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Monday, June 09, 2008

carding cormo

I've been pawing the Cormo fleece I kept to process at home for days now-- I am just enamored of the process from raw wool to finished yarn, and the soft cormo makes it even more delightful.

You may remember I started with this fleece...

Hester, colored Cormo. 3.75" staple length, 3.75# (half fleece)

One of the fun things about this cormo (all cormo?) is the tendency to fall apart by locks really easily--



--overall, they just peel apart like fish flesh. Not all locks, but most and it's just way fun. Is it because it was coated? Dunno.

I am separating the locks and layering them between sheets of tuille like the Jacob before. I am putting more fleece in the bag though-- by eye, but I'm ending up with about 6-8 oz of clean dry locks when done per bag.


Before scouring, I had the idea (and told anyone who would listen at Retzlaff) that I was going to keep lock formation and try to spin the clean locks over the fold, picking random bits of color over the fleece for a variegated yarn. However... after all was said and done with about the 8 oz of cleaned wool, I had managed to mat the cut ends of the locks when washing.


Unlike the Corriedale I washed at the same time (a post for another day!), the cormo's butt ends stuck together once scoured-- not really felted since I could bodily pull them apart with my fingers, but doing so meant I couldn't keep the neat lock formation and spin from the fold like I had hoped.

I had read that Cormo was too fine to drum card, that the superfine staples popped and broke and nepped into an ugly mess. Well, since I'd already nearon felted the stuff, I went ahead and broke out the drumcarder, opened up the locks by hand (pita with the matted ends) and ran them thru SUPER SLOWLY.


And it worked! :)

Now, I did have some neps in the batts, but honestly I think it was from when I was pulling the butt ends apart with my fingers and leaving in short, broken fibers when carding. I pulled out my new Strauch flick carder (love), and brushed out the ends (and broken bits from pulling them out) instead for later runs-- I haven't carded those locks yet, but think this will help greatly.

The color of this fleece is crazy-- taking these batt pics, that day they looked more cinnamon white. Later spun up into singles for a worsted weight (again, later!) they look silver with hints of taupe. I had nearly forgotten the variation in color in this fleece, and need to add in darker bits when carding for a more homogeneous look... if I finish what I've hopefully started for a sweater's worth of yarn :)

PS! I am going to post this and ply the singles-- do you guys think I should full the yarn? It felts SO easily I'm a bit afraid, but love the feel of the Crosspatch Creations yarn I fulled before... and it is for a sweater.

Til then and thanks for today :)


Abby Franquemont said...

I'm not so sure this is safe for the all-ages blog. It's quite pr0ntacular.

Adrienne said...

Isn't the Strauch flick carder an awesome tool? I flick all my locks open before putting stuff through the drum carder. Time consuming, but worth it in the quality of the spinning experience.

I'm also suffering from a mild case of fleece envy. :D

Stacey said...

that looks amazing - it's so neat to watch it turn from raw fleece to smooth batts!!

Kristine said...

I am going to create a cardinal spinning sin with what I am about to say, but here I go.

I think my favorite part about washing fleece, almost more than spinning it, is watching the lanolin wash away and seeing the true color of the fleece. It never ceases to shock and surprise me. I may think that I know what the fleece will look like, but no, the slight textural shifts, and flecks of color come out and knock me right out each and every time.

The colors of your fleece are amazing. I can't wait to see it in real life.

Anonymous said...

Aja, it looks yummy! Kudos to you for going against the grain and drum carding it. I think covered vs non covered makes a BIG difference when talking cormo. Im liking fulled yarn these days too. Very sturdy, and "commercial" looking. I rediscovered the purpose of the flick carder this past weekend. It's an extra step, but it makes the carding less effort, which ultimately makes the spinning that much more enjoyable. I hope u have a sweater amount! I can't wait to see what it ends up.

Anonymous said...

Hahhahahah! You're so right. I edited my post. Joiners, unite!! :D

Sherry W said...

Spin up a few yards and make a felted and unfelted sample. I've been wanted to felt some yarn too...durn spin off article.

Annie said...

This looks awesome! I love my Strauch flick carder, and it's made the difference in what I've run through the drum carder.

that fleece looks so beautiful......

*sigh* so much of my own I really have to process.

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