Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Knitting Ideas- Week 6

The holiday parties have begun and many of us need a little something to take to the hostess of the party.  Or perhaps you want something cute to add to that gift you are giving!  Check out these bottle toppers!  They are very quick to knit and make that bottle of wine, Irish cream, etc look festive.

You can knit plain hats and scarves from a few yards of worsted weight yarn...we used Twizzle and Monarch.  Or you can use a textured yarn like Moguls.  And of course adding a beard in Moguls to make a Santa topper is a fun touch too.  Here is the free pattern for these Wine Bottle Toppers and Santa Wine Bottle Toppers.

I recently made several of these Korknisse for gifts too.  The red one uses our Twizzle and the green one uses our 4/8's Wool. They take just a few minutes of time and are SO cute.

Enjoy the holiday celebrations and share a touch of knitted fun with your friends!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Knitting Ideas-Week 5

This week our Holiday knitting inspiration is all about cowls and loops.  Most folks have made MANY scarves and cowls but I thought I would share a few of my favorites.  These make perfect gifts and there is still plenty of time to make a few.

Mountain Colors has several free patterns in this category.  Our Missoula Mobius is knit with 1 skein of Monarch, a soft-spun, slightly thick and thin, SUPER soft wool yarn.  This project is knit flat then joined with a twist when sewn together.  If you prefer a straight loop then just don't put in the twist!!
Missoula Mobius

Our Easy Moguls Scarf has a similar construction but it is designed for 2 skeins of Moguls.  Knit with 2 skeins of the same colorway or alternate two complimentary colors in an easy stripe sequence.  Then wear flat or make into a loop that you let hang straight or twist around your neck for a snuggly warm accent.  These make fast-to-knit gifts!!!  I have 2 skeins on my table waiting for me to knit one of these scarves.
Easy Moguls Scarf
Easy Moguls Scarf....twisted around neck
If you search on Ravelry you will find MANY free cowl patterns.  I made the Super Easy Cowl for a gift this year. I used our 4/8's Wool.  I have also made the Crofter's Cowl in Mountain Colors River Twist yarn. It is really soft and nice.

On my knit-for-me-soon list there is the Metamorph cowl and the City Creek Cowl .  I think I will use Crazyfoot for the Metamorph and 4/8's Wool for the City Creek Cowl.  I also have the Spiral Cowl in my queue. It calls for a Dk weight yarn so I will use our Weavers Wool Quarters.  This 100% Wool yarn is perfect for many projects.  One of our dyers is making a pair of Selbuvotter mittens with this yarn.

So grab your needles and a skein or two of yarn and cast on!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Knitting Ideas-Week 4

One of my favorite gift ideas for this time of year is fingerless mittens.  I am knitting a pair of Fetching fingerless mitts in our Mountain Colors 4/8's Wool for a holiday exchange with my Fiber (knit, spin, weave, etc) Guild.  In past years I have knit at least 15 pairs of these for friends, family, gift exchanges, etc.  They are always well received and don't take very long to make!  I've used 4/8's, Twizzle and Mountain Goat...they all work great.

Another easy pattern is the Lacey Jeannette Wristers.  
Lacey Jeannette Wristers

They are knit with our Jeannette yarn (65% Cashmere/35% Silk).  Talk about a super soft pair of mitts....YUM.

Another fun possibility is the Sailor's Rib Fingerless Mitts.
Sailor's Rib Fingerless Mitts

I knit these in Mountain Colors Twizzle.  Note how the strand of silk in this yarn creates a wonderfully tweedy effect!!

It is not to late to knit several pairs of fingerless mitts for your holiday gift list!!  I'm off to work on mine.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Knitting Ideas-Week 3

This week we are looking at scarves.  Here in Western Montana scarves get a lot of use during the cold winter months.  I personally LOVE to knit scarves and I have a very large bag of them.  I am still looking for the perfect way to organize them and I would welcome suggestions!!  But I still want to knit more.  They make great gifts and are such portable projects for folks on the go.  And they are a really fun way to try out a new-to-you yarn!

