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cormo

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.

Woolful Mercantile

Woolful Mercantile: We’re live!

November 26, 2014
woolful mercantile

woolful_merc_logo_lrg

Gosh it’s been a busy week. Yesterday we launched the Woolful podcast and today we launched the Woolful Mercantile. And I say “we” because there is no possible way I could have done this without the help of my ultimate encourager, business partner and husband, David.

These past few months, and especially these past few days, he’s taken Coltrane on extra adventures and answered endless requests for feedback while I edited, designed, emailed, etc. I find myself saying “my” a lot. My blog or my shop or my fiber mill. I’m disappointed when I hear myself say this because everything having to do with Woolful is very much we. You may only really see or hear me on the blog or Instagram, but behind the scenes is someone as equally present and part of these dreams.

So, without further ado, I present to you the Woolful Mercantile, fiber finds for fiber folk. We are the first and only US retailer of Ton of Wool Cormo. You can now pre-order some of the most incredible yarn I’ve ever laid hands on, Ton of Wool Cormo in both Aran and Fingering weights. Also available for pre-order are limited edition project kits featuring Little Woolens patterns. Our first project kit includes the soon to be released Prairie Grass hat pattern, 1 skein of Cormo in Aran weight and packaged in a beautiful bento bag from Ambatalia.

All products are shipped directly from our ranch in Idaho, so you pay only domestic shipping and all orders over $150 ship free.

Cormo is unlike any yarn you’ve ever laid hands on. Founded in 1959 by the Downie family in Tasmania, this breed of sheep is a cross between a Corriedale and Saxon Merino. With Cormo’s strong yet fine wool, it’s composition is unparalleled.

TONOFWOOL is the only Cormo wool originating from the Downie family’s purebred flock, a true single farm yarn, grown in Australia and sustainably processed in New Zealand.