Thursday, 9 July 2015

Ton of Wool

Lookie! I received a 'ton of wool' in the post!

A 25 gram skein of creamy, natural white, aran weight wool with a plain paper label with the details printed in bold black capitals. The text says: TONOFWOOL SINGLE ORIGIN 100% CORMO WOOL 10 PLY ARAN WEIGHT NATURAL WHITE TONOFWOOL.COM
Actually, it is only 25 grams to be precise–an undyed sample of a beautiful Australian grown wool of a rare sheep breed (Cormo: Corriedale + Merino)–all thanks to the efforts of Kylie Gusset of  TONOFWOOL yarn and the generosity of Kate Ulman of FoxsLane blog.

The first thing I noticed was that my package was very flat. "Thanks, Mr Postie," I said sarcastically to myself at the thought of the man who is intent on squashing, bending, folding and flattening everything into the slot of my letterbox, no matter what size or shape, even though I have a shelf on my letterbox for larger items and my front doorstep is only a few paces away. This penchant for mangling mail is not a strange pleasure that I share. [Jodie gives disapproving glance.] 

On opening the package, the next thing I noticed was a super soft, 'squishy' creamy 'natural white' skein of "single origin 100% Cormo wool".  One cannot help but lose oneself in the tactile pleasure of this yarn. 

(At that point, my teenagers were sneaking quizzical sideways glances at my euphoria. "You're becoming a yarn nerd!")

For more rave reviews, be sure to read Clara Parkes' review of this yarn on her Knitter's Review blog. I can corroborate all of her remarks about this wool and I am feeling very, very lucky and privileged to have a piece of this precious produce in my hands.

A close-up photo of one half of the skein with the paper label which says: TONOFWOOL SINGLE ORIGIN 100% CORMO WOOL 10 PLY ARAN WEIGHT NATURAL WHITE TONOFWOOL.COM
The label says:

I first discovered this wool when Kate used it to knit her Amanda cardigan as part of a knit-along. After viewing her intricately cabled work-in-progress I was compelled to investigate her project on Ravelry which led me to the Australian TONOFWOOL yarn created by Kylie Gusset.

After a very entertaining afternoon of 'ooh-ing and aah-ing' over the yarn and the beauty of Kate's resultant cardigan on Ravelry, by both myself and my mother-in-law (it was too gorgeous not to share), I had decided that this yarn is a "must-try".

Later that evening, Kate posted her finished 'Amanda' cardigan on FoxsLane  and was giving away samples of that same yarn!  I was excited  in equal measure about both the yarn and the coincidence. All I had to do was leave a comment on Kate's blog (which I was planning to do anyway to share my excitement and appreciation of her work).  

How lucky was I to be picked as one of five recipients out of so many entries.  Thank you, Kate!

I love the whole ethos of this yarn. Kylie shares some of my frustrations at the state of Australian yarn industries. According to Clara Parkes, Kylie "… already had a bee in her bonnet about the Australian yarn scene, about the fact that Australia … had lost much of its textiles infrastructure …".

(These are points that I too made in a previous blog entry.) 

One curiosity is that it is an Australian wool, the project and brand are called "TONOFWOOL" yet in Australia, we use metric measurements–shouldn't it be a 'tonne' of wool?* (I am wearing a cheeky grin as I ask this question!) 

This Australian Cormo wool is undyed.
I love its sweet, creamy natural colour.
If you are an 'ethical shopper' you might appreciate the 'About Us' page on Kylie's web site.  Her aim is to "source wool from unmulesed, sustainably farmed Australian sheep" while "supporting a rare breed and lowering the wool’s carbon footprint through domestic processing."

This undyed wool is sourced and scoured in Australia; processed and spun in New Zealand.  I have added a link to the list below with further yarn specifications.

So now I know all about this yarn … what to make with it?

What do you suggest?

 *1 tonne = 0.984 ton
     1 ton = 1.02 tonne

A square of calico with a 3-coloured print of an apple with stalk and leaf.

