Sunday, October 24, 2010

Knitting in Santa Fe

Knitting while in New Mexico was a very natural thing, given that there are oodles of fiber shopping opportunities, not to mention loads of inspiration.  
Santa Fe, the oldest capitol in the US, has long been reknowned as an artist's mecca.  The gorgeous scenery and natural beauty inspire at every turn in the road, and the well-maintained historic buildings ooze rustic beauty.  

 We got up VERY early one morning in order to get some photos without the crowds. 

Constructed in the early 1600's, the Palace of the Governors is the oldest continually inhabited public building in the United States.  Native American artists, many of them Navajo, set out their blankets on the ground to sell their beautiful silver jewelry.

We enjoyed our stay in this city!  The galleries, shops and museums are rich with inspiration and history.  But as quaint as the main square area in town is, it was extremely refreshing to check out some of the lesser-known parts of town to stop in at several fantastic yarn shops doing business off the beaten path.  

One shop we visited was Oodles Yarn & Bead Gallery on Water St. 

The tiny shop boasted beautifully hand-dyed yarns by local artists (see the photo at the top of this post) as well as some more common labels, and a nice selection of gemstone and glass beads.  

The log-beamed ceilings, woven rug hangings, wrought iron chandelier and kiva ladder displays gave off that characteristic southwest charm. 

Another wonderful discovery (right next door to our bed and breakfast accommodations, The Inn on the Paseo), was the Santa Fe School of Weaving and Miriam's Well yarn shop.  

From the unassuming upper level street view, you might not expect much, but enter the gateway to the left of the photo, walk down a flight of stone steps beneath a shaded arbor 

 and turn the corner through a lush, flowering courtyard and you are transported to a place of beauty and creativity.  

 Owner Miriam Leth-Espensen is a transplanted Dane, by way of Vermont, who has developed this location as a school for weaving, knitting and all manner of fiber arts.  She is a prolific designer, offering her patterns for use with purchase of yarn from her shop, along with interesting anecdotes about her designs and their history.  

I came away with this cranberry-hued skein of Obi from The Great Adirondack Yarn Co.  

The hundreds of garments on display (all made by Miriam) are a riotous jumble of gorgeous color and texture. 

Miriam was a delightful lady, and I enjoyed meeting her and discovering a kindred creative free spirit. 

While on this part of the trip I managed to crank out several hats, including this simple little slouch hat modeled by my sister.

The stitch is a super easy one - I don't like to think too hard while I'm on vacation, LOL!  The yarn I used is Knitpick's Cadena, a blend of wool and alpaca, in colorway Seraphim.  
I really loved using this yarn for it's springy twist, nice drape and cushiony feel, but it is very heavy.  It was nice for a slouchy hat and I can't wait to try it for another garment, but probably not a heavy coat or jacket.

That's it for Santa Fe, coming soon... Taos and The Wool Festival at Taos

And around here it's pure splendor.  The trees, they are a-turnin'...


Enjoy Autumn's glories!


  1. Thanks for posting these photos. I lived in Santa Fe for a while, and I can tell you it didn`t always have that Disneyfied feel about it. It is still a lovely city, though!

  2. Beautiful pictures! I've always avoided the southwest because of the heat...but Santa Fe looks delightful.

  3. do you have a pattern for that slouch hat? it's really cute and i've been looking for something just like it!

  4. Hi Owlet, thanks for the enthusiasm for my slouchy hat. This is one I am considering writing up, but have not done so yet. When I do, it will be posted both here and on!