I met Brooke Sinnes from Sincere Sheep at Madrona in 2013. You can read more about what she does and her philosophy here, but I would say she was one of the early birds in bringing the whole “local” thing to yarn. I’ve knit with one of her yarns, Equity Sport, which is 100% Rambouillet (the dark grey background is Equity Sport; the stripes are Cephalopod Yarns Bugga) which is bouncy and wearing well so far.
I was chatting with Brooke about whether she had dyed rovings in stock, and she just happened to mention that she had some beautiful natural colored rovings. And then she said the magic words.
“I have some cormo cashmere blend from California.”
I almost fell off my chair. She said two of my favorite words next to each other…cormo and cashmere. I had to get some, of course.
And it came, recently (there may have been some charcoal grey merino/mohair fiber in my box too. What can I say? Fiber is cheaper than shoes):
I love how Brooke tells you exactly where her fiber comes from. The cormo in this yarn is sourced from Cormo Sheep & Wool Farm in Orland, CA and the cashmere from Cashmere Kids in Castro Valley, CA. The fiber was processed at Morro Fleece Works. This fiber is as California as it can get.
It went immediately on the wheel. I wanted to make a bouncy yarn that would give me great stitch definition — I knew exactly what I wanted to knit with it, and I just needed to create the yarn.
I knew this was easier said than done. I am a much more experienced knitter than I am a spinner, and I get in trouble when I know EXACTLY how I want the yarn to turn out. One of these days, my hands will catch up with my brain. I knew enough, at this point, that I wanted to spin this fiber worsted, and I wanted to make a 3-ply, sport weight yarn.
I am very glad that I have some cormo-mileage under my belt. I have also spun a little bit of 100% cashmere, enough to know how the fiber feels as it is going on the wheel. The cormo, I know, needs a lot of twist in it, as it needs to contain the “POOF” energy that the fine crimp in the fiber will exert on the yarn. This cormo/cashmere roving is spinning like cormo, which should not be surprising, but my hands also detect the fine down-like feel of cashmere as i am creating the singles. It’s divine.
I let the 3 bobbins of singles rest, and the yarn is finally plied. I probably should have spun all the singles that I wanted for this yarn first, but I couldn’t help it. I needed to see the yarn.
And here it is. It is squishy and bouncy. I can definitely feel the cashmere, especially if I feel this yarn along with some 100% cormo handspun that I have. Cormo is wonderful, but the bit of cashmere in the fiber makes this yarn absolutely special.
I have told myself that I am not allowed to cast on with this until the entire 900 yards for the intended project is spun….it’s going to be hard…I might have to swatch…..