At String Theory Yarn Company in Illinois they designed Life is Good, a super-easy scarf that knits up with one skein of our Mountain Colors Jeannette yarn (65% Cashmere, 35% Silk). Yum. That would be so, so soft. And the clever little place to tuck the tail is perfect!

Life is Good
Early in the Fall Diana and I took a workshop from Sally Melville.  It was amazing.  One of the many designs she shared with all of us was her new Lace-Meets-Leaf scarf.
This scarf uses a single skein of fingering weight yarn.  We knit one up in our Crazyfoot yarn (colorway Harmony Mallard) and everyone who sees it thinks it is great. The tails wrap around and hold the scarf in place. I plan to knit this scarf for sure!!

Scarves are in fashion...everywhere I go someone is wearing a beautiful scarf...so knit one for yourself or a friend ....there is still time to finish one for the holidays!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And the winner is....

True Random Number Generator  53Powered by RANDOM.ORG
 So I have counted the posts (didn't count the duplicates) and the winner of our contest is.....
Francie.   Congratulations and I will send you a pm on Ravelry too.  You can select your favorite Colorway, Solitary color or Harmony color and we will dye your 6 skeins of Mountain Goat!
Thanks to everyone who entered!!
======Update=====  I entered the correct number into the random number generator but it doesn't show up in the part I pasted above...and I can't make it paste in correctly.  But I really did pick the correct number range!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Last call for contest entries!!

You only have until the end of today...Weds, November 14th to enter our drawing for 6 skeins of Mountain Goat (see previous post about November Knits)!!

I will draw a winner first thing in the morning (I am NOT staying up until midnight..but I will be up by 530am Mountain Time).

Good luck!!

Holiday Knitting Ideas- Week 2

The knitting needles are clicking and the holiday knitting is going strong at Mountain Colors.  I have several projects under way and several more I need to start.  Diana and her daughter-in-law are planning to make yoga socks for a few friends!

Mindful Yoga Socks

Diana designed these lovely Mindful Yoga Socks and she is sharing the free pattern with you here. It isn't yet up on Ravelry.  Meanwhile we found these Yoga Socks that can be knit with our Crazyfoot yarn. The Crazyfoot can be thrown in the washer and dyer so that would be very practical!! 

The Simple Yoga Socks pattern is really nice and it calls for our Bearfoot yarn.  They would be really nice on your feet during a cold spell and certainly a GREAT gift for a special friend!
Simple Yoga Socks

Here is a picture of the Rough Sea Shawl that we mentioned last week.  Have you started yours yet? 
I am off to cast on my project this evening!!

Rough Sea Shawl

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November Knits and some FREE yarn

After a bit of confusion about the date of our blog tour post, we are here to take our turn on this fun group of postings.  November Knits is a lovely new book with many beautiful designs. Kate and Courtney have done a fantastic job!
We were thrilled when we saw that the cover sweater, Burdock Cardigan,  uses our Mountain Goat yarn. The yarn was dyed in one of our Solitary Solids (Olive) and the sweater looks like a very comfortable, easy to wear design. 

Whenever a new book arrives at the studio our dyers, office gals, etc pour over the pictures and projects. If several of the projects are flagged as ones to be knit SOON we know a book will be a real hit.  Such is the case with this book.  I want to knit the Market Jacket, someone else loves the Palomino Mittens, the Bozeman Jacket caught everyone's eye...we live in Montana and Bozeman is only a few hours south of where we live! The Trefoil Cardigan reminded us of sweaters we had a "few" years back. Fun.

To celebrate this beautiful book and the wonderful Burdock Cardigan we are going to give away enough yarn (6 skeins of Mountain Goat) to one lucky person.  It can be the color of your choice...a Solitary Solid, a subtle Harmony blend or one of our many colorways.  Just post a comment and we will use a random number generator to select the winner.

Be sure to leave your Ravelry name in the comment so we have a way to contact the lucky winner!!  The winner will be selected on Wednesday, November 14th.

