Targhee/silk spinning fiber: Galentine's Day, 4 oz
One of my favorite TV series of the last few years is Parks and Recreation, a mockumentary-style show about Leslie Knope, the assistant director of a city parks and rec department, and her friends and co-workers. To celebrate her female friends, Leslie declares February 13 to be Galentine's Day.
My tribute to Leslie and her awesome holiday is a combination of fucshias and rich purples, anchored by deep charcoal. It's handpainted on 4 oz of my custom blend of 75% Targhee and 25% tussah silk. 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.