often find myself falling asleep when I put Coltrane to bed, and there’s no getting up once that happens. I blame it on Winter. 😉

cormowool

This week was quite a different experience than last. My drafting skills are getting far better, which excites me so much. While I love the rustic lumpy bumpy, being able to spin a consistent weight for longer periods of time is so satisfying. The twist however with this batch of wool is that it came to me as a washed fleece, not roving. I was excited to use my antique hand carders I picked up at a shop in Nampa, Idaho when visiting my friend Liz last year. I grabbed them off the wall in my studio and got to work. Yeah, way different. I’m not entirely sure I was doing it right, or that I should use the carders again being that much wear on them at this age is going to break them down further. It was fun though, despite it turning out far from roving, hah. After carding a couple ounces into sweet fluffy clouds, I got to spinning. Drafting was a bit more challenging due to the nature of how I carded the wool…it was less even, so I had to compensate for that as I drafted and spun…something I was getting the hang of, but resulted in less consistent weights overall.

The result? A soft, billowy and perfectly rustic Cormo handspun. There’s just something about Cormo I can’t quite put into words.

cormowool_3

Considering I’m so new to spinning, it’s probably obvious, but I’ve never plied before. The spinning wheel isn’t really setup to ply currently and I only have one bobbin (need to order more!), but I figured there’s probably another way to ply and I found this great YouTube tutorial on how to ply using a center pull cake wound on a winder, and then plied using a drop spindle, which I have. I plan to ply this yarn when I get back from my trip next week.

I began perusing blanket patterns this past week as well, contemplating what style of blanket I’d like to make from this project. It will be a little challenging as I will need to compensate for the different weights and gauges, but it’s completely doable. I’m thinking a type of mitered square or cross.

clearviewfarm

The Cormo locks came from Clear View Farm in Waterman, Illinois. The farm is owned and operated by Sandra Schrader who started with three sheep in 2005 and now has over 20. Sandra’s focus for the farm is to produce high quality American Cormo wool and breeding stock, as well as Angora bunny fiber and she holds workshops and tours on her beautiful farm. You can find fleeces and washed locks on her website, as well as more information about Clear View Farm.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Lindsey January 27, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I am so glad your loving spinning, we need some more spinners in this world! I love using a centre pull ball to ply, I feel like I have much more control than with a lazy Kate. Don’t feel bad about carding, it aparently takes lots of practice to find a rhythm with that. I’m still working on my carding skills I think I always will be.

  • Reply Andrya Newman January 28, 2016 at 6:09 am

    I have really been wanting to learn to spin yarn but don’t know how much i will enjoy it just yet. So i was thinking about starting with a drop spin. Any thoughts on those? or should i just go for the wheel?

  • Reply Brittany January 28, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I’ve been super into spinning lately too. We are looking at bringing some fiber animals onto our property, so I took a cue from you and I’m exploring some different breed specific wools and rovings. I just finished up some Shetland/Icelandic. I have some BFL, Romney, Cormo, Alpaca, CVM, and Cotswold waiting for me. I need more hours in the day to do all of the spinning and knitting that I want; or, maybe I just need to quit my day job.

  • Reply Floccule January 29, 2016 at 2:35 am

    The mitered cross blanket looks amazing. I’m on my fourth go at spinning – previously all merino but today is all about some lustrous Blue Faced Leicester from Scotland. Oh and I wouldn’t fixate on the 52 thing, if you’re just thinking about it every week, that’s enough. Would hate for you to become discouraged 🙂

  • Reply Tamara White January 29, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Oh your Cormo is lovely! And I loved reading about Sandra’s farm, and her John 10 walks. She seems like a kindred spirit. Yes, carding is a trick for me, too. Some people make it look so easy, though!
    Very excited you’ve got the spinning bug. It. Is. My. Jam! I can’t seem to improve my knitting skills because the wheel always wins.

  • Reply Gina Hutchison January 29, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this spinning journey with us. As a new spinner, this information is so valuable. Everything you do turns out beautifully and keeps me motivated to continue progressing in the art!

  • Reply Becca February 12, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I think it is awesome that you grabbed your cards off the wall. Tools like that deserve to be used and brought back to life. If the carding cloth is damaged or flaking apart you could quite easily replace the carding cloth.

  • Reply 52 Weeks of Wool: Shetland - Woolful February 18, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    […] a reader kindly reached out a explained how with just one bobbin…so thank you! My happy plied Cormo from week […]

  • Reply Meg Jacobsen March 8, 2016 at 9:44 am

    After fumbling around with my spinning wheel for over a year, I finally got the hang of spinning and now I can’t stop won’t stop! I am so glad to see that you are enjoying spinning as well. And you are getting so good, so quickly! Your Cormo yarn looks wonderful. I’ve yet to try Cormo, but now I must. I have to say that Shetland, CVM, and Churro are my favorite types of wool to spin. I’m also doing a sampling of all of the different types of wool I can get my hands on. I’ll be checking out your fiber sources for sure!

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