Happy knitting.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Holiday Knitting ideas- Week 1

Here in Western Montana we spent 10 weeks this Fall with extreme amounts of smoke from forest fires that were burning nearby.  It seems like September and October were the months that never happened!!  So now it is November and the holidays are fast approaching.  By our calculations we have just over 7 weeks of knitting time left!

To encourage ourselves...as well as you...we have been looking at designs online and found some great ones that will work with our yarns!  This week we are looking a shawls and shawlettes (is there a better word for these small scarves?).

If you have plans to knit a larger shawl, check out Prieta's Rough Sea Shawl on Ravelry. It is lovely and will work up perfectly in Mountain Colors Bearfoot or Crazyfoot.  Any shawl that calls for Fingering weight yarn will work with these two yarns. 

Want a shawl that uses our Winter Lace wool/silk lace weight yarn?  Annis can be knit in the full size seen in the photo OR there is a mini-version too. The Swallowtail Shawl is a beautiful design.  I am a "new" lace knitter and I finished my Swallowtail . It is light and soft and pretty.

Want a triangular scarf sized shawl (shawlette) in fingering weight yarn? 

Larch by Rue is a beautiful design.  There are also MANY other scarves that could be knit with Bearfoot or Crazyfoot. Each is lovely in a different way.

So grab your needles, some Mountain Colors yarn and create a wonderful gift for yourself or a friend.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Inspiration

We recently attended a Sally Melville workshop organized beautifully by The Knit 'n Needle Yarn Shop in Whitefish, Montana (polkadotsheep.com).  We have come home SO inspired!  Sally is a fabulous teacher.  Her "Flatter and Fit" class has us re-thinking what is in our closets and what we want to knit. We should be knitting what we want to wear !!  Her book, "Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter and Fit" offers a project called A Gray Cardigan which is a perfect grab-all-the-time sweater. Everyone needs a comfortable, stylish sweater that they want to wear all the time...even if it isn't gray!!

 Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter and FitMy Photo

Our worsted weight 4/8's Wool is the perfect yarn for The Gray Cardigan sweater. It is available in our Solitary Solids, our tone-on-tone Harmony colors and in all of our luscious Colorways.  Look through our Colors page on our website and find your perfect favorite color for a "favorite" cardigan.  Leslie is thinking about using Harmony Garnet...or maybe Chocolate.  Diana is planning to use Purple Mountain. What color will you choose??

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our 20th Anniversary Giveaway!

We are pleased to present a 20th Anniversary Giveaway Celebration!

For the entire month of July we are giving away fabulous prize packages including our custom 20th Anniversary colorway, Loganberry, with our Yellowstone River Scarf, one of our great new Montana "Just One Ounce" kits. Every Friday we will announce a new winner, culminating in our Grand Prize Giveaway of a gorgeous shawl kit by Heartstrings Fiber Arts called Loganberry, featuring a brand new luxurious Mountain Colors yarn, Mountain Colors Louisa!

Loganberry Shawl in Louisa

The best part is that you have up to four ways to win! You can play on any of our social media channels: Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter and right here on our blog. That's right, the more places you play, the more entries you'll get toward winning our grand prize! Do as many or as few as you’d like. We’ll announce the winners of the prizes on a rolling basis EVERY FRIDAY beginning on July 6. The more you play, the more chances you get to win the Grand Prize on July 31!

How To Play

Our Blog: Reply to this blog post and tell us what you love about Mountain Colors.
Ravelry: Join our group, then post in this thread and tell us what you love about Mountain Colors.
Facebook: Just Like our Facebook Page.
Twitter: Just become a follower of our Twitter feed!

Thanks for playing and helping us to celebrate our 20th Anniversary in business!

