Welcome to our new subscription year! For the first installment to our Cottagecore Fleece Subscription we have this luscious longwool fleece. We found this ewe’s fleece at the Michigan Fiber Festival last August and I snatched it up so fast. Coopworth are a cross of Romney and Border Leicester developed in New Zealand in the mid 1900s. The resulting fiber on this breed is soft and lustrous with that amazing “french fry crimp” Romney is so known for. Their wool is great for a range of outerwear projects and home uses, though I would definitely love to see draping yarns from them as well. Hidden Valley Farm and Mill also produces fiber products themselves, so their fleece quality on their flock is really wonderful as they are familiar with what us handspinners are looking for.
For this blend, we chose a longer stapled fleece from our stash with a bold and similar crimp pattern to the Coopworth. This Ile de France/Dorset/Cheviot cross is a medium wool with Down influence. It has great elasticity as a result and will create a lot of air entrapment in resulting yarn. Since the Coopworth feels more slick and the crimp is less frequent, we sought to balance that out with these qualities. Mohair is not included, but if tossed in with this blend, you would have a really strong sock yarn on your hands!
With Cottagecore meadows and soft greenery in mind, we have a sizable portion of dyed Flax. You should definitely have more of every additive than you need for one batt. Flax is strong, absorbent, has great flexibility, and temperature regulation. I really love using it as an additive for gentle texture and hints of shine in wool blends. There’s a lot of variety and interest that can be given to a yarn just by using fibers that reflect light sources in different manners.
Ingeo Corn Fiber is our other additive for this installment. This is another Viscose type fiber where waste materials from the production of plant goods are essentially liquified, extruded through a series of small holes, and dried or cooled into threads. Most of these viscose fibers are relatively similar and we have a handful of them for this year’s subscription so that you can get an idea of what each feels like. Some, like Rose Fiber, are not necessarily what they sound like they are and can be derived from things like cereal wastes with a small, but just enough to title, amount of what they are named after being included. For instance, Ingeo’s Corn Fiber may not entirely be corn by-product waste, but does have corn in it. This fiber has a UV Resistance, low odor retention, high water resistance, and good flexibility. All good qualities for an outerwear blend. It is entirely biodegradable or compostable and uses less materials to produce than synthetics like polyester. I could not find information on waste from the production process, though they do report that most of water is reused many times in the system or goes through on-site treatment.
Overall, you should end up with a very interesting outwear type yarn from this that should hold up in gloves or hats well, too. Play with it to be whatever makes your heart sing! These subscription boxes are all about experimentation and trying something new. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!