Storey’s digital features editor takes in a fiber festival in the mountains of the southwest.

As the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival kicks off this weekend, I thought I’d share some photos from a recent visit to another fall fleece and fiber celebration far away from the fair grounds in Rhinebeck.

The Wool Festival at Taos, New Mexico, held annually during the first weekend of October, is considerably smaller in scale than Rhinebeck, but the Southwest has its own rich fiber arts story to tell, and it’s hard to beat stand after stand of Navajo-Churro roving, Colorado yak, Navajo weaving demonstrations, and countless other tantalizing offerings for the spinners, knitters, crocheters, and weavers.

With a gorgeous backdrop of the mountains (the festival takes place in Kit Carson Park) and free admission, it’s well worth the visit.

Taos Wool Festival entry

It’s a modest sign at the entry to the park.

Woven blankets at the Taos Wool Festival

There were beautiful wovens everywhere.

Handspun Navajo wool

Toadlena Trading Post had handspun Navajo wool.

Weaving on Navajo loom

Weaving as a political and cultural statement: I’d love to see her finished product.

Colorado Yak Fleece Raw

There was plenty of yak to be had.

Angora rabbit at Taos Wool Festival

There were angora rabbits for sale, of course.

Navajo Churro roving

Ample amounts of Navajo-Churro roving, ready for spinning; I’d heard of these sheep, thanks to An Introduction to Heritage Breeds.

Navajo spindles

Hand-crafted Navajo spindles

Elsa Wool bags

The Elsawool tent was filled with clothes, accessories, and skeins of yarn made entirely from purebred Cormo sheep. I came away with only a few skeins of worsted fingering weight (such restraint!).

A tender moment between alpacas

A tender moment between alpacas

Emily Spiegelman

Emily is the editorial production manager at Storey. Though she has deep New England roots, she currently makes her home on a regenerative bison ranch… See Bio

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