Monday, August 28, 2006

The gate is locked...

and I am thrilled to be home, behind it, for two whole days without leaving the premises.  Today I've been washing wool madly, have the dyepots going, and am sneaking in rows of knitting on a handspun shawl when I should probably be finding something more productive to do.  It has been at least three weeks since I've had two consecutive days at home...and I couldn't be more excited.

Monte and I ventured up to Durango last Monday, checked ourselves into the historic Strater Hotel and spent all spare moments knitting.  It was a great treat.  We found the new (one year old) yarn shop, YARN, and enjoyed a visit there (oh, do I love buying yarn in other peoples' shops!).  We blissed out in good restaurants and drove home the next day...a spectacular drive after all the rain we've had this summer.  If you're headed to Durango, I highly recommend you visit YARN and be sure to say I sent you.  I think you'll be pleased.  Oh...and don't miss a treat at Coldstone Creamery.  Monte took me there for my first time.  I am grateful there isn't one in Taos...I'd be buying bigger sizes, for sure.

I spoke with Terri Ranck today about her class sample for the Handspun Heaven class...she sent me a sneak peek which I'll share with you.  Handspun_heaven_in_progress Terri assures me the techniques aren't nearly as complicated as they look here...I am beside myself with excitement to see the finished project.  There's one space left in her October 5 class and then we'll start taking names for a second class, if there are more takers.  I have to start taking my vitamins so I can hold up through all this excitement right on top of the Wool Festival!         ---Martie

Friday, August 18, 2006

Catching up

Greetings!  It has been too long between postings, and I apologize.  Two of us out of town, one of us off in a writing workshop...we're just a busy bunch of Sunflowers.  Encinitas_pics_305_016 Photo is the scene of part of my mis-spent youth.   :0)

Since I wrote last...I have been to CA to visit my family.  While there, the ocean temps were record highs, so I actually dared to go to the beach (complete with boogie board) and for the first time in well over 20 years, went swimming in the ocean.  It was glorious!  Also I must add here that I wasn't the only overweight and out of shape person on the beach in a bathing I actually think I could do this again sometime.  (At least the Decency Police didn't arrive and arrest me, so I took this as a good sign.)

What's new...well, the fall and winter yarns are starting to arrive.  I'm almost finished with a neck down pullover out of Celtic, Berroco's new tweed yarn in a wonderful blend of wool and acrylic.  I'm also finishing the latest Clapotis (, see their archive for shawls and scarves).  It's super heavy and purposely big, so I can wrap up in it this fall and winter. It's taking 10 skeins of vintage Iro from Noro.  I love knitting this pattern so's my "mindless" knitting project to fall back on when I'm out of all my other mindless projects (I ONLY knit mindless projects at this point in life). 

The village of Arroyo Seco is about to celebrate its 200th birthday.  The official celebration is being held on Saturday, September 2 (Labor Day weekend).  If you're in town, stop by and say hi.  Everyone in the village is participating.  There will be games for the kids down at the old elementary school, musicians and demonstrations of arts and crafts all around the village.  We'll be having a spinning and knitting demonstration,  starting the process with a raw fleece.  I had hoped to have a loom ready to demonstrate on, but alas, mine's not in running order at this time.  There will be a slide show of historic photos going all day in the old/new building just next door to us, and the church is having a special mass at 9:00 a.m., to be followed by a procession and blessing of the village.  Food by our great restaurants...just bring yourselves and plan to spend the day.

Heavy on my mind:

Wool Festival is only 7 WEEKS AWAY.  I am in shock about how fast summer has passed.  My mom used to say "the hurrier I go, the behinder I get".  I feel that way about you?  We are starting to see the first teensy signs of fall in the air...and last night the local television station informed us that in another inch or so, we will have recorded more rain this summer than any other since they've been keeping weather records.   A far cry from this past winter, our driest winter in 102 years!

Classes coming:  Thursday, October 5:  Handspun Heaven with Terri Ranck.  Monday, October 9:  Tie One On with Terri Ranck.  See our What's New page on our website for more info on these.  I spoke with Terri a few days ago...she's knitting the class sample for Handspun Heaven...she's hardly sleeping because she's so involved in this project.  I am worried we're going to have to send the Wool Police to go and get it from her...

Taos Camp Pluckyfluff is booked!!!!  Write this down on your calendar...Lexi Boeger is coming to Taos Sunflower to share her MANY wonderful spinning techniques on Thursday and Friday, October  4 and 5, 2007.  These are the two days preceeding the annual Taos Wool Festival next year.  If you're already a spinner and have a desire to add to your skills and bring some long lost fun to your spinning, you won't want to miss this workshop.  If you aren't a spinner but want to be...then now is the time to start spinning and this class will be perfect timing for you and your sweet beginner spinning skills.  Contact the shop to be put on a waiting list...specifics on class fee, time, etc. will be posted by early October.  This is a special event and we are lucky to be able to have Lexi come to Taos...come join the fun!   ----Martie

Monday, August 7, 2006

Handspun Heaven

Last month, our honorary Sunflower, Terri Ranck, was here to teach her always popular "Tie One On" class.  When Terri's here, it's always like a party in the shop.  She has such creative vision and loves the colors and textures so much, we practically tear the store apart playing "what if you put this with that????"  I'm telling you, dear knitters, it's almost too much fun to be legal.

So this last visit, Terri discovered some of our newest additions to Taos Sunflower...or own handspun yarns.  She took some of our ever popular Malabrigo merino wool and assorted handspuns, and in less than two days had started a sweater (of her own design, of course) she referred to as Handspun Heaven.  Handspun_heaven1 I want to say right here that the pictures I'm including don't do this work justice.  Terri had some brilliant ideas about using the handspun Handspun_heaven2 so as to maximize the yardage available and leave the yarns shown to their best advantage.  This has now spawned a new class, aptly named Handspun Heaven, which is happening on Thursday before Wool Festival (October 5, 9:30-4:00).  For more information, see the "What's New" page on our website.  At this writing, we are close to filling this class...but don't despair...maybe we can talk Terri into teaching it twice that week!

Terri is going to make a sample for her class, and soon as possible, we'll post pictures here to give you an idea of what you'll be learning to do.  For time considerations, the class will help you design your own shawl using the glorious, textured, handspun yarns you'll find at the shop.  I'm hoping I can sneak into this class, too! ---Martie