Friday, April 8, 2016

26 hours and counting...

With the update almost here, and I'm enjoying the last bit of time surrounded by these beautiful yarn mountains. So many yarn mountains!

As promised, I'm back with more previews of what's to come tomorrow. Without any more nattering, here I go...

Mustard Seed


There will be lots of Polwarth + Alpaca, which is a very good thing indeed if you ask me!

This is an Eclipse, but it's a colourway I'm playing around with at the moment. Could become a real something soon!


Garden Ghost


Sea Storm


Blot, which surprisingly emerged as this soft pastel. I love it!

A little bit of Mohair Lace is destined for the shop tomorrow as well. While I love every single skein of this yarn, there are (I think) a few stand out colours this time round...

Pink Clay


Asteroid


Golden Oak


Garden Ghost

And I've dyed up lots of sweater quantities in MCN Worsted! I love to look at the piles and think about the lovely garments they may be knit into some day. And I've managed to not keep a lot of great stuff too...

Blot


Sea Storm


Pink Clay


Golden Oak

Also keep an eye out for Merino Singles 4 ply,  Merino Lace and Merino Fingering. 

I'm off now to sort out a few little things in preparation for tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I almost kept this...


Yay, hooray, update day is almost here! As I know I have said already, it's a big one, and I am not exaggerating! Being such a big update, I have been busily preparing for a long time now, and am very much looking forward to Saturday. Mainly because it means that the yarn mountains all around the house will go to new, loving homes. Because I can't fit even one more skein of yarn in this house! (I know, this is totally NOT a bad problem to have)


Without a doubt, the highlight of this update for me is the debut of Mooresburg DK! Until now, only Kickstarter backers have had their hands on this lovely yarn. So it is an exciting moment indeed, because Mooresburg DK is spun locally to me, from the fleeces of local sheep to boot! It's 100% Cotswold/Dorset cross fleece spun into a bouncy 2-fold yarn in a Double Knit weight. Rustic, soft and lustrous all at the same time. It's good stuff!

Mineral


 Sea Storm


 Soft

Each 100g skein is 238 meters (260 yards) and $25 USD. I cannot wait to cast on another sweater in this yarn, but haven't been able to settle on the perfect pattern. Think I'm getting close though!


I recently finished knitting this Humboldt Sweater by the brilliant and lovely Anna Maltz. It calls for 2 yarns held double throughout, and I jumped at the chance to use Mooresburg as the main yarn (I used Giant Peach with a natural grey Wensleydale yarn) 


Just about every Viola yarn is going to be represented in this update, so I am working hard to narrow my favourites down for this list...and here they are...

Golden Oak

Sock yarn was especially tough to choose, as I am really into mixing heel and toe and contrasting colours into socks...it's just an excuse to have 3 times the colours!

The highly coveted mauve-ish Eclipse that I have managed to recreate...just this one time.


Surf


 Mooresburg

I just finished up a pair of socks in the Mooresburg colorway and loved it so much I'd be happy to cast on a second pair this minute!




Which leads me straight on into the sock kits that will be also be available. To save you some of the trauma of choosing 3 whole skeins of yarn , I've put together 4 different options for kits! Each kit contains 1 100g skein and 2 25g skeins of sock yarn! When you purchase the kit, I will also send a download code for Emily's Favourite Socks. Everything you need!


from left to right: Surf (MC) with Titus and Eclipse, Graffiti (MC) with Amaranth and Soft

Mustard Seed (MC) with Bronte and Eclipse, Golden Oak with Bronte and Blot.

I'll be sharing more previews as Saturday draws nearer. Still to come is Mohair Lace, MCN Worsted, Polwarth and Alpaca, Merino Lace, Merino Fingering and Merino Singles 4 ply. How exciting!



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

the big move approaches


 If you followed along with the Kickstarter campaign this winter, you already know that my current (soon to be former) dye studio is not so much of a studio, but a dark corner of a basement. Not ideal. I've made it work for a long time, developing a work routine that involves dodging paint cans, laundry hampers and stored Christmas decorations. Perhaps not what you would expect out of a work space, but I'm used to it. I'd like to think that I am pretty good at adjusting to strange situations and environments, sometimes I even think that I work better in them. So you can imagine the peculiar feeling I have about moving into a proper work space. One that I have designed to suit my needs...with light, storage space, work surfaces and drying areas that are not obscured by the Halloween mobile made of old turkey bones (I actually love this mobile) I know I'm going to get used to the new space. More than that, I'm sure that I will LOVE the new space...so long as I bring that mobile with me...


As the moving date draws near, I am scrambling to finish up lots of little jobs, clear out all the corners and generally get sorted. Starting fresh in a new space is just around the corner...
 Top priority is to move as little yarn as possible! I'll be dyeing up almost all of the yarn I have in stock for this update, which means big quantities in lots of bases. Sweaters for all (who want them, that is) I've been dyeing non stop for the past couple of weeks in preparation and yarn mountains are already forming on many surfaces about the house. These have become a common feature, but won't be around either once I'm into the new space.


 I'm hoping that this big update will tide everyone over for a wee while, as I will be taking a short break from dyeing once I make the move to Mooresburg - another reason for my frenzied prep. Not long, just a month or so.