You could win our gorgeous, limited edition 20th anniversary colorway, Loganberry!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meet the people at Mountain Colors--Kathleen

Kathleen Mullen Clark is our June girl.  Kathleen has been working for us since 1997 when she was hired as our first dyer.   We met Kathleen first as a customer and fan of knitting, textiles and Mountain Colors.  She started her employment amid a flurry of getting her house and seven children settled for her two days a week stint.  Katie, Elizabeth, Margaret, Michael, Mary Frances, Patrick and Tommy were all enthusiastic about Mom starting to work at the yarn place.  As with all the Mountain Colors kids they soon became a part of our life too.  The kids were happy that they could drop in whenever they wanted and sometimes brought their school work to do in the dye room.  If you asked them at that time what their favorite part of Mom working was they would unanimously say the M&M’s at her work.

Kathleen grew up in the San Joaquin valley outside Bakersfield, CA.  She graduated from High School and wanted to explore her Irish roots so she spent a semester in Ireland attending college and touring the country.  During her time in Europe she was also able to explore Wales, England and Belgium.  She loved Ireland the most and the rich history and beauty of the land.  

She came home and started working on an art history and nursing degree at various colleges in southern and central California.   She finished school, started working at the local hospital and met Mike Clark.  He was a friend of her boyfriend and attended a surprise birthday party for Kathleen.  Mike bided his time and had the chance to ask Kathleen on a date two years later.   After a brief courtship they married and Mike and Kathleen decided they would prefer a smaller community.  Mike was born in Miles City, MT but his parents were living in the Bitterroot Valley.  Kathleen and Mike loved the area and decided to move here.  The family moved into a large older house in Stevensville and made it their own cozy, lovely home.  

Kathleen worked in the dye room for five years and then moved into our shipping area.  She holds the record easily on packages beautifully packed and shipped in a single day.  Kathleen always gets the job done.   We sometimes still drag her into the dye room when we can.  When asked what the favorite part of her job is, she said “Mountain Colors always allowed me to be available to my kids and I get yarn whenever I want!"

Kathleen’s best memory of Mountain Colors is when a mouse ran across the dye room.   She said “Diana’s scream was so loud and piercing that my entire central nervous system almost shut down.  I told my family that night at dinner to much laughter – I still laugh about that.”  It should be noted that the next day 8 year old Mary Frances quietly told Diana that if it would help she could bring her cat into the dye room.  

Life now for Kathleen is filled with her adult children and foster son Wayne living, working and some going to school in MT, CO, WA, and Australia.   She has great joy in her life – and lots of photos - from her 4 grandchildren.  She says all of her kids turned out so well despite a crazy mom – who occasionally becomes violent around computers!  However, Kathleen thinks there should be a fine tune button on some of her children.  

You will most often find Kathleen knitting something at lunch time for one of her many recipients.  Sometimes she even guiltily says she’s making a scarf for herself this time!  Her favorite things to make are scarves and small kid sweaters and she also enjoys felted projects and interesting yarn textures and colors. 
Kathleen’s other great love is roses.  She is president of the Missoula Rose Society and she herself has 58 rose bushes in her yard.  She said she is partial to hybrids, old English garden varieties, miniatures, floribunda and climbing types.   She is used to cooking for a large family so she adds a well tended vegetable garden to her list of favorite things.  She continues to have lots of people at the table each night whether they are her family or someone who might need a good dinner.  

When she finds a little quiet time each day Kathleen will have her nose in a well worn book.  She counts her books as one of her greatest treasures.   Our Kathleen, who has the very soul of an Irish lass, is the resident storyteller of all who work at Mountain Colors.  She said of her life that she has been so blessed.  Life would be dull without you Kathleen.  We are the grateful ones to count you as a friend.  

Kathleen loves red so her favorite colorway is Ruby River (she says of course).  She also loves Alpine, Harmony Starlight, Portland Rose, Harmony Moss and now discontinued Grass Valley Green. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Meet the People at Mountain Colors-- Patty

Our May employee is our gentle friend Patty Baker Connolly.  Patty grew up in Alexandria, VA and attended the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied piano.  After graduating she visited her sister who had recently moved to Montana.  She immediately felt at home in the “Big Sky” state.  She made more and more trips to Montana until she finally moved here in 1978.  

