Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cormo...to die for!

I've just finished plying up my 2 bobbins loaded with Cormo (Corriedale x Merino registered cross). It turned out so beautiful that I used its photo for my blog header.

I've now got over 1000 yards of sock-weight yarn (fingering weight) and it is glorious, gorgeous, squooshy stuff! It's in one, continuously-spun length - no breaks, no weak spots, even! I'm half-hoping nobody buys it so I can keep it and knit me some fab socks from it (like I don't have enough socks already?!). A whine: it's just that that's all I had of the Cormo - 8 oz of pin-drafted roving - and I didn't save any for myself (which was *really* stupid!). My dd, who is learning to use a hand spindle, swiped the last 3 feet of the roving, so I don't even have any left-overs! I'm already experiencing Cormo Withdrawal... This is terrible.

Spinning Cormo is a HUGE treat, whether using a wheel or the hand-spindle. This heavenly stuff is SO incredibly soft, it feels like a Summer cloud. At times, I would have to look at my hands to make sure I was touching the stuff - wow. The fiber is long enough that the spinner doesn't have any problem spinning worsted, which is the method I used in this skein. Actually, while I did use the worsted, short forward-draw method, I allowed the twist to 'snap' into the drafted length rather than smoothing it down with my fingers. I wanted to see 'what would happen', hoping that the resulting yarn would have the strength of a worsted, but the loft of a woolen. It worked more beautifully than I thought it would - hurray!

I am so pleased that I took a chance to try 'something new' to me in the way of fibers. Thank you, Sue, for being a Cormo breeder and bringing this glorious fleece to fiber-starved spinners everywhere! :-)

WHERE TO GET THIS MYSTICAL, MAGICAL STUFF: This pin-drafted Cormo (plus some fleece later on) came from Sue Reuser at Cormo Sheep and Wool Farm - and NEXT time I order the roving, the stuff is mine...all mine! The shipping from Cormo Sheep and Wool farm is very fast and reliable, so the waiting time is very short.
Spring Flowers - handspun Sweet-Grass Targhee

I purchased the undyed Sweet Grass Targhee roving this January from Paradise Fibers, just out of curiosity - and 'cuz it was on sale :-). I didn't get around to finishing the 2nd bobbin 'til March...I think. This purchase was truly Providential, as the fiber turned out to be soft enough to use next to the skin (for most people, anyway), SUPER easy to spin (esp. compared to Merino), very lofty and light. It takes up dye beautifully and evenly, always supposing the dyer knows what she's doing... I don't much enjoy dyeing fibers (I just hate cleaning up my messes), but most of all...I have almost no space in which to do it. It's NO fun dyeing up fibers in my tiny, no-counter-space kitchen! I have to spread out the sheets of newspaper and plastic wrap down the length of my kitchen floor, leaving myself little room to squat and apply the dye - NOT an amusing diversion, I assure you.

Anyway, what I got out of the Targhee was about 597 yards of 2-ply, somewhere between sock and sport weight. If I sell it, though, I will probably only list it as about 520 yards, as the fulling process seemed to greatly shorten the skein (darn it!).

Desert Twilight - handspun Merino

I purchased this dyed Merino roving from a seller at our local Fiber Festival. Usually, I work with naturally-colored fleeces and rovings, but Spring was finally in the air and I so much wanted some color to spin! I spun it straight from the roving, more thickly than normal. I decided I wanted a heavier yarn to make a really colorful something-or-other that didn't require skinny yarn!

The top skein is 239 yards and the bottom is 225. It is a 2-ply, 100% Merino yarn, spun worsted for strength, but fulled to bring out the 'fluffiness'.

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