Welcome to our second installment of Your Work, Our Yarns! A few weeks back a young woman named Heather came into the shop looking for some yarns for her mother-in-law, Sandy. Specifically, she needed the same yarns that Sandy had picked up a few weeks prior, to complete a project. Heather did not know the names of the yarns, so she decided to show me an image she had, on her phone, of Sandy’s work. I took her phone in my hand and adjusted my glasses and… “WOW! This is beautiful!”, slipped out of my mouth. On the screen was a gorgeous circular weaving… like something I had never seen before! I said to Heather, “This is a perfect example of why I am so curious of where our yarns go after they leave our shop! I would never have expected this!”.

Immediately, I thought Sandy’s work would be great for Your Work, Our Yarns… so, Heather put us in touch with each other. As it turned out (and I could already tell this from the photo), not all the yarns used were ours. In fact, only about 20% or less of each piece was made up of our yarns. So, I decided that maybe this wouldn’t be the best fit for the blog.

Then, a few days ago, Sandy followed up with an email about how she came to visit our shop in the first place (story below)…. and I decided to take another look at her website… and WOW! There they were, over 20 incredible circular weavings! I was sold. What an honor to have our yarns included in such unique and beautiful artwork. So, here it is… the second installment of Your Work, Our Yarns: Circular Weavings by Sandy Bot-Miller. Enjoy! And make sure to read to the end to see Sandy’s great review of our Churro yarns and our shop.

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Sandy Bot-Miller, Artist and Poet 

My weavings most often reflect abstract or abstract expressionistic attempts at capturing the energy from specific geographical landscapes, while others are semi-realistic narratives that arise from my inner landscapes.  I love weaving within the shape of a circle, as I resonate with Rainer Maria Rilke’s statement, “There is nothing so wise as a circle,” and feel very connected to several ancient spiritual traditions when weaving in the round.  I use a three inch metal tapestry needle and now a beautiful six inch wood tapestry needle purchased from Weaving Southwest (!) to weave within a circular gold metal frame.  My weavings usually utilize an enormous variety of wool, wool blends, cotton, silk and linen fibers.

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How I came to get Weaving Southwest Yarns
I visited Weaving Southwest in June of 2013 while traveling from Minnesota to Taos to celebrate my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding.  While the rest of my family were enjoying ice cream cones next door one warm afternoon, I spent about two hours drooling over the gorgeous array of hand-dyed color-tone variations gracing the shop’s walls. I entered the shop determined to “just look,” because I have such a large stash of yarn back home. I succeeded, but was not able to let go of thinking about several of the subtle earth-toned skeins.  Three days after the wedding we were in Albuquerque and about to head back to Minnesota with no plan of returning to Taos, as it would have been out of our way.  My obsession fantasizing about the beauty of the yarn won over, however, and thus we made our way back to Weaving Southwest just before closing time, and I returned to Minnesota with a lovely new wooden tapestry needle and six beautiful skeins of yarn.  I was thrilled to incorporate these wool fibers into new two weavings I created over the summer months.  I must add that after returning home, I still regretted not buying one more particular skein and was brave enough to ask my new daughter-in-law to visit Weaving Southwest the next time she visited her parents in Taos.  She did, and although this particular yarn was no longer available, I received a surprise gift in the mail–three new skeins of colors she thought I would enjoy working with—what a delightful daughter-in-law!

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4005_Bot-Miller_Taking_A_Peace_of_New_Mexico_Home

Taking a Peace of New Mexico Home with Me by Sandy Bot-Mller, Weaving 27” in diameter

TECHNIQUES: Tapestry weaving, a predominantly plain weave with dovetailing and interlocking.

YARNS: Large variety of yarns used including Weaving Southwest’s Medium-Weight Chrurro in Copper, Red Mesa, and Berries.

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4006_Bot-Miller_New_Mexico_Inspired_Weaving_

New Mexico Inspired Weaving by Sandy Bot-Miller, Circular Weaving 27” in diameter

TECHNIQUES: Tapestry weaving using predominantly plain weave with dovetailing and interlocking.

YARNS: Large variety of yarns used including Weaving Southwest’s Medium-Weight Chrurro in Red Mesa, Copper, Berries, Palimino and Sand, as well as Worsted Singles Peach and Lady Maderly by Lana Wools.

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Sandy’s Review of Weaving Southwest and Our Rio Grand Yarns

I love, love, love weaving with Weaving Southwest’s Rio-Grande’s hand-dyed medium Chrurro yarns. The subtle shifts in value within each color are a weaver’s delight. Consistently spun, the softness and yet strength of these fibers have won me over.

In addition to offering quality yarns, my time spent mulling over color choices was a very meditative experience.  The atmosphere in the shop is very hospitable and while help was given when I wanted it, I was allowed and even encouraged to walk outside with yarn to see them in outdoor as well as indoor light, so I could best make my color choices.

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Make sure to check out the rest of Sandy’s weavings and other artwork at:

www.sandybotmiller.com!

We hope you enjoyed this post!
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We would love to hear from you! What do you think of Sandy’s work? Have you used your Rio Grande Medium Weight Churro before and have a review you would like to share? What’s on your loom? Leave a message in the comment section to let us know what you think!

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2 comments on “Your Work, Our Yarn: Sandy Bot-Miller

  • I was so happy to see that Weaving Southwest had reopened that I drove up to see you on Labor Day Weekend. I love this newsletter…..Please send more!!!! Rachael would be so proud!

  • I would be very interested to see one of Sandy’s round weavings in progress. I am puzzled as to how one warps a round loom. I love her work on her website.

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