Monday, July 27, 2015

I almost kept this

Things are busy around Viola headquarters today. Getting all the last minute bits and bobs in order for tomorrow evening's update (weee!)

So here's a little sneak peek of my favourite colours, because there are always a few that I almost keep...

 First up is a new colourway that I am rather excited about, Giant Peach in MCN Worsted. I keep having visions of a great big cozy pullover knit in this. I suppose it's the soft and warm colour itself that makes me want to bundle up on an autumn day...premature considering the weather at the moment, but it never hurts to be prepared!

And Garden Ghost in MCN Worsted. I'm still perfecting this colourway, but it is certainly one that will be sticking around as I seem to have planned an entire wardrobe knit in it... A variation of the Ghost colourway, I've added more speckles of all my favourite colours. If ever a ghost lived in a flower garden, this is the colour it would be!

While I often do not choose greens for myself, I love how light and fresh this batch of Lettuce Merino Singles 4 Ply is. I feel cooler just looking at it (and that's saying something because Toronto is a stinking hot mess at the moment!)

 Winterwood Merino Singles 4 Ply. I can't do anything about it, I just love brown. Especially cool, dark browns. This is another colourway that is still 'in development'. But there was something very lovely about this batch that meant it almost missed the update. It reminds me of dark tree bark after lots of rain.

And lastly, there are so many Eclipse colourways in Merino Fingering this time around that I am numbering them! Here is Eclipse # 4. I can't help but see a unicorn standing next to a pond with Monet somewhere near by. But that's a far too complicated name I'm afraid. 

All this and more is going to be in tomorrow's etsy update at 4 pm EST. 

Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Shop Update!

The next shop update is scheduled for...

Tuesday, July the 28th at 4pm EST

...I'm really excited about this update, mostly because there is a lot of stuff that I reeeeally want to keep in here! But I'm being strong, and sharing my favourites. Hope you like them as much as me!

My main source of excitement is the fact that there are lots of big jumper quantities of ECLIPSE colourways, on my Merino Fingering base. Truth be told, there was a point this week when I had convinced myself that it was possible to knit a few dresses out of these 4 ply lovelies...I have since reconsidered.

You'll also find Merino Singles 4 ply as well as jumper loads of MCN worsted.

Hope you enjoy!

Regarding shipping charges, I am changing the way that I combine and charge shipping. The charges on Etsy have been updated - making single skein cost less! As many of you must be aware of already, etsy does not allow for very accurate shipping estimates. I have done the best I can with the changes I made. Going forward I will be combining shipping on all multiple orders from the same update. If you have been overcharged on shipping, I will send refunds based on the totals from the post office receipts and not the etsy estimate. If this sounds complicated to you, it is! This will only be a short term solution, as I am sorting out a better shipping calculator. If you have questions / concerns please send me an e mail at

In other news, Construction is finally beginning on the new (but very old!) dye studio. Within the year, Viola is going to be making a big move from Toronto to Mooresburg. This weekend, conversion of a little shed is beginning! I can't wait to see it all take shape, and build a more spacious and efficient workspace!

First off was clearing out all the bits and bobs that previous owners have distribulted (we've found some real treasures so far!) The best, obviously, are a selection of deer bones that were swept into a corner, sadly they have been trampled a little bit.

Now we're moving along to digging out the old earth floor (looking forward to unearthing a few more treasures!), filling in with gravel and preparing for concrete to be poured.

More updates to come when I return from my week of digging. Feels nice to be putting in some hard work...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

the time I was utterly lost in the forest

 Seriously. Last week I set out for a hike with my little sister's little dog. The plan was to walk from Owen Sound to nearby Inglis Falls along the well worn Bruce Trail. Well, I don't know whether it was me or the trail, but something went awry. I have already visited the falls, so I knew they were seriously beautiful and not too far away from Owen Sound. It was supposed to be about 10 kilometers there and back. I'm sure it would have been for a person who had thought to bring a map or a compass. I did not consider any of these things in my excitement to get going...

 All the trails are marked with these little paint splodges on trees. Different colours indicate which trail you're on.

Violet (she's pretty cute, isn't she?!) and I made it to the falls safely. They were even more beautiful than I remembered and we stayed there for a long while exploring and climbing rocks in the sunshine.


It was the journey home that got us turned around. Actually, I'm sure that Violet the dog knew exactly where she was going the entire time. It was likely only me that went the wrong way. Even though I reached a point where markings on trees seemed to want me to go either all directions at once or they would simply disappear altogether, I managed to enjoy the beautiful walk and amazing life in the forest that day.

These tiny little guys were no bigger than a pomegranate seed!



Even though I was cursing the Bruce trail at the time for sending me on a wild hunt for the next white rectangle painted on a tree, the walk was still utterly fabulous! Violet and I took 2 hours longer than we should have to find our way back (and were spit out on the motorway with a long walk home) but I put that all down to my complete lack of navigational skills. We spent the last hour or so of the walk scaling steep craggy rock up and down endless slopes - serious adventure time! Even the energetic little pup was knackered by the time we emerged from the forest, covered in bug bites and mud, twigs in my hair. Can't wait to get lost in there again very soon, although, I think I will bring along a map next time!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

a shop update and an beautiful new yarn

I'm updating the etsy shop next week, huzzah!

