Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mountain Colors Yarn

It's Thursday, and I'm back at home now.  I spent the night in DC due to poor weather and subsequent flight cancellations.  Yuck...  I would love to visit DC when I've PLANNED to, but not as a beleaguered traveller in a monsoon. 

The Sign at the Highway

 I promised photos of Mountain Colors Yarn dyeworks, so here they are. 
This is the sign out front that made me jump for joy (thank heavens I was the passenger and not the driver!)

We (Lisa, the BFF, and I) went in and were greeted by Diana McKay herself.  Diana and her friend, Leslie Taylor, started the dyeworks 19 years ago in their kitchens, and have owned the company ever since.  They were just back from the big TNNA conference, and even so, Diana was very generous with her time and materials to help us understand the company and products better.
Copper Mountain Colorway in 4/8's Wool
There is a wide variety of yarns available, including everything from lace weight to bulky to novelty, and most yarns are available in most colorways.  Each and every colorway contains nine different colors, making them unique and distinctive.  Although they didn't say so, they don't appear to use any colors they can't see out of their windows overlooking the Bitterroot Valley.  The valley has a distinctly Northwest palette of stone, river, grasses, buffalo, cattle, wildflowers, snow, and sky.  You'll find all of these tones in their yarns.

The current dye kitchen

Diana gave us a full tour, and this is the dye kitchen.  She explained that when they started the company, they both had small children at home, and needed to have a "family first" focus.  They have maintained this policy to this day, and many of their employees work from home.  "Nobody has to miss a soccer game or school play because of their job," she explained.  "We have a very low employee turnover.  People are happy here."

I can see why.  The few employees we met were cheerful, polite, and working steadily but not anxiously, in spite of the obvious work of re-stocking and bookkeeping after TNNA. 

Here in Buffalo, there isn't nearly enough of this yarn available.   It offers a unique style of variegation, and a great opportunity to add a new layer to colorwork.  I mentioned to Diana that I'd like to encourage local LYSs to carry the full line, and she generously loaded me up with a variety of yarns in a rich array of colorways.  I purchased yarn for a few projects of my own, and later today I'll be talking to some shops and advocating for more.

Visit their website, Mountain Colors Yarn for more info and to see the beautiful yarns.  They also offer a wide array of patterns.  If you can't get the yarns locally, try Paradise Fibers.  They carry the whole line, including the new and delicious Jeannette, a cashmere and silk blend. 

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