Friday, March 12, 2010

More Fiber Fun - Cormo fleece

Wednesday at spinning Dana came with a bunch of fleeces and yarns that had been given to her by an acquaintance that was no longer spinning and she didn't want them to go to waste. She was instructed to sell them 'cheap'. I was tempted by a bag of Blue Faced Leicester that Shelia pointed out to me as well as a medium sized bag of Cormo. Someone else was already looking at the Cormo and I was trying to resist buying anything. After all whatever I bought was going to have to be washed heavily, if not because of the natural sheepy stuff but because they had had mothballs thrown into their bags. Dana had transferred the fleeces out of their original bags and removed the mothballs, but the smell was awful.

I found a smaller gallon sized bag that Dana was willing to sell for a mere $1 of what I figured was more Cormo. The bigger bag had been quoted as $10 and again was a bit more than I wanted to work with. There was another little bag of what Shelia figured was probably a moorit Shetland lamb fleece that I was very tempted by because of its pretty color, but I have 8 ounces of Shetland roving being dyed. There's also a possible lamb shearing to go to that are Shetlands so why not wait for something that I could skirt and have more of?

This is what my bag looked like when I brought it home. It weighted in at 9.5 ounces:

I wasn't going to stress about keeping the lock structure, I just wanted it cleaned and the smell gone. It took two good soaks and manually cleaning the ends to get the dirt out. No felting occurred during this process thankfully. The little cleaner bits were the samples that Dana had cleaned to show off what the bags could look like after cleaning. I ended up with 6.5 ounces of washed locks:

Other than the yellow-ish ends they came out pretty clean and very soft. Because they aren't all one color I think I'm going to try a natural dye on them. I'm going to pick up another couple of bags of black beans and follow the directions in the Plants to Dye For groups discussion on Black Beans (Ravelry link). The saturated blue that comes with putting it under the soaked beans, gorgeous. I expect that I'll get a variegated color and possibly a blue-green because of the color variance it currently has.

The question is, do I do it after spinning or before?  

Couple pics of the finished Crown Mountain Farms Yak-Merino yarn #2:

I have some Ashland Bay natural Yak-Merino I'm currently spinning. My thought is to possibly combine the two in an Icelandic Shawl.

This weekend is the Aurora Colony Handspinner's Guild Antique Spinning Wheel Showcase. (Try saying that all together) I bought three raffle tickets at the Newport Spin-In and have my fingers crossed that I win the pretty wheel that is being raffled off on Sunday. Shelia says that if I don't win this one that I definitely want to get tickets for next years because its even prettier. ;-) Cross your fingers for me please!


  1. ooooh, good luck!!! That merino/yak is incredible! I can only imagine how soft it is!

  2. I didn't know about the moth ball smell until you mentioned it, I'm really glad i was not tempted by any of that stuff as I hate the smell of moth balls! Besides, I have the 3 alpaca fleeces in the garage that I'll have to deal with at some point, and the prepared batts of alpaca from the last fleece!