Monday, June 24, 2013

Tierra Wool and steam trains

Before I had a dependable internet connection, we were travelling. From Roswell, New Mexico we went to Chama, New Mexico. It is a charming area with mountains, steam trains, and WOOL.Our main purpose for visiting was the steam train that goes from Chama to Antonito or the other way around, depending on where you catch it. If I can ever figure out where my computer stored my videos, I will bore you with videos of steam train.....big black engines with smoke pouring out of the stack. 

 We stayed in a lovey though rather rustic campground that was advertised in the brochure as having a place where you can see the steam train every day, perfect. Our neighbors were so nice. They are there every year from May til Oct. so they know every neat place to visit. Plus she is a wannabe spinner. The weather cooperated. It was very cool at night and in the 70's during the day. 

We did the train thing, rode to Cumbres Pass on their first ever Sunday excursion train. We had a lovely catered picnic up in the mountains and came back.We rode in the parlor car with its chandeliers and tin roof.we had our own "back porch" so that we could go outside and crane our necks around and see the front of the train....too cool for words.

Our neighbor wanted to make sure I got to do something I would enjoy, so she told us about Tierra Wool in a small town not 30 miles away. This started a s a way of “empowering rural people to create sustainable economies by building on cultural and agricultural resources"( taken straight off their website.) Their goal is to use the sheep that are raised in the area, local organic dyes , local spinners and weavers to make a sale-able product. 
I have always stayed away from weaving, my schedule does not allow for another craft project.But the natural dyeing process was quite interesting. And the Rio Grande Spinning wheel was something I would like to investigate further.

We found this interesting old building on the first I thought this was Tierra Wools...OH NO!But no.
 No money is wasted to pretty-fy the place.

 Those big blue vats stink to high heaven. I forgot what what she said was in them, some sort of organic dye. I could not concentrate due to the smell....gag.

 These blue ones were dyed with indigo, a plant native to South Carolina.
  The dye for the red and orange wool is made from a beetle.

The brown yarn above was all done in the same vat. The darker wool is the first run, then each run makes a lighter color. Makes sense when you think about it. 

Each day the big excitement at the campground is the train leaving for Antonito and in the evening the train returning from Antonito. Plus the  deer come to visit every evening. 

I loved this place and hope to return someday and take classes at Tierra Wool, maybe even learn to weave.

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