Special PLY set: Targhee/silk spinning fiber, half-braids
Welcome PLY Magazine readers! Try out Jillian Moreno's tips for plying with color with the same fiber featured in her magazine article. This is a limited-edition set of six 2 oz braids of Targhee/silk, in the colorways Winesap, Braeburn, Weeping Willow, Dear Theodosia, Grand Canyon, and Red Rocks. From now through Dec 25, this set is being offered at a special discounted price.
These colorways are each handpainted on 2 oz of my custom blend of 75% Targhee and 25% tussah silk, for a total of approximately 12 oz. Both the Targhee and the silk started off as combed top, and were carefully pin-drafted together, rather than carded. The result is a soft and springy blend that is free of the neps and noils that you might see in some small-farm Targhee.
Pin-drafting produces fiber that is thinner than commercial top. To make the dyeing process easier, I doubled the fiber, so as you unbraid the fiber, you’ll see that there are two separate “strands.” This also makes it easy to preserve color changes if you want a 2-ply yarn--just spin each strand separately on different bobbins and ply them together.
If you're not familiar with Targhee, it's a relatively young sheep breed that was orginally developed in the mid-1900s in Idaho from Rambouillet, Corriedale, and Lincoln stock. The Targhee used in this blend was selected for its softness (23.0-23.5 microns). It was grown, processed, and dyed in the USA. Soft and springy, with a small carbon footprint, this wool is as beautiful as it is truly all-American.