So when Suzanne took me to Market in January, I met all sorts of great folks. Not that it's a contest or anything, but I'm going to have to say that most memorable of all were Gina and Austin Wilde, who own Alchemy Yarns of Transformation. I'm a Jersey girl by birth, and even though I've been here in Austin for going on twenty years, I still have some of that... well let's just say some people think I'm a little straightforward. Likewise, Gina is not shy about saying what's on her mind, and I'll tell ya, this drew me to her instantly. And this was even before I checked out her yarns.
The night after we met, I went by the Alchemy booth, which itself was a stunning work of design genius. Then I started laying my hands upon the skeins, and feasting my eyes on the colors, and I wanted to dance and scream and weep and faint. You know, my version of being at a Beatles concert. Despite my alleged (self-proclaimed) genius with words, this is one of those cases where words cannot do justice to product. I mean you have GOT to get down to the store and check out the batch of Alchemy that just came in. I was down there admiring earlier today and it reminded me of looking at the dessert tray at some five star restaurant in France. The colors are beyond exquisite and the tactile thrill I experienced when I dared touch it was... well let's just say if I didn't have fifteen projects on the needles right now, and the need to make some baby booties and a baby hat by next Wednesday, I would be over here right this instant making something-- anything-- from Alchemy. (Once I get those baby things out of the way, I think I'm setting aside all else and I'm going to do just that.)
A little bit about Alchemy... so, you know about the Slow Food Movement? It's about taking your time with food, eating local, making an effort to know your ingredients and put together meals that don't involve packaged foods. Think of Alchemy as the Slow Yarn Movement. Gina and Austin live on a farm in Sonoma County in Northern California. There, in the studio, the use old school techniques to hand paint premium fibers that they get from around the world. Color inspiration comes from nature. And as for process-- they take no shortcuts. Once the yarn is painted, it is steamed over an open fire, then hung up to dry. They don't hasten this part of the process with chemicals or dryers.
And if that's not impressive enough for you, Alchemy also adheres to strict policies honoring social consciousness. So when you use their yarn, you can be certain you're getting stuff that made it from sheep to store without any animals or humans suffering along the way. (I'm getting so excited sharing all this that I think as soon as I put up this post I'm going to email them and ask them for a job.) You can read more about the Alchemy story at their website. But first, better go get some before it sells out. I ask only that you leave a little for me.