Patty’s passions in life include her husband Jeff and their family of 4 grown children, a daughter-in-law, a soon to be son-in-law and 2 delightful grandchildren.  Patty has created a peaceful corner of the world that she shares with Jeff, frequent dinners with the kids, a flock of sheep, treasured chickens, 3 cats, a goofy Great Dane and a funny little Boston terrier.  Anyone who visits her home is immediately welcomed in and put at ease.  Whether you are sitting in her house enjoying a cup of tea and the smell of homemade bread or walking in her beautiful garden looking for ripe tomatoes and fresh lettuce you will notice you have found a happy place.  Patty is a wonderful musician and craftsman but her true talent is making the simple and every day a work of great art.  

Patty started working at Mountain Colors almost from the beginning.  Since she is Diana’s neighbor she sometimes was roped into helping while Mountain Colors was still in the McKay’s kitchen.  We would phone and say “please help us” and she would be over in a shot.  During the last 20 years she has done pattern typing, skeining when the kids were still at home and now working in the dye studio.  She is currently a dye mixer and dyer.  Patty likes mixing dye because she said it’s like a little puzzle every day.  “What colors we need to mix, what ratios to figure out, what each color is made of and the little idiosyncrasies that come from the dye.  Finally, does it look right?” Her favorite part of the day: “At the end of the day when all the yarn is dyed and drying I love the happy satisfaction that comes from a day of producing beautiful yarn.”   

Patty says her favorite times at Mountain Colors are working as a team each day, special silly moments in the dye room when everyone laughs until they cry and knitting at lunch.  She also loves the office birthday parties.  Patty has been known to request a nap after an especially rich cake.  She says she never gets tired of working with the colors but she loves Mountain Colors because “it’s like working with a community of friends - anyone here would say that”.  

Patty loves to weave, spin, work in the garden, knit, run, bake, play the piano and sing – often joined by her musical family.  Her daughter, Allison, will be married this June and Patty is weaving a beautiful white silk shawl for the lucky bride.   Her son Mark will return home from a tour in Afghanistan in time for the wedding.  The family is very grateful, proud and so anxious to see him. 

Patty’s favorite colorways are Red Willow, Northern Lights, Springtime and Wilderness.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Warm and Wooly Throw Trio

Have you seen our Warm and Wooly Throw Trio kits??
We have a pretty new full color layout of all the mixed colorway options for this kit. Check it out here!!! You can also order this kit in a single colorway if you prefer.

These kits are available through any retail yarn store that carries Mountain Colors Yarn. The kit comes with 3 different patterns....a simple knit version, a crocheted version and a knitted lace version. We know of several people who have made a throw for each of their adult children!! If your yarn store doesn't stock these kits have them call us with your color choice and we will dye one for you!!

Happy knitting!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Meet the people at Mountain Colors-- Lynnet

