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We are delighted to welcome Cyndi Lee to MDK as a contributor. Founder of a yoga center in New York, and a lay Buddhist chaplain, Cyndi now teaches yoga and meditation, and is the author of several books about yoga.  A recent transplant to New Mexico, Cyndi recently taught in Taos. We were eager to virtually tag along on her weekend, with our knitting in tow. Join us! 

—Kay and Ann


A couple years ago, when I mentioned to a friend that I was moving to Santa Fe, there was an awkward silence. Then she said, “Did you know I used to live in Taos? It’s kinda  . . . rough.”

My friend is right; Taos is not a buttoned-up place. The roads are dirt, and living off the grid is not unusual. Taos is full of skiers in the winter, hikers in the summer, and artists, makers and writers all year round. I recently visited Taos for a yoga workshop.

My companions and I stayed at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, which was built by Tony Luhan, Mabel’s husband, in 1920. Now a bed and breakfast, each unique room has a kiva fireplace, and many rooms have a view of the wild pueblo land watched over by Taos Mountain. The house is adobe, as is every other building in Taos, including the Starbucks, the Albertson’s and the McDonald’s.

With the help of trains, cars and horses, Mabel abandoned her society life in New York City and moved to Taos in 1918. She persuaded friends to visit, including Frieda and D.H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keefe, Willa Cather, Emma Goldman and John Reed—remember the movie, Reds?—with whom she had an affair until he went to Russia.

The second floor bathroom’s windows were hand-painted by D.H. Lawrence, who found the bare windows too revealing when standing up in the tub. Who knew he was so modest?

In the morning, we walked past Georgia O’Keefe’s Pink House, and into Taos Plaza, the center of this town of nearly 6000.

Browsing and Shopping

At 124 Bent Street, near Taos Plaza, is possibly my favorite store in the world, Common Thread Textiles. The colors and textures found here are exquisite: khadi, indigo, sari fabric, and African mud cloth.

The store owner designs richly colored, artisanal fabrics woven in Central America.

Nearby, just off Taos Plaza, is Mooncat Fiber. The owner, Cathy Book, who made the store’s sign, mainly stocks local hand-dyed and handspun yarns. Some of the local handspun comes with a label listing the names of the animals who contributed to each skein.

Cathy also specializes in super soft bison and buffalo yarns, harvested from the fur of the animal’s underbelly.

This yarn is so warm that Cathy told me she wears her own handmade bison sweater when she goes fly fishing.

We also popped into Vortex Yarns to browse the lovely yarns and visit their resident knitted skeleton.

Brodsky Bookshop has been a beloved fixture in Taos for 40 years. Although ownership of the shop has changed, the employee of the month maintains consistency.

The current owner is Rick, who will help you can find LPs, comic books, art, travel and fashion books, and everything written by local authors. I picked up Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather, which is set in New Mexico.

Eats and Drinks

It’s hard to get out of Brodsky Bookshop in under an hour. But we were flagging, due in part to the high altitude that requires constant hydration.

Cappuccino also seemed a good idea so we headed off to a local roastery. We asked for directions to The Coffee Apothecary and got: “Head south until you see a red truck with a coffee sign.”

Once you’ve gotten jazzed up on delicious coffee, you can go next door to Gearing Up and rent a bike. If you don’t mind some bumps, riding on the side roads will let you get even more intimate with the every day textures of Taos.

Picturesque fields with trucks abound.

We had a delicious (and large) lunch at the famous New Mexican restaurant, La Cueva.

For dinner, we headed off to The Love Apple.

It’s a romantic farm-to-table restaurant.

Ruby red trout, shishito peppers, sauteed turnips, superior guacamole or a mole tamale, plus a crisp white wine—a perfect New Mexico dinner. That’s my merry band of yoga teachers in the mirror.


Taos Pueblo: A World Heritage Site

Near Taos is a site of living history, Taos Pueblo, where the Taos Indians have lived for generations. Be sure to check out this link for an introduction to this historic village. For extraordinary images and videos, see the Taos Pueblo blog.  I highly recommend a tour with a Taos Pueblo guide.

Bound for Santa Fe

It’s good to plan your departure from Taos so that you don’t have to drive in the dark on the narrow, winding canyon roads.

Fortunately, we made it to the half-way point in time to do a quick visit to the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center before they closed for the day. EVFAC is a member-based educational organization that has classes in everything fiber: natural dyeing, spinning, weaving and learning the traditional colonial Spanish style of embroidery called colcha, which means “bedcovers.”

