Textile Byways: Clover - The Newest Verb Yarn - Montana 2014

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A little recap: In October, I inherited Sweet Grass Wool, a Montana yarn and fiber company, lovingly run by Patti Bobonich. She uses Targhee wool grown by her neighbor, Carolyn Greene. I traveled to Montana to see Patti and to meet Carolyn and her sheep in person. The following two weeks on the blog are dedicated to Patti and Carolyn, and are about us discovering the beauty Montana holds.


i have inherited two types of yarn from Patti; a DK weight yarn, made of 80% Targhee wool and 20% silk - we've named Clover. And a bulky yarn, made of 100% Targhee wool, we've named Big Sky. The Targhee fiber features in both of these yarns was raised by Carolyn. 

Patti sent the wool to a mill which specializes in a rare form of spinning called mulespun. I believe there are only two, maybe three facilities that do this type of spinning in all of North America. If you know how to spin, the mulespun process is similar to using a long-draw to draft the fibers as you spin. Yarn which has been created using this type of process is buoyant and lighterweight than its counterparts which have been spun on a fixed spinner. Click here to see a video of the mulespun process.

Today, we are first focusing on Clover. Big Sky is still in production in the dyeing studio. Targhee wool naturally has a lot of spring, combine it with the mulespun process, and it results in a yarn which has a lot of loft. Clover has 200 yards to 50 grams. This is a similar weight to our yarn Creating - a yarn made of superwash merino and is worsted spun and tightly spun. Creating is often used to make socks and is considered fingering weight. It is typically knit on US 0-2 size needles and gets about 7-8 stitches per inch. Clover, while similar in put-up, due to the mulespun process, can be knit using a larger needle and a larger gauge - as the fluffy wool takes up more space per stitch. This results in a fabric that is lightweight yet still warm. Clover can be knit on US needle sizes 4-6, and gets 4.5-5.5 stitches per inch.

The name Clover references a four-leaf clover - and the fact that I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work with Carolyn's wool and this beautiful yarn designed by Patti. I also thought it was a sweet name as it was the sheep eat in the pasture.

For the most part, I created new colorways for the Fall / Winter 2014 season - with an emphasis on greens and greys - with a few pops of red and yellow thrown in for good measure. As always, all of the colors are created in my Oakland studio using natural dyes including marigolds, fustic, weld, logwood purple, madder, cochineal, and cutch.

We hope you enjoy Clover!


Very soon Big Sky will be available as well. Stay tuned. And tomorrow, the blog will feature a new hat pattern - using Clover.