Taos Sunflower

String Theory and yarnbombing Taos

I was passing through Taos yesterday and stopped at the new yarn shop. Yeah! New Yarn Shop!!! Ever since Taos Sunflower closed many many years ago (I know Martie, it was a good decision for you, but your shop was so great), Taos has been without a welcoming yarn shop where they let me pet the yarn and maybe take a few skeins home with me.

I heard rumors about the new yarn shop a few weeks ago. The name is fantastic: String Theory. The shop is still small and they are carrying mostly local yarn at the moment. But they will branch out and create fiber community and it will be fun and lovely. I'm sure of it.

These people are seriously funny. Check out their About page on their website. I met Guinevere who was sitting on one of the inviting leather couches in the shop knitting a bikini for a parking meter. And I already knew Alex from Weaving Southwest, a rug-weaving career cut too short. Anyone who invents a holster for rug shuttles definitely has potential in the weaving community. Alex is fantastic and I hope he gets his own loom and keeps weaving rugs. In the meantime he is apparently a genius crochet-er.

I have in my head an image of Alex standing at one of these Rio Grande looms at Weaving Southwest with big rag shuttles stuck in his pockets. But I can't find the photo. Perhaps I never really took it.

I do realize that my obsession with yarn shops is not exactly natural for a tapestry weaver. After all, most yarn shops are trying to sell to knitters who feel pretty good about a 4 oz skein of yarn costing north of $18. But for a weaver of large tapestries, that is a pretty high price tag considering the distance 4 oz will take you. I think yarn stores are my comfort food. They have beautiful skeins of yarn that have such potential all shiny in their wrappers. And knitting is easy. It is relaxing. It doesn't carry expectations with it (art, financial success, beauty, shows...).

Taos plaza was yarnbombed this week. I learned about it on Facebook (where else?) and was happy to have an opportunity to see it for myself. Here are a few shots of this ongoing project. I think it will be up through Taos Wool Festival.

I love these little guys on the wrought-iron railings.

And this is my favorite. Breath In. Breathe Out. Move On.
I am interested to see the bikini-wearing parking meters.

A day in Taos, NM

Yesterday I took a day trip to Taos (which really isn't so far away after all). You see, I have a sort of "temporary life" which has become somewhat permanent. But the original idea was that my things were only going to reside in the climate-controlled storage locker for a few months, half a year at best. It has been most of a year now and they may languish there a bit longer. So I have returned to that point in my life (which I experienced a decade ago when I was a traveling OT and swore I would never go back to) where I make pilgrimages to my stuff which is in a Butler building (albeit air conditioned) behind a flimsy garage-type door. Oh, the security of the storage unit is quite good and I have little doubt no one will want to rummage through my piles of book boxes and loom parts, but I do miss that stuff... especially the Harrisville Rug Loom.

Honestly, I have tried and tried to love the LeClerc Gobelin loom I have in my current studio, but it just isn't the Harrisville. The LeClerc has excellent tension and it is beautiful and it tries hard to make me happy, but I miss the vertical loom and the overhead beater and the warp tensioner on the back of the Harrisville. I may have to rent myself a truck and rescue her from lock-down, though Emily may make me sleep under the loom if I bring more stuff into this tiny house!

At any rate, the trip to Taos came off well. I managed to find the last of my stash of undyed student yarn (Harrisville Highland) so that I can get that ready for the next class. And we visited some of my favorite Taos spots...

There was, of course, Moby Dickens, the excellent independent book store in Taos.

This book was fascinating. I almost took it home with me, but put it on my Amazon wish list instead. (I use the Amazon wish list so that my family gets me things I actually want, but also as a marker of things I need to get in the future. Perhaps on my next trip to Moby Dickens this one will come home with me.)

I thought this pattern was particularly hilarious--the English Bull Dog. My grandparents had them when I was a small child and I remember that they weren't particularly smart or able to walk well or cuddly... but they loved them!

And this book was displayed on the New Mexico shelves. Life on the Rocks was written by my prior landlady, Katherine Wells and I highly recommend it. It is about her work with the petroglyph project she has established in northern NM. It is also a fascinating autobiography of someone who ended up in rural New Mexico. I had the privilege of living on her land among the petroglyphs for three years. Katherine is a good writer and the book is fun to read.

I had an emergency stop at The Yarn Shop. Fortunately, though they carry few knitting needles, they had the number 6 double points I needed to finish a baby hat in the car on the way home. I found myself swearing one too many times at the short needles I started the hat with on the way south. New needles had to be had. I do miss Taos Sunflower though!

 Cassy modeling the finished hat (before blocking mind you) in the car on the way home.

I stopped at the toy store, Twirl. I love this place. The kid in me can't resist touching everything. I'm sure they hate that. (And Emily would be correct to give me a squirt of hand sanitizer when leaving.)

I came home with this toy. I had Tiddlywinks as a child and with the excuse of my new niece, I can buy toys again, right? Clearly this toy is not for a 6 month old, so I must have gotten them for myself.

(We were having lunch at La Cueva. I highly recommend this place with excellent Mexican food. Most things are gluten free and they know what you're talking about when you ask about gluten.)

Here is the real reason we went to Twirl--she got her stacking cups though she might have preferred to play with the bag.

I do like Taos. I'm sure I'll be back soon... to visit the Harrisville loom if nothing else.

View of the Cumbres & Toltec train on the way down.