Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shop Update this Friday

Friday, February 27th 2015 @ 4pm Eastern time!

Just in case you didn't know, the first VIOLA shop update in a long time is scheduled for this Friday!

Here's one of the latest colours to be skeined up..still to be named. Just thought I'd throw that in as a little sneak peek.

This time around, the update will consist only of merino fingering. A soft and squishy high twist, 2-fold fingering weight yarn. Each skein is 100% superwash merino and approximately 400 yards.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I've finished something!

After a rather long spell of time in England where I was just not knitting much, I think I can safely say that I have my knitting enthusiasm back! Of course, I do not blame England, or any of my lovely friends and family there - no, they are not responsible for my lack of knitting. I put my knitting lull down to the fact that I wanted to enjoy my last little bit of time in the land that I love so much...knitting time took a dive while there were so many walks to go on, pubs to visit and adventures to be had!

Of course, one of the first things I did upon returning to Canada was to sort through ALL of my yarn...that's a lot. That's 2 country's worth of yarn! I quickly rediscovered 10 whole balls of Noro Kureyon!! It's a yarn that I love, but often the super-bright and totally mental colour combos are just too much for me (I spend most of my days collecting sticks, remember...they are mostly just brown...) But this, most fabulous colour way, I could manage, guess that's why I bought it! Anyhow, I set about deciding what to knit, and quickly realized that I wanted a cropped jumper that I could wear over top of my many flouncy frocks. I have lots of dresses and wear them constantly, but it's just too darn cold in Canadian winter to go without at least one wooly layer.

After lots of swatching and doodling and daydreaming I settled on a design. Deep raglan sleeves, a high neck (it's cozy!) little bobbles in a diamond-y pattern over the whole thing and (my favourite part of all) a brioche rib placket that is knit separately and sewn in. It's just one piece, all the way from the bottom hem to the cuffs! No need for bind-off stitches and grafting armpits and so on! Of course, I did knit the whole thing in pieces. I decided this was the only way to make the stripes do what I wanted...which was to be all higgldy-piggldy and not line up and not be the same thickness. I don't do too well with order or symmetry...

So after an awful lot of nattering, here is the jumper...

check out those side placket-y things!

over one of the flouncy frocks I mentioned

I really am this happy about my new jumper!

Of course, I cannot help but include a couple of pretty pictures. There have been some beautiful winter days by the lake recently...cold, but beautiful. There are just some of the textures and colours that I've been thinking about. 

Just look at that placket thing. I love it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a little bit of news

Hello all. I know that most of you are already well aware that I have recently made the move from my North Devon home back to other home. For the time being, it's permanent - although it often still feels like I'm just popping back to Toronto for a visit. After the action-packed 2.5 years I've just had in England, it is going to take a fair amount of settling before I find the ice hockey, Tim Hortons and SNOW normal again. 

In the mean time, I'm keeping myself busy. There are a few little projects I've been working on, and I sincerely hope that I am organized enough to post again about some of them soon (in less than the 6 month window that I usually leave between posting). Anyhow, one of the selection of things I've been keeping myself busy with has been some dyeing. That's right, YARN DYEING! Sheesh, it feels like forever since I stood in that steamy studio, scratching my head and muttering to myself about whether or not to add more blue to a pot. Crazy deja vu, Let me tell you!

Here's a sneak peek at a few of the colours I've been working on.

So here is my plan...

1. I still have more dyeing to do, lots of new ideas and hopefully some great new colours
2. When I have enough yarn (is there ever enough though, really?) I shall announce the date and time of my first etsy update in like 3 years!
3. I'll share more details of bases and colours, along with better photos, as I go along.

So, stay tuned. 

oh yes, and thanks to all who 'liked' my yarny instagram photo this evening. It's all so exciting!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

final project complete

It has been a most busy year for me in Falmouth. Sunday dinners, long walks, kayaking, sea shanty-ing, new friends, sea food and more than my fair share of pub visits are just a few things that have been keeping me busy. In the midst of it all I have also managed to complete my first year of Textile Design! 

For my final project, I chose to work in weave. I based my project on moss and it's fluffy, curly, tangled textures. Here's a look at some of my final samples and a few sketchbook pages as well...

