If you do decide to process your own fleece, you have a wide variety of choices; spin from the lock, flick, comb (slowly) or card (with a fine cloth).
This breed consists of mostly white sheep but as you can see there are also shades of brownish-grey.
Cormo sheep are a result of a breeding experiment between Superfine Merino's and Corriedale sheep. in the 70's an Austrailian shepherd wanted to increase fertility, frame size and produce a high yielding fleece. This creation was very successful as Cormo fleeces are characteristically consistent and range between 17 - 23 microns and they exhibit a decent length staple.
I purchased this fibre from Nancy Ortmann who is from Wolf Point Montana and known for her fine fleeces. I decided on the processed roving because I was a little worried about washing such a fine fleece as it can be very delicate in its fibre form. It was a delight to spin and my 8 oz skein (2 ply) gave me 354 yards of bulky weight yarn. When I soaked this yarn to set the twist, did it ever BLOOM! I knew this would happen but by how much, I was amazed - I wasn't intending on such a low WPI. The thick and thin look is also a result of neps forming when this fibre was commercially carded.
When looking at a lock you will be able to see a very tight and well defined crimp which makes this wool extremely elastic and very fine and soft. Typical of fine wools, the lock formation is rectangular and very dense - you will often see that these fleeces are quite good at keeping out the dirt because of this. It is also very likely that the producers who own such fine fleeced sheep, coat them to protect the wool.
Average Staple Length: 3" - 5"
Fleece Weight: 5 - 12 lbs! (You will get A LOT of wool from 1 fleece)
Micron Count: 17 - 23 microns
It can be as soft feeling as Cashmere and you will likely want to wear this wool as close to our skin as you can. It also gives good clairity in knit & purl textured stitch patterns. This fibre is often chosen to be used in fashion fabrics because exhibits body and softness, it is such a consistent wool and its very luxurious!
You can see in my stockinette sample, how even my swatch came out, despite my yarn being somewhat thick and thin.
My plain weave stitch pattern is well defined and the fibre has filled in all the open spaces. This creates a very insulated item.
This crocheted square shows the true nature of my skein. I should have plied tighter if I wanted to create a crocheted garment with a more polished look.
This wool is included in my Perfection Found In Nature Exhibit. I am designing an item destined to be worn around the neck and face. Keep an eye out on my blog for pictures and more details, coming soon.