One of the best offerings from EVFAC is their “Walk In and Weave” program, which allows a curious crafter to pop in for a few hours and learn to weave on any kind of loom, from cricket table looms to large floor looms.

There is so much more to do see, learn, and visit in Taos. I’m ready for another experience of the rugged beauty of this place.


About A Knitter’s Weekend
Each piece in our series A Knitter’s Weekend is written by a knitter with local knowledge and a personal point of view. If you have additional places or information you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it—please leave a comment. And if you have plans to visit Taos, be sure to save this article in your MDK account.

About The Author

Cyndi Lee is the first female Western yoga teacher to fully integrate yoga asana and Tibetan Buddhism in her practice and teaching.  Founder of New York’s OM Yoga Center (1998-2012), which drew practitioners and teachers from around the world, and a lay Buddhist chaplain, Cyndi now teaches yoga and meditation internationally.

Cyndi learned to sew, embroider, crochet and knit from her mom, yet still mostly knits rectangles and sews prayer flags.  Cyndi has taught yoga and knitting retreats, and is a regular contributor to Real Simple, Yoga Journal and Lion’s Roar.  She is the author of five books including May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga, and Changing My Mind OM Yoga: A Guide to Daily Practice, and Yoga Body, Buddha Mind.



  • The Taos Wool Festival is the first weekend in October and now that I am retired, we got to go last fall. There was fiber and yarn, demonstrations and contests (among them were blindfolded knitting and spinning!), and food and music, in beautiful Kit Carson Park. We already have reservations to go earlier in the week next year so I can take a class or two. Love Taos!!

    • I’m SO glad to hear that someone else finds it to be so wonderful !

    • I hope the blindfolded knitting works out a little better than when I fall asleep while knitting a row or two. I know it happens to others—Ann mentioned it in a recent post.

  • Many thanks for a great article! As a yogini, I’ve followed Cyndi for years. Taos is on my bucket list. Nice to learn about the fiber stores and local sites. (The skeleton at Vortex must be still working to get through her stash.) Are there yoga studios or annual fiber getaways that include knitting and yoga? Combining knitting and yoga is the ultimate zen experience!

    • Hello Barbara! The retreat that I led last year and which will happen again this coming October in Taos is a yoga retreat but most all of us are also knitters so we knit around the kiva fireplace every night with wine. Soooo good.

  • SO beautiful! Let’s all make a plan to meet at the wool festival this year! And so happy to see Cyndi here; what a fabulous addition to MDK <3

  • Taos is one of my favorite places in the US. I taught myself to knit after visiting the late, lamented La Lana Wools in the early 90’s and wishing I knew how to use this wonderful palette. I finally got to go back about 10 years ago, just before the shop closed. SO happy to see that the wonderful textile tradition continues to flourish there.

  • I’m a newly transplanted New Mexican, living south of Santa Fe. Can’t wait to get to Taos to really explore like this!! Drove by the Espanola Fiber center recently, but it was closed…Thanks for all the great tips!! (I’lll look for your yoga retreat too!)

  • What no picture of Willie? I’m extremely disappointed…

  • I live in Espanola, but like most folks, we never really see our own state. My path has run pretty much between here and Chama ( not on the same path that leads to Taos). I get inspiration from the red rocks around Ghost Ranch and the beautiful mountains between Chama and Antonito, CO. But this article has made me add Taos to my future wanderings. Thank you!

  • One of my favorite destinations. Thanks for the return visit!

  • Wonderful post! I’ve never been to the Southwest and now feel Taos needs to be on my bucket list. Thank you, hope you write more for MDK!

  • Loved the the article!
    I you are going to the Taos Wool Festival be sure to check and see if the feast day at Taos Pueblo is the same weekend. San Geronimo Day with a
    special vespers mass the night before at the Pueblo.
    Another great place after all the sightseeing is Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, about 30 miles across the Rio Grande Gorge( another site to see)
    where you can soak you ur cares away in several different types of spring water, get a massage or have a gourmet, organic meal. A no miss trip!

  • Sitting in snowy Canada at the moment, I really enjoyed this interlude.

  • Great article! Would love to visit….

  • I love this post! I’ve been fascinated by New Mexico for years now, but have never managed a visit, though the Taos Wool Festival is at the top of my list. The bookstore sounds wonderful, too. Two tiny points, both bookstore-specific: 1) I would also have liked to see a photo of Willie the cat. 2) The Cather book is Death Comes FOR the Archbishop, not to the Archbishop.

