Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June Spin In podcast with two breeds of sheep

The June Spin In podcast was posted last week, but I like to put a reminder link in this blog for those listeners that are not subscribed to Itunes. Plus I have photos that I wanted to post for the two sheep breeds (cormo and montadale) I talk about in the podcast.

Cormo is a breed developed by crossing corridale and merino sheep. So it has many of the same characteristics as merino and is a very soft wool. It's harder to home process because of the higher lanolin, but wonderful to spin, especially in the lock.

Here's a photo of the locks from my breed sampler file:

I talk about how I like combing the cormo better than carding and that after combing I pulled some fiber through a diz and spun that. I also spun fiber straight from washed locks and I found that my singles from both methods were spinning to about the same WPI.

Here's a picture of two ply, combed and lock spun. Just like merino there's lots of bounce to the yarn.

The second breed of sheep I talk about is the Montadale, not a fleece most spinners will get to try unless they have a local shepherd raising that breed of sheep. It is a down sheep breed and is used for both meat and fleece. This means that the fleece is not a soft fleece, although it is certainly OK for socks by my standards and therefore probably sweaters too.
Here's the photo of the locks:

I had a very small sampling of fiber to work with on this breed, so I combed it all, and this is the sample yarn skein:


aija said...

Nice! I haven't had a chance to listen to the latest podcast, but I'm looking forward to it.

Your "lock library"-- what exactly do you have there? A washed lock and a carded bit? Just curious since I'm thinking of starting something similar myself.

Cindy said...

Yes, use plastic photo sheets that have several pockets per page. I stick the washed lock in one pocket and whatever skeins I have spun in the other pockets. I label everything because after awhile wool starts looking alike.

All of these sheets that I have worked up now fill two plastic filing containers. So I have done quite a few.

I started all of this with a purchase of a rare sheep breed fleece offering from a vendor. They had gotten fleece from 12 different breeds not normally available for spinners. I haven't really seen something like that offered again.

You can do the same thing, with any fleece you try. It makes a great learning experience and good reference for later.