Monday, October 05, 2009

Taos Wool Festival

This Saturday, I woke up to a brilliant autumnal morning. Vivid blue skies. Strong, clear sunlight. I was staying with an artist friend in Taos, and after a cup of coffee brewed with lavender from her garden, we went for a walk with her trio of Shih Tzus.

The golden shrubs that you see on the side of the road are Chamisa, which is in the rabbitbrush family, and which we used in our natural dye workshop for a robust yellow. They were at the height of their bloom, as were the lovely purple asters. It made me think of how much I used to love this time in Vermont, when it was goldenrod that would light up the roadsides alongside asters.

The next stop in my morning itinerary was a visit with Frana at the Phi Beta Paca alpaca farm to see the newest cria, who was just a few days old, and as delicate and fine a creature as you could imagine. Her legs were still a little wobbly, but she had the loveliest, creamy curls and blue eyes.

Here's the baby alpaca hiding underneath her mama. She's still trying to figure out nursing a little bit.

And then it was on to the Wool Festival!! I made it in time for the midday meetup in the Ravelry tent. It was awesome. I had a yummy cupcake baked by deltafine. I got to chat with the warm and gracious Stefanie Japel and Ravelry's own Mary-Heather. I listened to Knitswithdogz singing along to Indigo Girls songs, and watched PinkPorcupine spin, and learned all about TARDIS-Tara's Dr. Who scarves, and met RedQueen of the Here's to Ewe podcast.

I was a little too shy to take pictures of people at the Ravelry tent, but here's what the festival looks like in general:

It's in Kit Carson park, with these perky white tents set up around the perimeter. Off to one side they have shearing demonstrations and a few different kinds of fiber animals to see and pet. This one (churro?) sheep was especially sociable

And who could resist a pair of baby angora goats? Very snuggly and friendly, and they even seemed to like being petted, since they'd come over if you put your hand in the enclosure.

I spent several hours there on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, slowly meandering through the vendors' tents, coming back to the Ravelry tent to hang out for a while, and then heading out for another lap around the festival. And here's what I brought home:

From my natural dyeing class with La Lana, I brought home six skeins of a wool/tussah silk blend (we also dyed straight wool, but I don't have much need for that here in Arizona) and some samples of dyed fibers.

Apparently, it was the rusty, autumnal colors that were speaking to me. I bought 3 skeins of handspun kota-dyed yarn from La Lana, a few ounces of solar-dyed mohair locks from Kai Ranch, and a skein of mohair/wool yarn.

And I also gravitated towards natural colors as well: super soft Cormo yarn in white and gray from Elsa Cormo and laceweight colorgrown organic cotton from Skaska.

All in all, it was a very full weekend! I met so many wonderful people from Ravelry (sorry I couldn't mention you all!), so maybe next year I won't have to go on my own :)


Heather said...

Sounds like an ideal, relaxing weekend. I was relaxed after justreading about it.

Turtle said...

how fun! that would be my idea of a good time!

todayandeveryday said...

These yarns are so saturated with wonderful color. What does coffee with Lavender taste like, I have never heard of such.

Kathy said...

Terrific terrific post. I enjoyed each and every image and the tales that went along. The baby under the momma is a hoot!

kristen von minden said...

id love to be your travel mate the next time around! sorry i missed it this time... xx