Kate is such a sweetheart!
Tucked inside the package with a little note was a surprise bonus–a calico square with a fresh apple printed upon it; a very appropriate souvenir of her apple orchard; very timely and useful for me too as I have plans for that square!
Thank you, Kate!

References & Links

Gusset, Kylie, "How Climate Change is Affecting Sheep, Wool & Yarn", online article, TONOFWOOL blog, 7 February 2015:  

Lupey Loops, "Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show", blog entry, 9 May 2015: 

Parkes, Clara H., "Yarn Profile: Ton of Wool 10 Ply Aran Weight White Cormo", Knitter's Review, online article, 14 May 2015:

Sim, Terry, "One-woman Cormo Crusade", online article, Stock and Land, 7 September 2011:

TONOFWOOL, "About Us : Cormo : The Downie Family : Kylie Gusset : Social Enterprise", (accessed 26 June 2015):

TONOFWOOL, "10 ply Aran Weight White Cormo" [yarn], yarn specifications: 

Ulman, Kate, "Darning in the Ends", blog entry, FoxsLane, 22 June 2015:

Ulman, Kate,"My Amanda Cardigan", blog entry, FoxsLane, 8 June 2015:
—Ravelry project page:

Ulman, Kate, "The Last of the Apples", blog entry, FoxsLane, 21 May 2015:

A 25 gram skein of creamy, natural white, aran weight wool with a plain paper label with the details printed in bold black capitals. The text says: TONOFWOOL SINGLE ORIGIN 100% CORMO WOOL 10 PLY ARAN WEIGHT NATURAL WHITE TONOFWOOL.COM


  1. That's great, well done. It looks so soft in the pics. Mmm, a 25g project? Maybe a little cushion, just use this for the front, practice a new stitch, pop a little lavenader inside with the filling? beautifully soft for tired heads. xx

    1. Now THAT is a marvellous idea, Sharon! Thank you very much. I think I might just do that!
      It is such a unique wool that combining it with another yarn in a larger project would be a crime. It definitely needs to be near the skin for maximum enjoyment! I wish we could have 'touch screens' that conveyed textures so you could feel it. It is definitely a luxurious 'comfort' fibre. I can tell that you know exactly what is necessary to ease the soul on 'tired' days. Hugs, xx

  2. In winter I love to wear small wristlets because my arms are too long for most shirts. If the yarn is so soft as it looks like and doesn't itch, I could very well imagine two narrow wristlets that keep you warm. I am curious what you will make with it. Have a nice weekend, Viola

    1. Thanks for another good and useful idea, Viola. This wool definitely does not itch. One cannot help but rub it against one's face to fully appreciate the softness. I loved the cables in Kate Ulman's "Amanda" cardigan and thought it would be lovely to try some cables with Sharon's idea except cables use a bit more wool than regular stitches and I may run out of wool before a pillow top is finished. Wristlets might be a good project to tackle 'squishy' cables with 'squishy' wool knowing that they are much smaller and I am less likely to run out of wool.

      I haven't made a decision yet as I have been working on current projects, so your suggestion and any other new ideas you have are still most welcome.

      Congratulations on your recent granny blanket and your photo tutorial on how you solved joining-in-the-corner issues. You taught me something there! I am glad you are enjoying your crochet.

      Have fun! Viel spaß! xx

    2. Hi, I received one of these 25 gm samples too! I was wondering what I will make with mine as well. I was think maybe a mug warmer.

      Kind regards Kim

    3. Hi Kim,

      Wool will definitely keep a mug warm and be very insulating for your hands so you don't burn your fingers.

      I've decided that this wool is so soft, it needs to be used next to the skin and Sharon's suggestion (above) appeals to me. I could make a little woolly envelope into which I can put either a small wheat bag to make it a pocket warmer, or small sachets of lavender or other aromatic herbs for relaxation and comfort which are especially welcome during hospital stays - warm, soft, natural fibres are a piece of homeliness away from home.

      Do you use Ravelry or keep a blog/vlog? I would love to keep in touch and compare notes of our experience with the TonOfWool. :-)

      Thanks for taking time to drop by and say hi! I hope to see you again. :-)