Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mora Valley Spinning Mill

I finally found someone to go to the Mora Valley Spinning Mill with me. This is, according to them, the only working mill in New Mexico at the moment. It used to be Tapetes de Lana. Their mission is to create jobs for the small community of Mora which is a beautiful town in the valles above Las Vegas, NM. So far they have been quite successful. DY agreed to make the trip up there with me in search of some good churro. Obviously I don't currently use churro in my work, but DY needs plenty of it and Mora provided. I have some hope of eventually being able to get some good tapestry yarn from them. Locally sourced wool spun by local people would be wonderful.

As you may remember from THIS POST about the Harrisville spinning mill, I am fascinated with mills. This one is practically in my back yard and until Wednesday I had never been there.

Our tour started in the store where they have some beautiful hand-dyed yarn. There was an old theater in the building that they were working on renovating and a community room that is the meeting place for the people of Mora.

The mill is definitely a mill! It is smaller than Harrisville, but some of the equipment seemed familiar. I asked the boss Joshua how he fixed the machines when they break. He just pointed to Jimmy, the genius mechanic. Mostly they can't get parts so they just make something and keep on going. That is the spirit of New Mexico all the way.

Here is the back end of their carding machine which wasn't running when we were there.

Loops of roving going into the spinner.

The all important guy who knows how to create the yarn the client wants. They will do a special mill run for you with only 20 pounds of fleece.





They have a new churro yarn. It is a thin single and well-spun. They only carry it in natural right now, but I suspect they'll be dyeing it soon. I bought a pound and hope to try dyeing it myself soon.


 
That sign to the right of the door turned out to be true. If you go to the mill to buy their yarn, you get 40% off. That was one great yarn run.

The Mexican place right down the street has good tacos if you go. And it was snowing as we left (April 30th!) and they had a roaring fire both in the mill's art gallery and in the restaurant.

If you need an inexpensive loom that needs some love but would be perfectly serviceable, the mill has a whole room of old looms, most seemed to be counterbalance, that they need to get rid of to make room for new enterprises. I'm sure they'd love for you to take one off their hands.

It was a great day out in rural New Mexico. We drove home over the Sangre de Cristos in the snow through Penasco and left a prayer at Santuario de Chimayo before heading back to Santa Fe. But that is a New Mexico story for another day.
Links for this post
Mora Valley Spinning Mill: http://moravalleyspinningmill.com/ 
Santuario de Chimayo: http://www.elsantuariodechimayo.us/

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12 comments:

  1. I hope to visit the mill someday. Thank you for introducing it to us. Up untell now, Churro is the only weft I've used in my tapestries. I'm still very new to this so I'm always looking for places to buy Churro, especially the finer wt. Churro. That seems to be very hard to find. It sounds like the fine wt. may be more lace wt. than finger wt. and I would hope that would allow for combining more strands at maybe 8 epi. Do you know if they have samples to sell? Thanks, Michele

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    1. I don't have any of this churro to sell, but if you contact a woman named Karen Vigil at the mill, I am sure she can send some right out! The website for the mill is http://moravalleyspinningmill.com/

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    2. Thank you Rebecca. I'll do that.

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    3. Hey Michele, I just realized you asked if THEY sell samples. :) Sorry about that. I read it if I sell samples. Silly me. I would certainly bet they would sell you a sample lot. I paid $29 for the pound with the 40% discount. I don't know if they give that over the phone or not.

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    4. i figured you had a lot going on with your great on line class (I'm in that for the long run) and all so I just ignored it. That's an extremely good price for lace wt. Churro. Of course, you bought white so you could dye it. I'm not there yet. Maybe in time. Anyway, I will definitely check with them about sample yarns. Thanks agin. See you in class. :))

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  2. I really enjoyed this, and would love to follow in your foot steps some day in a tour of really neat places like this in NM

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  3. I get all of my Lincoln yarn there for my runners and have used their churro quite a bit in my weaving as well. I have been a member since I discovered them when we first went to Taos and discovered Weaving Southwest in their old location. When we were there in December I was able to score a delightful color selection in churro and made my first churro warp that is on the loom now using the weft bought that day for a custom piece. I had great luck with tapestry with that churro. I love supporting and being a member of the co-op. The drive to Victory Alpaca is just about 1/2 mile and do they ever have some friendly folks and friendly alpacas! A great day trip!

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  4. the 40% discount applies to online orders as well! :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing your interesting mill visit, Rebecca. Like Dianne, I hope I'll tour the mill someday.

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  6. Thanks for taking us along. Another reason to visit NM.

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  7. We are alpaca ranchers on the eastern plains of New Mexico for the past 15 years. I enjoyed reading about your trip to the mill. We plan to deliver this year's cutting up for processing in a couple weeks. That way I'll have yarn to sell at the fall craft shows. Don't you just love " The New Mexico Way" of doing things? We will be delivering a Great Pyranees puppy to a farm in Pecos we are bartering for a new young billy goat for our goat herd. Life is good.

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    1. Sounds like New Mexico to me! It looked like they were doing an amazing job with the alpaca they were spinning when I was there. I hope yours is gorgeous. Will you be at Taos Wool Festival?

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