Friday, February 22, 2008


I love yarn. All yarn. Deep inside, I never get tired of meeting with reps and going to shows and touching all that lovely yarn.

But - though I risk offending other yarn reps by saying it - one yarn line is clearly the loveliest of them all. It is pure knitting nirvana. It is Alchemy Yarns of Transformation.

No other line can really touch their luscious handpainted goodness, whether it be the purity of 100% Silk Purse:

The equally pure, yet fascinatingly textured Silken Straw:

Or the ethereal silk-and-mohair Haiku:

Until now, frankly, the only thing holding Alchemy back was their pattern photography. The "backyard shots," as Gina-of-Alchemy referred to them, simply did not live up to the quality of the yarn and the sheer brilliance of their designs, which regularly wowed us as the clear standouts at the trade shows. But now, Alchemy is poised for true greatness upon the release of their first book, "Destination Alchemy," in which they feature all of their best-selling patterns, with shiny new photography and a charming storyline.

The designs make the most of the yarns, are eminently wearable, and best of all, many are made with just a skein or two of this precious stuff which, admittedly, is pricey - but oh so very worth it. The book uses just three yarns. The "Queen of Hearts" is in Silk Purse (5/6/7/8/9 skeins for finished chest sizes 32/36/40/44/48"):

So is "Naturalist" which calls for (5/5/5/6/7/7 skeins Silk Purse plus 2-4 skeins Haiku, for chest sizes 33/36/39/42/45/48):

Just one skein of Silk Purse gets you the Tres Tres Chic Kerchief:

The Slanted Eyelet scarf can be made from 1-2 skeins of Silk Purse, Migrations, or Bamboo, but my favorite is this version in Silken Straw:

The show-stopping Josephine Baker bag uses 4 skeins of Silken Straw:

Alchemy's Haiku is more than the usual mohair. The handpainting and yummy blend (40% silk, 60% mohair) take the softness and color to new dimensions. And the yardage is great. "Muse" takes just 5-6 skeins to fit chest sizes 32-44":

And the Enchanted Wrap takes just 2 skeins:

"Destination Alchemy" holds 20 designs in all. As a stockist for the book, Loops is part of a small group of stores that is carrying every color in every yarn used in the book, in addition to the already generous supply of Alchemy we had on hand. Of course, that quantity is fast depleting this week, since we have had the "Destination" trunk show on display. (It has to ship on to the next lucky store Monday, so be sure to visit on Saturday if you haven't seen them yet). But there is still a huge selection here in the Alchemy section of the Loops online store. So go ahead, pick something out in that perfect color. After all of that holiday gift knitting, you truly do deserve it :)

- Shelley
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to come in and see the Silken Straw colors. We saw the book at market and I've been dying to get my hands on a copy. Gina H.

February 25, 2008 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger loretta said...

I've touched many sweater samples in my life, but I have never had one melt in my hands the way the Teal Cable Cardigan in Silk Purse did. It was luscious! You're right--oh my!

February 26, 2008 at 5:35 AM  

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