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8 Weeks of Sheep Breed Spinning and Dyeing – Targhee

It’s so fluffy!!! I can’t believe how soft and squishy this fiber is! This week, in my eight weeks of sheep breed spinning and dyeing, I worked with Targhee wool. Dyeing this breed’s fiber was a complete joy and I also got to try out some new dyes. After dyeing and drying the roving, it spun up so beautifully, but the real magic happened after the skein was washed and thwacked. Join me as I dye and spin my way through four ounces of this beautiful, Western US developed breed.

This breed was developed in the western United States and was named after the Targhee National Forrest in Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah. Targhee sheep are a large, dual-purpose breed well suited to the ranges of the west. The wool has a staple length of three to five inches and a micron count of approximately 21-25 microns. This fiber is extremely soft with a super delicious squish to it.

Dyeing Targhee Sheep Roving

The Targhee took the dye beautifully! I tried a new technique and new brand of dyes. When I had dyed the merino, I really liked the way it turned out but I felt the colors were not as vibrant as I would have liked. So instead of mixing the dye with water, I just added the dye directly onto the fiber and gently rubbed it in after soaking the roving in a vinegar/water bath for about fifteen minutes. Then I popped it into the microwave in a garbage bag for three minutes. I used the Gaywool dyes for this and although I could have applied more dye, I’m much happier with this dye job than the last. I think I would have preferred the Country Classics dye for this technique simply because they make a finer dye powder that would have dissolved faster.   But overall, it’s gorgeous and I’m thrilled!

Spinning Targhee Sheep Roving

Targhee wool is my new favorite wool to spin with. I spun approximately 415 yards of fingering weight yarn. This roving was incredibly soft and so smooth to spin, not as smooth as the Merino but still a dream to work with.  After washing and twacking the skein, that’s when the magic happened. It puffed up so much and really blossomed, making this the squishiest skein of yarn I have ever felt! The colors I chose to dye the roving made my spinning go by so rapidly and it was just an absolute joy to work with.

This fiber was so much fun to work with and I couldn’t be happier with my beautiful skein of hand-dyed, handspun yarn. I feel like Targhee would be a perfect option for most spinners, from advanced beginners to expert spinners. Whatever your expertise, you just have to try it. This breed’s wool is so irresistibly squish-a-licious, trust me, you need this in your life!

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