Sunday, August 8, 2010

Snacks, Ice and Wool: A Road Trip Find

Villa Grove Trade is my kind of general store. I knew as soon as I stepped inside and saw a big bag of Karakul roving, along with the softdrinks, snacks and ice one expects at a roadside store out in the country. I won’t use the cliché “middle of nowhere” because Villa Grove Trade is definitely somewhere. It is in the hamlet of Villa Grove, Colorado, in the San Luis Valley and the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Beautiful country.

I spied the store on our way to a hike in said mountains as we sped down Highway 285. We’d been camped near Poncha Springs and we were looking forward to a nice hike through pinyon juniper woodlands up to a spring. It was an enjoyable outing, complete with a packed lunch. On our way back to our camp, we stopped at Villa Grove Trade.

Besides having roving, they sold lovely jewelry, and art objects along with the chips, soft drinks and icecream one associates with little stores. The best was in the back—a restaurant complete with homemade pies! We bought a couple of slices of their apple pie and it was delicious. The buffalo chili smelled good too, but we’d already had lunch. The restaurant also offers live music and dinner specials on the second and fourth Sunday of each month and you can learn about this at their website They also rent western style rooms and we are thinking of checking in the next time we pass through.

I had a nice chat with Amber Shook, a spinner and weaver, who owns the business with husband Jeff. The roving I purchased come from her own Karakul/Rambouillet sheep, which are naturally raised nearby. At first I was just going to buy a little, but you know how it is! My eye caught site of firt the light brown and then the lovely gray shown above. Despite all my stash busting resolutions, I couldn’t resist. I hope to be spinning it soon.

Karakul is a primitive breed with a double coat with kemp blended in with the finer fiber. When I purchased two pounds of grey roving and about a half pound of the light brown, I was kind of thinking of a sweater, but now I’m thinking weaving. I have some chocolate brown Navajo Churro in my stash and that would be a great complimentary color with the other shades. I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m really glad I found this fiber. Once I clear out my current projects, I’ll be spinning it.

Unfortunately, I took no pictures of this cool little restored Western store, but my husband did buy the T-shirt, which is what I’m using to give you an idea of what it looks like. It is a nice place and definitely worth a stop for lunch and a little shopping if you are vacationing that way. They also have espresso, if you just need a perk up on your road trip.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please stop by again. You can also visit my website for tips and ideas on all things fiber related. I keep a collection of things found here on my blog.


  1. That store sounds amazing! I love when you find places like that, it always happens when you least expect it. Envy = me :P.

    Oh! By the way - how did you tour du fleece end up?

  2. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with the Karakul. I have some that a friend gave me. I do not know what I want to do with it. I still need to comb, dehair, and spin it. So I will be watching.

  3. The store was a lot of fun and the fiber was amazing! I am looking forward to spinning it. I'm still bogged down with finishing the two projects I started in the Tour de Fleece though--once I'm done (and I've almost finished a third 8 ounce skein) it is on to the Karakul!

  4. What a great find that store was! I agree with Liz that places like that happen when you least expect it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Rose - Looks like a great store. Neat picture too!!!