April’s Mountain Colors employee is Lynnet Olsen Thomas….. aka “Boots”, Lynnetty, “the tall girl”. Lynnet was born in Chicago and grew up in Morton Grove, IL. She is the youngest of three siblings and grew up in a traditional Midwestern family. She laughingly relates that her upbringing was “similar to Garrison Keiller’s Lake Woebegone and the good Lutheran folks.”
Lynnet loved the outdoors, camping and the woods so she decided to study Forestry at the University of Montana. This city girl had never been to Montana so she and her parents traveled to tour the school the spring of her senior year in High School. During her visit she was invited to attend a Forestry Club meeting. She stood to introduce herself at the meeting and upper classman Craig Thomas was smitten from across the room with this 5’3” red head. He told those around him that he was going to marry that girl. When Lynnet returned to Montana in the Fall he made sure she never dated anyone again. They were married the following June. Lynnet and Craig just celebrated their 40th anniversary and continue to be a very romantic couple with a great love for the forest.
Lynnet continued on at U of M until she had finished her degree. During her time as a coed she always wore logging boots, even with miniskirts! Her professor started calling her Boots and the nick name stuck. She will always be Boots in Forestry circles.
Lynnet and Craig moved to Stevensville and built a big log home where they raised their two kids, Ckye (pronounced Sky) and Ember. Twenty three years ago they have formed Cky-ber Enterprises, a forestry/logging and biomass business. Their son Ckye is also involved. Lynnet is the president but still finds time to be “the semi retired bookkeeper” at Mountain Colors. As of 2002 she also became a Mary Kay Consultant.
Lynnet has been part of the Mountain Colors family since 1997. She has many memories of the last 15 years. She says her favorite memory is the retreat we all took to Chico Hot Springs in 2005. It was the Mountain Colors team at our best. The retreat consisted of fresh air walks, knitting, eating, swimming and Lynnet teaching us the fine points of pedicures. It’s a great memory of a great trip! She said she is also enjoying this year as we celebrate our 20th anniversary.
Lynnet’s hobbies include “just everything ” and are truly many and varied. She knits, crochets, weaves, spins, felts and dyes. “I do all of it.” She also has a big greenhouse where she grows many varieties of grapes and vegetables. She creates beautiful stained glass and also enjoys woodworking. She is presently sanding, sealing and chinking the large logs of her log home. Another hobby that Lynnet took up was becoming a pilot. Craig had a license for years and one day while they were flying it occurred to Lynnet that she needed to know more about flying. She told Craig “if something happens to you up here I want to be able to land this plane.” She received her own pilot’s license and learned to land in 1994. She how has her very own airplane!
Lynnet’s says her job at Mountain Colors suits her because she enjoys being part of the team and you can never have enough yarn. Her stash has been growing steadily since she started. All that fiber has come in handy because last July the Thomases joyfully welcomed a first granddaughter, Cydnee Elise into the family. Now she says her favorite things to make are for Cydnee.

Lynnet calls herself a “greeny autumn person”. Her favorite colorways are Grass Valley Green (now discontinued), Mountain Tango, Clover and Apple Green. Thank you Lynnetty; for a tiny person you are a big part of Mountain Colors!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Coat of Many Colors

Have you seen the book "Knit, Swirl" by Sandra McIver? It is a beautifully written book with many incredible sweater designs. The cover sweater is called the Coat of Many Colors!

The Coat of Many Colors is knit with Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn. To make it easy for ordering and because we thought different color options were fun, we are offering the YARN ONLY for this sweater as a kit. See the LINK for the chart of colorways (scroll down to see all the pages) that come in each color version. The cover color is called Poppy. These kits can be ordered through any of the yarn stores that carry Mountain Colors Yarns.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Meet the people at Mountain Colors--Eileen

The first in our series of “meet the people behind Mountain Colors” is Eileen Coughlin Bradshaw. Eileen is a Montana girl who grew up in a big Irish family in the very small town of Helmville, MT. Her grandparents homesteaded there after emigrating from Ireland. She married her high school sweetheart and they moved to Corvallis, MT where Dave is every kid’s favorite teacher at the junior high and the coach of the high school basketball team. Many of our kids as well as their own two sons and daughter were coached by Dave. Eileen has three sweet kids Shea – 27, Shanda – 25 and Riley – 18. Riley will start college next year and play basketball on scholarship for Utah State. Eileen has made it clear that she is not looking forward to being an empty nester. We think she and Dave will be spending some weekends in Utah.

Eileen is officially in charge of the office and the orders from the time they come in until they ship out. She is also unofficially the confidante, ally and friend to everyone at Mountain Colors. She is the go-to person if you can’t find something or have a question. A common phrase at Mountain Colors is “go ask Eileen”.

Eileen is one of our earliest employees. She started by working from home in 1993 and remembers bringing her work to us and getting more during kindergarten pickups. In 1997 she moved into the office and the dye room. As we started to get busier she spent more and more time in the office until we wouldn’t let her leave the office to dye anymore. She said she has some great memories that usually involve laughing and jokes with the crews. Her favorite years were the summers when all of our kids worked in the dye room. She said whatever their conversation, challenge or argument for the day, she started giggling. She has a special appreciation for Patrick McKay who each summer renegotiated a raise all around.

