ALCHEMY LOOKS TO the natural world for inspiration, creating colours and textures that transcend the typical. Known for our unique fibre combinations and vibrant colour, we are devoted to the ultimate tactile experience. Each skein of Alchemy is created truly by hand, using time-honored fine art techniques, with absolute dedication to producing the most extraordinary yarns for the discriminating textile artist.
Alchemy is devoted exclusively to all natural fibre, which we source from around the world, being mindful not to buy from sources whose human rights consciousness is suspect. We use only bio-friendly materials in all of our painting and finishing techniques. While such practices may result in a fibre that is a bit more expensive than other yarns, we feel our customer understands and respects our dedication to quality, as well as the value of buying a yarn from a company that cares deeply about how it makes its product. Our 100% bamboo fibre is grown sustainably, and we do everything in our power to ensure that all of our animal protein fibre (silk, wool, cashmere, alpaca, and angora) comes from small, humane farms.
Alchemy is the creation of Gina Wilde, a sculptor, painter and fibre artist; and Austin Wilde, a former marketing executive and musician. Nestled in the rolling hills of Sonoma County, California, between the vineyards and the old apple orchards, Alchemy is a funky little fibre farm. As a work family, we custom create every skein of Alchemy with love and attention. Our intent is to share our passion for colour, natural fibre, and contemporary design with artists around the world.
What is your dream fibre?
I have so many favourite fibres, it's hard to choose. But if I were pressed, I would have to say our Synchcronicity. A blend of silk and merino, aran weight, it is a single ply fibre with unbelievable luminosity and depth.
...Our intent is to share our passion for colour, natural fibre, and contemporary design with artists around the world...
Stitch definition takes on new meaning when working with this wonderful fibre - I call it my workhorse, as it can be knit/crocheted/woven on so many different needle sizes/gauges/etc. Synchcronicity wears beautifully, and is truly the most reliable fibre I have ever known.
One of my favourite tasks as artistic director for Alchemy is developing new fibre - creating unique blends of spectacular textures, always staying centered on the necessity of choosing fibre that results in a luxurious tactile experience. We are working toward development of a new cashmere blend for fall '06 that I am totally over the moon about!
What is the ultimate knitwear piece you could imagine designing?
Over and over in my sketchbook, there appears a long coat. I draw it again and again, and it is remarkably consistent from drawing to drawing. It is very tailored - maybe 9 different pieces comprise the coat. There are pockets, intricate picot and arresting detail, beautifully finished and lovingly knit. As a weaver, I draw it also from that perspective, but it takes on a similar shape to the knit version. The only think stopping me from making it thus far is knowing what fibre I wish to make it from. I have swatched samples in many Alchemy choices, but have yet to decide which will most effectively deliver the dream piece I draw. Soon, I shall just make it, and if I make it many times again in my life, with variations as need be, I will have a worthwhile pursuit!