Saturday, November 21, 2009

At the end of September, my husband and I took a trip to Northern New Mexico to attend the 2009 Taos Wool Festival and to explore the area. We spent two nights in Chimayo, the weaving center of the area, and did some hiking in Ghost Ranch (Georgia O'Keefe's home). We hiked up Box Canyon and along the way saw some old Indian sweat lodges.

We also visited the Espanola Valley Arts Center and drove up to see Tierra Wool Works. From Chimayo, we journeyed north to Taos for the wool festival. We arrived early so that I could take a two-day workshop on dyeing with native plants at the dye studio of Luisa Gelenter, owner of LaLana Wools, a beautiful little shop in Taos. Here's a view from the LaLana dye studio -- it was a glorious day.
Here, Luisa (in green) lectures some of the students. We had 14 in attendance.
Measuring out a pound of dried marigolds.
Three of our many dyepots.
This is Mary-Alice, Luisa's assistant, lecturing on indigo, ready to immerse some of our yellow snakeweek skeins from day 1 into the indigo pot to create green.
Pulling the green skeins out of the indigo pot.
Our green skeins fresh out of the indigo dye bath.
Luisa let us forage on her property for Chamisa (a bush with yellow flowers) and for leaves from her peach trees. Below, we have pulled the peach leaves out of the dye pot and the yarn is ready to go in.
Peach leave pot with yarns simmering. Amazing color!
Here are some of the skeins hanging to dry: mullein, kota (Navajo tea), black walnut, snakeweed.
Skeins dyed with walnut hulls drying on racks.
Chamisa skeins drying.
Kota (Navajo tea) produced a beautiful rusty orange.
Indian paintbrush -- a beautiful champagne color.
Black walnut, chamisa, snakeweed, indigo.

Absolutely one of the best workshops I've taken: the teachers were wonderful and all of the students worked so well together. Hope this is offered next year -- I'd love to do this again.

Saturday morning, we headed out early for the festival which is held at Kit Carson Park and we lucked out with beautiful weather. I had three destinations and I wanted to be there right when the festival opened up. The park was already full of early birds, but I managed to get everything I wanted before the crowds arrived.
First stop, Myrtle Dow's booth. I had heard she was going to have a booth this year for the first time in a while. Myrtle is a champion breeder of sheep from the Rocky Mountain areas. I bought a beautiful white Teeswater fleece -- this is a curly long wool.
Second stop was Kai Ranch Mohair (Lisa Shell) from Texas. I bought from Lisa in 2008 and, of course, wished I had gotten more from her. Her mohair is beautiful, is unbelievably nice quality, and she has an amazing color sense. I just had to stock up on Kai mohair curls and rovings. Just look at these gorgeous colors.
Like a fiber candy store. So hard to choose. I want some of each.
My third destination was the Rocky Mountain sheep breeders booth. Friends, Dawn and Mike DeFreese, from Casper, Wyoming, always bring the most beautiful fleeces. This year I bought two CVM's (California Variegated Mutant) fleeces, a white and a moorit. Just lovely.
Colorfully dyed wool all around.
The local spinning guild was there spinning.
I loved the colorful skeins of handspun mohair in this booth.
Here are a couple little kid mohair goats. Too cute!
I love the Taos Wool Festival because I see vendors there that I don't see at some of the other shows. I'm hoping to go again next year.

Since my last show on November 1st, I have immersed myself in spinning all of those rovings and fibers that I have been eyeing over the past few months while I was getting ready for shows and had little time for spinning.

On Thursday, the Winter 2009 issue of Spin Off arrived. As I flipped through it, one of the articles jumped out, hooked me and reeled me in -- Jacey Boggs' article on coiled spinning, which I read from beginning to end. After reading the article two more times, checking out the pictures, I just had to try. So today, I rummaged around in my stash of rovings and found some of my handpainted merino rovings. With Jacey's article by my side, I spun a thick and thin singles which I then plied with some silk/kid mohair laceweight from Habu Textiles. Here's my first attempt, which I think looks pretty good. And this is absolute FUN!!! Especially for a control freak fingering weight yarn spinner like me.
This is my second skein.
Yes, this is fun!

1 comment:

fluffystuff said...

That is the most beautiful skein of fun I have ever seen. And it was your first try? Amazing! And so creative. I could just wear it as is around my neck. I think I need to get that Spin Off, too.