Sweater Drawer:  Targhee Yarn

I really love opening my sweater drawer and seeing this view.  It makes me so happy to see all the different colors and the stories knit into these sweaters.  I wear them all…just depends on what I’m doing for the day.

These are truly farm to needle projects.  In the muddy early spring, the boys and I drove just 3 miles down the road to visit the amazing Amiable Acres farm.  There we were able to watch Molly (mother of 5) shear all of her sheep.  Targhee sheep are large and have large fleeces…to watch her artfully and skillfully shear those sheep was a true feat and extremely admirable.

A quick history of Targhee sheep:

Targhee were developed in Dubois, Idaho in the mid 1920’s.  They were bred from Rambouillet rams to Corriedale and Lincoln Rambouillet ewes.  The researches at the USDA Sheep Experiment Station in Idaho wanted sheep that would thrive on range and farms in the states of the west and the high plains.  **

Targhee sheep are named for the Targhee National Forest where they graze in the summer located in Idaho, Wyoming, and Northern Utah…the area that is the gateway to Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks.  Chief Targhee was a Bannock Indian warrior and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe still maintains ancestral treat rights to use the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. **

**Robson, Deborah & Ekarius, Carol. The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. Storey Publishing: North Adams, MA. 2011. Print

Once sheared, the sheep run off to bask in their new lightness while the fleece is put into a bag and weighed.  The fleece I picked was from the ewe, Birdom, and weighed in at 8 pounds. From the farm, the fleece went to Fibers First Mill in Post Falls, Idaho…another 5 miles down the road.  For those keeping track at home the fleece has gone from the sheep to the mill in about 8 miles.  The mill washed, combed, and spun the wool into an amazing soft and fluffy two ply worsted weight yarn.

This yarn is soft and springy with great loft and elasticity.  I wish I had more of it, but it’s been all used up in the Sundottir Pullover, a Stories from Snoqualmie Valley shawl, and a Father Cables hat.

These are easily three of my most worn and favorite farm to needle projects.

My Sustainable Sudottir pullover that I knit back in 2015.  I wear this sweater all the time, it’s both dressy and comfy (like wearing a sweatshirt!).  The Targhee wool that I knit it from is beyond soft.

Due the softness of the fiber, it can be difficult to get a truly consistent spin throughout the whole skein of yarn.  There are a few slubs in the yarn here and there.  Sometimes when knitting I’ll splice out the slubs, but most often I will just continue knitting…adding character and texture to the fabric.

My Stories from Snoqualmie Valley shawl is one of my favorites to wear in the evenings while knitting.  It wraps perfectly around my shoulders and I have a favorite shawl pin that keeps it in place.

Father Cables is the hat that I put on to drop the kids at school when I want to forget I’m wearing a hat.  This hat is pull on perfect…no scratchy rib, touch of slouch and a recent add…a pompom!

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