I just found the most wonderful FREE guidebook at my local yarn store: the guide to New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails.
It covers over 200 local fiber artists and 71 different destinations, organized by region. You can visit artists who weave, spin, make rugs, dye fibers, run fiber farms, galleries, "trading posts" and fiber studios, many offering classes.
How cool! And, I repeat, it's free!
Frugal Tip: You can get your own free copy, immediately! Visit http://nmfiberarts.org to download it.
Or you can request a copy through the website to be delivered by mail. If you're not in a hurry, that's your best bet, because the booklet is beautifully photographed and printed.
Or, get it the old fashioned way: call or write New Mexico Arts, P. O. Box 1450, Santa Fe, NM 87504, 800-879-4278 or (in-state) 505-827-6490.
There are several destinations right here in the East Mountains area, including my local Edgewood yarn store (Good Fibrations) and my neighbor Connie's Shooting Star Farm.
In addition to her alpacas, llamas, angora goats and rabbits, and of course Itty Bitty the donkey, Connie raises Navajo Churro sheep, a heritage breed that was teetering on the brink of extinction ... and is still designated as a "rare breed".
You can read a fascinating account of how Navajo lives and philosophy intertwined with those of these special sheep at Sheep Is Life (Dibe - Dine bi' iina).
All of the artists listed on the Fiber Arts Trails applied to the New Mexico Arts organization to be included in the Trail guide, so you can be sure that they really do welcome visitors. Connie says she's already had visitors from Michigan, Kansas and Wyoming!
However, the booklet recommends that you confirm visiting hours and such before you go. Also bear in mind that sometime this year or next, New Mexico will get its second area code (woohoo!), and some of the telephone numbers listed in the Guide will no longer be area code 505.