CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Road Trip!

Experiencing 24 states, 5 national parks, 9000 miles, 4 weeks and 2 life cycle events was the motivation for this trip.  Before I begin, thank you to my husband for his patience as without it, I would not have been able to make all these fiber/textile stops on our trip.  I have added other information about the areas as my husband wanted to make sure you know there are other things to do besides fiber and textiles.  Here are some of the trip highlights.  Check out the listed websites for more information.

Grand Canyon: Hopi House has beautiful native American handicrafts for sale.  They also has demonstrations of Native American dances and storytelling.  I loved the weavings in the shop. As a new weaver, I appreciated the sign that listed the number of hours that went into completing each task to create the hand dyed and hand-woven rugs.  Take time to see the sunrise and sunset over the canyon.

Grand Canyon at Sunrise

Grand Canyon at Sunrise

Sedona, AZ: Art Center. The art center gallery had some beautiful and very creative quilts on display and for sale.  The center offers classes but it was disappointing that no fiber classes were offered. The Red Rock formations are artistically inspirational.

Santa Fe, NM: Weaving Gallery 124-1/2 Calisteo St. www.sfweaving.com
A great shop that sells the fiber art of small studio artists from around the world.  The art will awe and inspire!  While there, stop at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and numerous art galleries. many of which have fiber art of rsale. Food:Sushiland EAST, Japanese Food, 60 E. San Francisco St…….Japanese food with a southwest flare.

Chimayo, NM: Centinela Tradional Arts, and Rio Grande Textiles;http://www.chimayoweavers.com

This is the studio and shop of award winning weavers Lisa and Irvin Trujillo.  Both my husband and I enjoyed talking with Lisa and Irvin and learning about their life and their weaving process.  The shop displays their work as well as the work of many other weavers.  They sell both traditional rugs and spectacular art rugs.  They accept commissions.

New Mexico has a fiber arts trail. Look online www.nmfiberarts.org   I wish I had more time to explore this…another road trip in the future.

Gatlinburg, Tennesee: Smoky Mountain Spinnery 466 Brookside Village Way, www.smokymountainspinnery.com  This was by far one of the best fiber stores that I have ever been to!  They have spinning, weaving , knitting supplies and studio space for individual and group classes.  The owner, Nancy Thompson and her staff, are more than happy to email photos to help with out of town purchases.  The store sells all natural fibers, looms….even geometrically shaped looms, felting equipment, rug hooking supplies and tools from around the world.  In addition, they sell artistic weavings of 5th generation Applaichian Mountain weaver, Frances Fox, and several other artists’ creations.  There is a rocking chair for the spouses. While in town, stop at Great Smokey Mountain National Park, eat at the Old Mill restaurant in Pigeon Forge, TN.  Also check out the Arrowmont school of Arts and Crafts, 556 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN. www.arrowmont.org There are numerous fiber art classes. This area is a great vacation spot!  Rent a cabin in the mountains, take a class, taste moonshine and explore the Smoky Mountain National Park, there is something for everyone in the family.  There are lots of crowds as this area is a major tourist destination especially with Dollywood near by.

Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Mystic, CT: Quaint New England nautical town on the Mystic River which flows into the Long Island Sound.  Tucked away in a corner is Mystic River Yarns www.mysticriveryarns.com .  A cozy New England yarn store with a variety of knitting supplies, including hand dyed local yarn.  Just being in this area and knowing that winter will come, will inspire you to start a new project.

Duluth, MN: Yarn Harbor 4629 E Superior St. www.yarnharborduluth.com.  This shop is located on the head of beautiful Lake Superior.  It has a wide variety of yarns that are milled, dyed or spun from the area.  The shop sells wonderful sheep greeting cards from www.knitbaahpurl.com Check out the website.  The staff are friendly and helpful.  We were there on the warmest day in 9 months with a high temp. of 57 and a bone chilling mild wind (for a Californian) from the lake effect.  The locals were the happiest people we met.  This is also the hometown of Bob Dylan.  As we drove over the bridge into the city, Pandora played “The Times They Are a Changing”.

Chamberlain, SD: The Quilt Shop 315 N. Main St. www.southdakotaquiltshop.com

If you ever have driven on I-90, you cannot miss the signs for this quilt shop.  I know this is not a knitting or weaving store but this is not to be missed.  Owner Sonya Kroupa told me this shop was started over a conversation and an ice cream cone, which led to purchasing a vacant lot, moving a house and opening a quilt shop with no knowledge of quilting.  There are rooms filled with fabric, kits and everything needed for sewing.  As you enter the shop, the first room is filled with native American art, a wall of beads and the sales counter, is the kitchen.  Great selection of fabric and beads.  Equally great story of how the shop came about.  You leave feeling like anything is possible.

Jackson, WY: Knit on Pearl 145 West Gill Ave. www.knitonpearl.com  What a wonderful name as the original shop was on Pearl St.  This is a great little knitting store in scenic Jackson. There are some locally dyed yarns and knitting supplies. While there be sure to spend time at the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

This concludes the road trip.  Unfortunately, I was not able to stop at shops in upstate NY.  I know there are many.  That will be another trip.  By far the best part of this aspect of the trip was meeting the locals and hearing their stories.  We have such a diverse country of people, food, landscape and fiber arts and textiles.

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