There are lots of lovely yarns and colours appearing in the next shop update, which is scheduled for...

Wednesday, July 1 2015 @ 4pm EST

 Next Wednesday's update will include MCN Worsted, Merino Lace, Merino Singles 4 ply and a brand new yarn!!!

Luxury Merino Double Knit is the newest member of the Viola team. With it's soft, bouncy and smooth hand, this yarn is an absolute dream to knit. The fibre is certified by NewMerino Australia, a program that ensures sustainable and ethically raised merino fibre is coming out of Australia. I am so happy to know this yarn came from happy sheep! Read all about the program here. In my mind, the combination of this stunning yarn and my happy conscience makes this yarn a serious luxury.

Each 100g skein contains 225 meters (246 yards) and will be $31 / skein.

I've already been swatching Luxury Merino Double Knit in Barouni (above) and have selfishly snagged skeins in a few colours for...oh I don't know, I just wanted them!

Here it is again in Aurora Borealis!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Merino Lace

Like so many knitters out there, I sometimes have a tough time with laceweight yarns. Not with loving them -I seem to buy them all the time- but with knitting them up into useful things. I don't have a lot of use for lightweight jumpers, I live in Canada! In fact, this past winter was my first Canadian winter in a couple of years and I can tell you there were times that I thought I was not going to make it so summer...that I would surely become an ice cube before I could knit enough layers to stay warm. Lace yarn was not at all interesting to me over the winter, I saw it as a rather reckless and dangerous indulgence in my fight for survival!

Now that summer is officially here, and I've lightened up about the extremity of winter (only slightly) I have let another impulse take over - my need to knit up stash yarn! Another overwhelming aspect of my new (old) life in Canada is the yarn stash that I've been reunited with. I know many of you can relate to this one, it's huge, it's out of control! And so, I am working away at my stash, including that once pesky section of lace weight yarns. Turns out, There's quite a lot of stuff I want to knit with all that lace (phew!) 

My recent inventory has exposed my love of Viola Merino Lace yarn. Suppose I should have known about that already...There's something very special in the combination of a very fine singles merino yarn. It grabs dye super-fast creating beautiful splotches which remain delicate and subtle because of how thin the yarn is. I've thought about this quite a lot recently. 

Anyhow, as you may well imagine, I've been plotting many projects in the lovely Merino Lace...

You may have already seen the Light Grey Structure that I recently finished. I love this thing! Knit with Viola Merino Lace and Fyberspates Neff lace held double, I reckon that this jumper is going to be warm enough for winter layering. Huzzah! The pattern was brilliantly written and lots of fun to knit. It was my first go at contiguous sleeves and I'd say I'm a convert! I am most certainly dreaming up more double stranded lace jumpers!

I have also made a rather feeble start on the Halligarth Shawl that I was on about a while ago. I'm using Merino Lace for this again. The colourway is called 'Dusk' and I'm pretty crazy about it - so much so that the yarn is in focus instead of my knitting! 

And I am so excited to be sharing this beautiful shawl! Knit in Viola Merino Lace from many moons ago by the lovely UniqueUylond on Ravelry. The Pattern is Photosynthesis, and I'm pretty sure it was Uylond's beautiful shawl that inspired my Halligarth journey. Thanks Uylond!!

I shall leave you with a little glimpse of Merino Lace that will be making an appearance in the next Etsy update (soon to be announced!)

Happy Knitting!

Monday, June 15, 2015

news news news!

I am SO excited that I can finally talk about a very special project that I am lucky enough to be involved in...

 Coming up this Autumn is Loop London's 10th anniversary (a pretty big deal I'd say)! Details of the exciting project they have prepared are gradually being revealed over on the Loop blog, so click over there to learn more about it. I am so happy to be contributing this bespoke colourway to the project! It will be available in their London shop once Autumn rolls around. You can also read more about this colourway, and it's inspiration in this little interview with me. Stay tuned as more project details are revealed. In the meantime, I'm going to do some swatching...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Eclipse colourways

Hey gang! Just a quick note about something new that's going on in today's update...Eclipse colourways are happening!

Eclipse colourways are all one-offs, whatever I post will be all there is. They are all the result of some fun new experimentation that I've been up to. I've been working away on new colourways, techniques and ideas - as a result, some pretty funky colours have been emerging from my pots. So if you happen to love an Eclipse colourway in today's update, grab it because it won't be around again!

The goal of all my crazy witch experimentation (I've been imagining myself as a Macbeth witch throughout all this) is going to be some exciting new colourways and more consistent results too!

Here's a selection of Eclipse colourways in Merino Lace that are going to be in the update later on today. 

In other news, I goofed slightly on the weight of Merino Singles 4 ply! The yarn information is now updated on Ravelry, Etsy as well as the tags. So the correct weight and yardage for Merino Singles 4 ply is actually 115g 434 meters (475 yards). Sorry for the mix up folks, but great news - your skeins have more yarn in them that you thought, huzzah!

See you @ 4pm EST for some yarny (witchy) fun!