Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Mexico yarn shopping

The 2 must-do things on vacation: a good used-book store (more on that in another post), and a local yarn store. There's a big yarn/knitting/weaving culture in New Mexico, so I was pretty psyched to visit some yarn stores. Initially, I had no luck at all! In Albuquerque, I tried to go to B's Yarns & Needlearts, but couldn't even find the store in the big strip mall, despite circling around several times. Maybe it's closed? Then I tried to stop by an alpaca farm/yarn store along the Turquoise Trail (a scenic byway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe), but had the foresight to call ahead, and they weren't open that day. Boo!

In Santa Fe, finally, a LYS! The Needle's Eye was right down the street from the B&B where we stayed. The sign is very cool and New Mexican.

At least one other person (besides myself) was wearing a Ravelry shirt! It's quite large inside, with two U-shaped areas filled with yarn.

There was a small shelf of local yarn, which I wanted to get, but since I was shopping for yarn for a vest for DH, the colors weren't quite right.
The tree o' organic wool was also tempting, but again, no appropriate man-vest colors.
After conferring with DH, who had never gone yarn-shopping and seemed somewhat overwhelmed by all the choices, I got some fingering/sport weight gray New England Shetland wool from Harrisville Designs. I had wanted some fatter yarn, but couldn't find the right combination of weight/color/price.
The yarn is slightly scratchy in a good way, and clings to itself. Very sheepish! I love the colorway--it is subtly tweedy without the weird lumps of random color that one sees in tweed yarn.

I balled up the skeins watching this spectacular sunset in Taos.

The next day, I was wandering around, looking for free WiFi, when I looked up and saw this [cue angelic chorus and trumpets]:

The Yarn Shop
! It is owned by a very friendly "Granny G," who will spontaneously tell you your fortune while explaining the stories behind all the local yarns in the shop. I am a four of clubs, which apparently means I have an affinity for "old knowledge." She was pleased that I had started a garden, and I did not have the heart to tell her about my near-criminal non-abilities at gardening.

At least half the yarn in the shop is local, or made by people she knows (all the pictures are of said yarns). The climate is good for raising sheep, llamas, alpacas, and churros. I had thought churros were those cinnamony street-cart snacks, but I guess they are also sheep-like animals with a strong, non-stretchy wool good for rugs. The churro-yarn is the unskeined yarn in the pictures.

There is a whole wall o' alpaca, and a shelf of it is devoted to this adorable prize-winning alpaca and other yarns from the same grower (also friend of owner).

I ended up getting some laceweight organic silk, for a shawl for myself. The yarn is named Quail, and the brand is Yarns Handpainted In Sedona, by Mary Gavan (also friend of owner). It is a pinkish-purplish delight.
Now, I should get going on knitting up all this yarn...


granny said...


i used that harrisville design yarn for my lauren jacket, its really nice to knit up and it looks great... my only problem with it is the jacket i knit has 3/4 length sleeves so i haven't been wearing anything under it but a tank top or something thats not going to show too much and its a little itchy sometimes.

that pinkypurple yarn is suuuper pretty!! said...

Wow fun! Makes me wish I was there with you! Thanks for shareing! Huggs Marion

tina said...

can't wait to see the laceweight, I bet the colors are a lot more comples and wonderful than even the photo shows.

do you not love to wander into yarn shops while away, it says so much about the people and the town you are in!

emicat said...

I love that the shops all had a section devoted to local yarn.

Love the pinky-purpley yarn at the end there, as well as the grey tweedy yarn w/o being too tweedy :)

Great finds!

mooncalf said...

What a great post - so much cool stuff!