Domestic Yarn Bases
The Rambouillet sheep breed, also known as French Merino, can trace its origin to a gift of 366 Spanish Merino sheep from King of Spain to Louis XVI, the king of France in 1786. The sheep were kept at the farm on his Rambouillet estate, hence the name for the resulting breed of sheep.
Like its cousin the Merino, Rambouillet wool is fine and crimpy resulting in yarn that is next-to-the-skin soft with a lot of elasticity. Equity fingering and sport are both semi-worsted yarns featuring incredible springiness and beautiful texture.
Patterns featuring Equity Sport: Reticulated Mitts & Perforated Gloves by Kira Dulaney & Souvenir of a Killing by Kristen Hanley Cardozo
Patterns featuring Equity Fingering: Winter’s Moon by Rosemary Hill
Targhee wool from Montana and North & South Dakota, processed in Jamestown, South Carolina and spun in Springvale, Maine
Targhee sheep was developed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Idaho, which is surrounded by the Targhee National Forest for which the breed was named. The contributing sheep breeds to the ancestry of the Targhee breed were Rambouillet, Corriedale, and Lincoln in a ¾ fine wool and ¼ long wool make up. The goal was to create a dual-purpose breed that would flourish on the ranges of the western United States.
Targhee is slightly coarser than Rambouillet but is still next-to-the-skin soft. Bannock is a round smooth worsted spun 3-ply yarn that will work in any application.
Patterns featuring Bannock: Spate by Jane Richmond, Bas Relief Hat, Cowl & Mitts by Kira Dulaney
Domestic wool, processed in Jamestown, South Carolina and spun in East Jordan, MI
The wool in this yarn, rather than be specified by breed, has been specified by micron count. The wool is comparable Merino in softness and crimp. Shepherdess is a worsted spun 3-ply yarn resulting in a smooth yarn that will show texture and cables well.
Patterns featuring Shepherdess: Aiken by Andi Satterlund and Interlaced Cowl and Mitts by Kira Dulaney
Cormo Fingering, Sport & Worsted
Cormo wool from 9 Mile Ranch in Kaycee, WY and spun in Buffalo, WY
The Cormo breed was developed in 1960 in Trangie, New South Wales, Australia by crossing superfine Saxon Merinos with Corriedales in an effort to increase the fertility, frame size, and fleece yield while still maintaining a fine micron count fleece. The first Cormo sheep were imported to the US in 1976 and it continues to be very popular breed among handspinners for its fine bright white wool and relatively long staple length.
The Cormo used in Sincere Sheep’s Cormo yarns is 19 microns with a 4” staple length. The fingering weight yarn is a 2-ply and the sport and worsted weight yarns are 3-ply. All weights are worsted spun. This yarn is next-to-the-skin soft and has good elasticity.
Silken Fingering & Sport
70% domestic wool and 30% cultivated silk spun in Buffalo, WY
The wool in this yarn, rather than be specified by breed, has been specified by micron count. The wool is comparable Merino in softness and crimp. The addition of 30% cultivated silk adds shine and drape to this yarn. The fingering weight yarn is a 2-ply yarn and the sport weight yarn is a 3-ply yarn. Both yarns are worsted spun. This yarn is highly versatile and will work well in lace, accessories, garments and even socks (though they would be hand-wash only).