 I made two different warps, both focusing on the same moss theme. This sample is from the second warp. I splatter painted a fine worsted wool with black ink to achieve the mottled and patchy effect. I also chose to use a high twist crepe yarn in the weft of this sample to cause puckering and distortion in the fabric. I wove this, and a couple other samples in plain weave, in order to allow the warp to stand out.

This sample is also from the second warp. Here, I used a very fine silk in the weft and a twill throughout with inlay of linen snippets.

This sample is from my first warp. I used a a block threading, which allowed me to create those large floats across the sample.

More twill with a silk crepe weft.

One of the most simple samples, but also one of my favourties; this sample is from the first, linen warp. I used white, linen weft and inserted knots of wool which I later felted to create bobbles!

Here, I wove double cloth on a point threading. The bottom layer is linen, and lays very flat after finishing. The top layer is the same high twist crepe wool that I used earler, and has twisted and pulled the fabric in some interesting ways. I also joined the two layers every so often with the coloured bits of inlay

 Simple stripes, subtly combining plain weave and a twill variation using my block threading.

 Double cloth woven on my first warp. The bottom layer is a very thick wool and the top a much thinner one. I chose this so that the top layer would not be able to beat down as much as the back. It has caused more puckering and uneven weft picks.

 I think that these waffle weave samples are my very favourite from the entire project. I just loved weaving this structure and LOVE the way that both of these came out. The top sample uses the wool crepe again. I pulled extra yarn out to the front in loops as I was weaving. In finishing, these loops have twisted up on themselves and pulled the entire sample in (which is actually what I wanted it to do!) The sample in the back uses a very fine silk in the weft, and sits perfectly flat after finishing. It drapes so beautifully as well!

...a closer look at the bottom, silk weft sample (with some inlay)

I chose to weave my third waffle sample using my warp yarn in the weft as well. This all wool sample is light, soft and bouncy. I also replaced a few warp threads with different colours, giving me vertical stripes as well as horizontal. 

Just a bit of plain weave with a stripe.

Towards the end, I got really into this 2/2 twill. It's so exciting to weave on a point draft because you can make diamonds!! This stripey sample was my favourite of the twills.

And here are just a few sketchbook pages...

my favourite waffles...again...

I had the best time working on this project and found myself becoming completely obsessed with weaving. I finished my samples so quickly that I had time to make myself this scarf as well...

...for some reason, this image is all distorted and I don't have a clue why or how on earth to fix it. Imagine something that looks like this, but is scarf shaped. There you go.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I am more shocked than you are that I've managed to post again so soon. Having made it through my first term, there is suddenly time to take photos and look at blogs and do all those long forgotten, fun and time wasting things that I used to enjoy so much. I am taking advantage of the time to share some of my print work with you (especially the Canadians who can't see it otherwise!)

Going into print, I thought that i was not going to enjoy it all. I thought that it was going to be too technical and precise...perhaps I should have been more precise, but my favourite results came from the smudges and mistakes.

I exposed 3 different screen designs in the end, and layerd print over print until I was happy with a sample. It was lovely to be able to work by eye and not have to plan everything in advance...I never do well with planning.

Above and below are devore samples. I really enjoyed devore and loved the effect that it created (although the pastes I mixed were always a bit grainy and lumpy). Devore works by burning away part of a fabric. It must be used on a fabric that is a blend of fibres so that when the cellulose is burnt away something structural remains. May not be explaining that perfectly, but hopefully you get the gist. There are see-through bits in the end and that is super exciting!

I also became massively carried away using little circular stencils, overlapping different colours of circles...well, the possibilities are just endless!

The very white bits (and light colours) are made with discharge paste. Sounds a bit icky, but it was very fun. It bleached the fabric and made delicate, soft colours (which I obviously love!) These were great to print on top of too. I did have a couple of disasters, however, where the paste was left on too long and the bleach burnt huge holes in samples, eeek!

Just a couple of my favourite sketchbook pages. 

I've decided that I'll leave you with some of my favourite Falmouth shots at the end of each post. The scary woman bust above is outside of a lovely sea food restaurant that I can't wait to visit (bibs provided!) and below, the lovely harbour. I could stare at this scene all day; it's always different and always interesting!