Lock at the End of the Tunnel

Prepping this Romney is testing my perseverance. However, it is almost finished. I can see the end in sight with one box of locks to comb and several to card.

Using my new Louet Dutch combs

Rather than move on to the Cormo, I'll spin and dye (if I don't like the natural look) and begin another round of fiber destash efforts before Rhinebeck.
I'm using the Tour de Fleece as a mild jump start, doing an ounce or so per day in the Peleton. 
For Day One, I completed the 4oz. of Coopworth that I began a few weeks ago in Central park. This will rest for a long while and be knitted as singles. 


Cormo Afternoon

Not much to report this week. The weather was not fleece washing friendly, so I only got a few bits done.

Here is an ounce or so of carded Cormo that I used Unicorn Fiber Rinse on after scouring. It was not noticeably softer than the previous sampling.

It would be smart to practice spinning and plying for softness. I seem to be making wire again as if I was brand new at spinning. Boo and hiss. 


New Fiber Frontier

Someone wise said, never say never, because you never know.
Two years ago I am pretty certain that I uttered anti-drum carder sentiments. A never was thrown in for good measure. 
Today, I eat those words with Splenda on top. There's a Clemes & Clemes drum carder in my house!

It's going to make carding the Cormo fleece so much easier. While there is still physical effort, drum carding doesn't hurt my shoulder and wrist the way that hand cards do. 

Firstly, I'll need to find out how to use this gadget. My first spin was with some really short Cormo. Not worth the effort. Tossed.
Then I tried a slightly longer staple, which worked out much better. The roving is still wolf-like though. I added some purple BFL to half and kept the other plain, then miserably chain plied each. Pictures of my chain plying are not fit for the Internet. 

Here is the wolf:

For a splash of color, I also put a couple handfuls of dyed Finn locks through. 
It produced quite a cheerful little batt. What I'll do in future is flick open some of the tight locks. They can create havoc and break your toys. 

Drum carding was truly fun. There is much to learn, but I'm going to put it away for a little while to catch up with other projects. Craft overload is threatening to overtake me. 


Coopworth. Who knew?

Part of my spring cleaning included a brief foray into the fiber stash for WIPs. There is the odd few sample ounces of this or the second of an intended two-ply which has languished, undisturbed for ages.

This afternoon, I stumbled upon 4oz. of washed Coopworth locks. All my previous experience with this breed had been negative. It was usually a coarse, roughly carded or stiff and uninspired roving that I only purchased for practicing on, not an actual project. 

This sample must have piqued my interest. I'm sure it was long ago.
Look at  the cute locks! The big shock to me is how soft it is! 

Since its not a lot, this will be dizzed and spindle spun into lace.

Surely, I see more raw Coopworth fleece in my future. Who knew.


Bath Time

An extended opportunity of time approaches to wash and dry some wool. I'll be focusing on the less desirable Cormo sections and finishing the rest of wee Romney sheep.

For now, I've got one bag of locks and one bag of carded fiber going. 
Both probably amount to about 8 ounces, I think. It's a start.

Here's a few sample swatches from the Cormo. The brown (bottom right) is a mixture of the tips and main gray color of the fleece. I do not find that shade fetching. At all.
My mind is fixed on a solid gray color (bottom left).
Sadly, there will be a LOT of waste when I cut the tips and brown off each lock to achieve it. Not happy about that, but will make lemonade by blending the gray with a color like this third swatch. A splash of purple made for an interesting tweedy look. Lots of experimentation and practice in my future...