Eileen learned her handcraft skills from “Mom”. Her mother, Adele, is rarely seen without her crocheting or knitting. Eileen prefers knitting socks, scarves, mittens, baby things and other small projects. Her other talents are many but include making great margaritas for knit nights and caramel corn every Christmas.

Eileen says that her job suits her because she likes talking with, meeting and helping people. She especially enjoys meeting our customers at the trade shows. She appreciates that her job allowed her to be flexible when it came to her kid’s schedules.

Eileen’s favorite colorways are Ruby River, Harmony Plum and now discontinued Obsidian and Moondance.

Thanks Eileen for all your hard work. We would all be lost without you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We celebrate our 20th Year in business!!

We recently had our 20th anniversary!! Or is it our 20th birthday?? Anyway we thought it would be fun to share WHO we are at Mountain Colors. So in the upcoming months we will be sharing a little bit about each of our employees.

To start things off this month we are featuring Diana McKay and Leslie Taylor, the owners of Mountain Colors!

Here is the yarn we dyed for our first commission. It was woven into sashes for the Charles M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT.

Leslie was born in Georgia and has lived in 6 other states. She spent most of her growing up years in northern Maryland and her college years in southern Maryland at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Her parents and grandparents are from Gettysburg, PA . Her great-grandfather was 12 years old during the big Civil War battle in Gettysburg. Leslie taught herself to knit from a book while in junior high and she still has the book she used!

After college Leslie moved to California to work and met her future husband, Brett, while banding ducks at a northern California wildlife refuge. The first 3 summers after they were married they worked for the National Park Service as back country rangers in Dinosaur National Monument. They worked with people who were on white water rafting trips along the Green River in Utah and Colorado.

Leslie and her husband have 2 sons and moved to western Montana when the boys were 3 and 5 years old. Brett teaches high school science. It was during the time that the boys were very young that Leslie and Diana founded Mountain Colors. Twenty years later Mountain Colors is still dyeing yarn and the boys are grown. The years have flown by!!

Leslie and Brett like to hike, go camping and fishing, watch sporting events and travel. Leslie is a member of the local Fiber Guild and also a Weaving Guild. She never goes anywhere without her knitting and a book.

Leslie’s favorite Mountain Colors colorways are Red Willow and Headwaters.

Diana was born and grew up in Great Falls, MT. She had yarn in her hands for as long as she can remember. Her Grandmother taught her to knit and weave at an early age and she was encouraged to pursue art classes through school by parents who had a great love for color and design.

Diana went to college at Montana State University and majored in Business Marketing. She met Jim there, married and had two little boys. It was during Lamaze class while expecting her younger son that she met Leslie Taylor. She and Leslie discovered they both had 2 ½ year old sons at home born less than a week apart and would soon have similarly spaced babies. They also discovered they shared an interest in knitting, weaving and spinning. It was a happy time of babies, play groups and yarn.

When the kids started school Diana and Leslie decided to give hand dyeing yarn a try as a part time job. Mountain Colors was born in Diana’s kitchen and 20 years later the two have more than part time work . They also have a deep gratitude for this amazing experience and the opportunity to work with the best dye and office crew anywhere, great sales reps, wonderful designers and to meet people from shops and other yarn companies from around the world.

Somehow during the last 20 years the boys have grown up to be awesome young men. Diana and Leslie’s oldest are now both out of school and married and the youngest are in graduate school. All four boys worked at Mountain Colors at one time and still have an understanding of yarn if not a great love of it like their moms.

Diana and Jim enjoy hiking, fishing, cross country skiing and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. She remains passionate about knitting, weaving, and spinning and will continue always to search for the most pleasing combination of form and design as one color flows into another.

Diana’s favorite Mountain Colors colorways are a tie between Ruby River and Larkspur.