Targhee/silk spinning fiber: Reinette, 4 oz
Reinette is part of my apple colorway series, a fresh and lively combination of spring green, buttery yellow, rich reddish purple, soft raspberry, and charcoal. It's also a nod to one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who, "The Girl in the Fireplace," which features the real-life Madame du Pompadour, whose nickname was Reinette, or Little Queen.
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.