Lofty and Versatile Cormo, an article by Jane Fournier, Spring 1993 Spin-Off magazine ( Interweave Press, Inc). states "Cormo fleece is excellent for hand spinners interested in finer fibers and soft yarns." All preparation methods work well. Jane made knitted and woven samples from combed worsted 2 ply, carded 4 ply bulky and Cormo blended with silk and angora for singles for the warp and weft of the woven swatch.
In the Spring, 2008 Spin-Off magazine Margaret Heathman shares some of her experiences working with Cormo wool along with patterns for wrist warmers, scarf, business card case and a wonderful baby jacket/sweater.
All of the sheep wear covers all year unless otherwise noted so the wool is very clean and free of vegetable matter. All of the fleeces are sound and well skirted for hand spinners. White fleeces are from sheep registered with the American Cormo Sheep Assn. The colored fleeces are from Cormo crossbred sheep. A FAQ is what breeds are they crossed with? At this point it doesn't really matter. So many generations breeding to Cormos have passed that the fleeces don't show characteristics of the original color breeds.
Compare the color of the Cormo fleece to the other white fleece on the table of champions.
A hogget fleece is the sheep's very first fleece so it has the baby lamb wool at the tip. Even when these fleeces are covered all year the tips will be a different color on the colored fleeces, dirtier and a different character than the rest of the length of wool. Some spinners like to cut these tips off. Depending on the date of shearing and the birthday of the lamb it may have a longer or shorter than usual staple length. The hogget fleece is the finest fleece that particular sheep will ever produce under normal conditions and they are very soft. Usually the hoggets will have more VM (vegetable matter) in their fleece
Staple length measurements are included in the descriptions of the fleeces. This is one of the things that I use in evaluating the flock. There will be some variation in staple length throughout the fleece due curves on the sheep's body and to the techniques of the shearer. My shearer, Tim Canavan is very gentle with the sheep, and takes great care in getting a good quality fleece off the sheep. Tim does a great job and I feel very blessed to have him shearing the sheep.
White Cormo fleeces All of my white fleeces are considered "fine" and fine crimped and I am only using these terms to compare fleeces within my flock. When I talk about finer or courser this is only a few micron difference in fiber diameter. I don't think that for most uses it would make a bit of difference or most people could see or feel the difference in a few microns. Sometimes I am surprised by the results of the micron tests that I have done on the fleeces.
Crimp - All of the Cormo fleeces have a very nice even and well defined crimp. Most of the fleeces are in the middle but I have some fleeces that I describe as a fine crimp (many more crimps per inch) and some have what I call a bold crimp ( fewer crimps per inch but the crimps are deeper). Within the Cormo breed the type of crimp is not related to the fineness or fiber diameter of the wool. When I say "crimpy" the crimps are very well defined, deeper than usual and should make a more elastic yarn.
In CA sales tax will be added.
Volume as well as weight is used when shipping rates are calculated. I vacuum out air and pack the wool in the smallest box I can find.
We can ship using USPS Priority (air), UPS or FedEx ground. It seems crazy but often Priority air less expensive than the other companies slower ground delivery. This holds true especially for smaller light weight packages of yarn, roving or small fleeces. It is very fast and to this point we have never had a problem with a USPS Priority shipment. USPS Priority is always used for international shipping. Some international customers have found it beneficial to get together and combine two orders into one box.
We have to pay retail prices for UPS and FedEx so if you have an account with better rates we could use that.
USPS Priority postage can be easily and accurately calculated because of the free light weight boxes that USPS provides. I have to find boxes and pack UPS and FedEx shipments before I can calculate the cost so often the shipping is paid for with a second payment. There is a $3.50 charge for fleeces shipped in boxes that I have bought. Though the rates of all the companies are constantly changing USPS is still often the best deal and always the fastest. I only charge the actual shipping cost.
All international orders are sent USPS Priority. The rates may seem expensive but USPS is MUCH LOWER cost than any other company that I have checked. There is an extra 5% handling for international orders to cover my extra costs. Customers have requested that the invoice be attached to the outside of the package for ease of customs clearance and delivery. This will be done unless other instructions are given. My personal PayPal account - firstname.lastname@example.org - is a convenient way to send the payment.
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