March 17, 2011

Wool Breeds Challenge - Wensleydale and CVM/Romeldale

Wensleydale is one of the Longwool Breeds with a micron count of 33-35 and an average staple length of eight to twelve inches ("Knitter's Book of Wool")

This particular sample is combed top with a fairly soft (considering the micron ct) and slightly silky texture.  It is also a bit shiny.  The only other really long Longwool I've tried was Lincoln which I didn't like at all.  This Wensleydale is nice though, and I'd consider spinning this again if I needed a Longwool either alone or blended with other wools.

Since it's top and really long, I spun this fiber worsted for a three-ply yarn.  I had an uneven amount of singles for my three-ply which left me with two strands of singles sufficient to make another sample.  I doubled them for a four-ply.  However, I couldn't see much difference in the three and four-ply samples, so I took the four-ply and re-plyed doubled, making an eight-ply cabled yarn with very nice ply definition. My first cabled yarn and very interesting look. I'd like to spin up another sample of cabled yarn so I could see what a knit swatch looks like.


Wensleydale closeup

CVM/Romeldale is one of the Finewools and is a rare breed.  CVM (California Variegated Mutant) was developed in the US from a multiple-colored mutation in the Romeldale breed.  It is soft with a micron count of 22-25 and an average staple length of three to six inches (from "Knitter's Book of Wool"). 

My sample comes from a portion of a pre-washed fleece in colors of grey, tan, dark and red-brown and a miniscule amount of white.  It's staple length is from 1.5 to 3.5 inches.  It had an acceptable amount of vegetable matter and dust.  Some sections were matted (but not felted). The locks were highly crimped, and the lighter colors seemed softer than the darker, however, all of it is next to the skin soft. 

CVMxRomeldale fleece

I separated the colors and hand carded into rolags which I spun long draw (very easy spinning).  The two-ply sample I made was spun and plied by counting the color sequence of rolags in an effort to keep the colors from blending or barber poling.  However, that's too fussy for me to continue for the rest of the rolags, so the remainder will be chain plied.    Unfortunately, I was unable to get a picture of the sample that shows the colors properly.  Everything looks dark brown or light gray and it's not.  There are three shades of gray and a very light tan, as well as the dark brown.

I liked working with CVM, both carding and spinning, and would happily do so again. 

CVM/Romeldale sample

CVMxRomeldale rolags

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