    • Hi Laura, Thanks for the correction. Unfortunately, Willie was not posing for pictures on the day I was visiting the bookstore.

    • Laura,

      Thanks for the correction. As a daughter of Nebraska (Willa Cather’s home state for part of her life), I’m ashamed.

      And here is a picture of the dutiful Willie on the Brodsky Bookshop Facebook page:

  • I enjoy Taos. I like it much better in the summer and found it quite stark in the winter and many shops were closed.

    • Late winter to early spring is great! Low hotel rates, almost no tourists, gallery owners making you a deal – highly recommended. Great to hear there are two new fiber shops. I shopped at La Lana’s just before it closed as well (someone else mentioned this). It had seemed such a permanent part of the town that I was shocked to hear it had closed.

  • What a wonderful article about one of my favorite places! And I can’t read an article about fiber in Taos without remembering Luisa Gelenter of LaLana Wools. Her store was a long-time fixture in town, and she in many ways pioneered the current small-batch dyers and spinners we take for granted now. We all owe her a debt of gratitude.

    • Same here, Charlotte. Remembering Luisa. I think of her whenever I see plant-dyed yarns.

      • Add me to the list of people who love and miss La Lana and Luisa–she was a true visionary and I do believe the knitting community will always owe her a debt of gratitude. I live on the east coast but would stock up on her yarn during every trip to Taos–we go about every other year. I still have a little bit left in my stash. I can’t bear the thought of using it up. There is nothing else like it.

  • Wonderful visit ! Having pangs of wanting to be there NOW! I love Taos. Cyndi hit so many of my favorite stops.
    I’d add a side trip around the mountain ( not too far) to Victory Ranch in Mora NM, a beautiful large alpaca ranch that welcomes visitors and has a shop selling their delicious yarn and alpaca-y wares.

    • Thank you! I will definitely make a visit to Victory Ranch in the next few months!

  • Taos is my favorite get away in the world ! And the photos don’t begin to show the beauty of this treasure

  • Love these Knitter’s Weekend essays and particularly enjoyed this one, probably because of all the gorgeous Southwest colors in the photos. But then I’m the type of person who bets on a football team because of its team colors:).

  • Wonderful post! This gives me a few ideas when we visit in June. The photo of the natural dyed yarn samples is fabulous. Where was that taken? The Taos Wool Festival sounds great too. I will have to add it to my bucket list and hope I can attend some yoga classs too. Thank youfo sharing!

    • Hi Wendy, Thanks! The naturally dyed yarns are from the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center. It’s about halfway between Taos and Santa Fe. The bright yarn on the looms is also from EVFAC. It is very fun and inspiring to visit there. Cyndi

  • You must return for the Taos Wool Festval, which takes place the first weekend in October. Yarn, roving (processed wool, buffalo, sheep, goat, rabbit, alpaca that can be spun into yarn), classes, and much more. Worth the trip… I go from Kentucky each year. Good places to stay within walking distance of the festival.

  • What a sweet review of my home, Taos. Next time you are in Taos check out Tres Estrellas Gallery. Chris Ferguson, the owner, has an amazing selection of vintage and contemporary textiles as well as being one of the best resources for historical knowledge about the region (knowledge that ranges from textile lore to historical facts). There is also a reproduction colonial loom on site that the co-owner, Carla, weaves serapes on. And don’t forget the Harwood Museum! It’s a small museum so it only takes an hour to visit. It puts into perspective all the artist traditions that make up Taos from the colonial traditions to the present. The Agnes Martin room is a must for students of the Buddhist traditions (in my humble opinion).

  • The first time that I went to Santa Fe I was 13 years old & I’m now 68. I thought then that I was in another country and it was love @ first site. My father had a friend of a friend who invited us into his adobe home which was remarkable & I remember the skin of a rattle snake that he displayed on a wall. I own a cuff bracelet that I purchased over 20 years ago in the outdoor market and I remove it to clean it only as it is a constant reminder of the beauty of the land. It is a simple, heavy thick band of silver with three deep lines engraved on it with the name of the artist engraved on the inside. It is simply elegant. And Taos has a fiber festival each Fall that is a go to event. The trip to the grave of D.H.Lawrence is a must and it will make you laugh out loud if you read the story that is by his marker.

  • I love Taos ! Taking my spinning wheel to the park where we all sit outside and spin , or knit ! Always a fun time to meet up with fiber friends! Dinner reservations at The Love Apple! Yay

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