Today I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful breed of sheep: Cormo.
Cormo sheep are a combination of Corriedale and Merino and were originally developed in Australia. Even the name Cormo is a blend of those two breed names. It's a relatively recent breed (1961) and the original breeder actually used computer analysis to help him determine positive production traits. Because these sheep are bred using scientific analysis, the fleece is usually quite consistent in quality.
One of the things that makes Cormo so special is that is has a really well-defined crimp, which makes it rather elastic. The other thing that crimp seems to do is help Cormo "fluff" up. Several years ago I took a class on yarn from Clara Parkes and I remember how delighted she was to introduce Cormo to us. It was definitely a lot of fun to work with (so squishy and bouncy), but she made us promise that we would block our swatch. Because if we thought it was really squishy and bouncy before washing, we would be amazed at how much squishier and bouncier it was after washing. And indeed, it is a yarn that will puff up quite nicely in water.
Since Merino is part of the blend, you can expect Cormo to also feel quite soft. The Corriedale helps to give it a bit more definition (even with its fluffiness). It's a yarn that you'll want to make sure to swatch as your gauge will definitely change after blocking. You'll also want to make sure to knit to a slightly looser gauge (no super tight stitches with Cormo) to give it room for that bloom. I thought that the squishiness of the yarn and the squishiness of brioche would be an excellent match for one another and I was right (see below).
Cormo yarn can be used for just about any type of project. It's definitely next-to-skin soft, so you can make a cowl or other item for your neck and be quite happy with the feel. It does have a tendency to feel just a little "heavy," especially in a thicker yarn weight, so you'll want to keep that in mind.
The pattern is Tannen by Katrin Schubert.