 I will announce the date and time of this momentous and extra-large shop update very soon, along with some previews and my favourites (as always!) I haven't been able to share many pics just yet, but that hasn't stopped me from my usual project day dreaming and imaginary shopping. So stay tuned for more details...

For now, I am very excited to tell you that I will be offering a few items that are new to the etsy store...


...including NEW COLOURWAYS in sock kits, Mooresburg DK (woo hoo) and Viola meets Mooresburg totes for a start!  


In the mean while, the Sock KAL over in the Ravelry group is about to finish up. Just three days left to complete your Viola socks, which is lots of time! I have loved seeing the socks popping up over the course of this KAL, and am seriously excited about all of the sock kits that were knit over the course of the KAL as well. Thanks to everyone who has participated and shared their socks! I will be announcing the winner (chosen by random draw) in the Ravelry group on April 1st, so check in then!
Because I am obsessed, I decided to knit just one more pair for the KAL, so here's a peek at the first sock...


I'm using Mooresburg for the main colour, with, giant peach, dew drop and mustard seed contrasts!

 I've been knitting a lot of secret things recently, but here's one more that I can share....


It's a Garland pullover from Pom Pom magazine, issue 7. I have wanted to knit this thing from the moment the issue landed in my mailbox, and finally have cast it on! Inspired by Lydia and Sophie of the Pom Pom crew, who have both recently knit the pattern as well. I'm up to the armholes now, because I can't seem to put it down! Using Viola Mohair Lace...in an Eclipse colourway that I could not part with. So much fun!

Righto, off to finish up the foot on my second sock. Happy knitting!



Sunday, March 13, 2016

a Knitting Party Success!

Oh my, it has been one heck of a busy time in the world of Viola these days. I can easily fill 7 days a week with full-time dyeing, but recently have been adding on studio work and planning, packing for my big move and a little yoga...just to keep me from going mad. It's all great fun, but most of the time I have no idea what day it is! This past Monday was a delightful highlight in my action packed life. It was the most heart-warming knitting party I've ever attended (and certainly, the only knitting party that I've ever thrown). 







 Kickstarter backers from the GTA area came out to pass a peaceful afternoon sampling Viola yarns, chatting about knitting and enjoying a very posh cupcake or two. Afternoon rolled into evening and even more lovely Torontonian knitters arrived to raise a glass (or two),  join in the knitting chatter and get some shopping in...more posh cupcakes were consumed!


Here, the lovely Natalie Selles (leeleetea) has just finished sharing the hat and mitts she's designing in Mooresburg DK. Can you spot them?

As an internet based business, I can spend great lengths of time staring at a screen, I rarely have the chance to MEET customers and talk to them for real, in person. I had the best time watching everyone shop, peeking at the colours and yarns they were picking up, chatting with them about their choices and generally hanging out. Sure beats the internet, heh?! The only way it could have been better would have been to have ALL the Kickstarter backers there. 

Miko and Jennifer!

As always, Jennifer and Miko of the Purple Purl were the most kind and gracious hosts. Generously providing their shop and services to the cause (thanks ladies!)


The party was a great success in the end. I am feeling very lucky indeed to know such fantastic people, and had so much fun sharing a bit of Viola with everyone who came out.

 Thanks again to all!


Monday, February 29, 2016

it's a PARTY

Seven days from now I will be happily planted in the Purple Purl, sorting and arranging the piles of Viola yarn I've been dyeing the past few weeks. So much yarn! The reason for all this? There is going to be a little party. A SHOPPING PARTY! Kickstarter backers, if you can get yourself to Toronto next week, I hope I'll be seeing you there!

polwarth + alpaca
Mooresburg DK

As I was snapping these pictures the other day, I realized that I've been dyeing some very springy colours. Seems that the seasons always influence me, and I only catch it once I'm staring at the finished product. Any which way, I'm loving the colours I've dyed up!

 I've already posted a few details, but here is the plan for the big day...which is next MONDAY MARCH the 7th...

4pm - 6pm: Backers who pledged $200 or more are invited to drop in for a Viola yarn sampling and knitting circle. Today, I'm gathering together samples of some of my favourite colours and Viola bases for you to knit away on. Test out stitch patterns, combine yarns and colours, change up needles, do what you like! Take your swatches home with you too if you like. It's all up to you!
little cakes, sweets, tea and coffee, and a goody bag to boot. It's going to be a good afternoon! This is a drop in, so you don't have to be there for the entire 2 hours. Bring needles if you have a specific project in mind that you'd like to swatch for, or a selection of needles if you just don't know what you'd like to swatch. I'll be hanging out, knitting and am looking forward to meeting you all!

Everyone who attends the yarn sampling is also invited to the shopping event that follows...

6pm-8pm: Private shopping party party! That's right, it's pretty much my favourite words ever. All backers who pledged $60 or more are invited to the private shopping party. I have been busy indeed dyeing up yarn for the party. I will have Polwarth + Alpaca, Mooresburg DK, Merino Singles 4ply, Merino Lace and even some fab eclipse colourways, there's lots of yarn you guys! 
There will be a complimentary glass of bubbly and more cake for all the shoppers. 

I'm really looking forward to catching up with knitters I haven't seen in ages, and meeting some new faces at the same time. Above all, can't wait to spend the afternoon chatting about all things knitting. Wahoo!

If all goes according to my plan, I'll be sporting a brand new jumper next Monday as well. I've been blasting through Anna Maltz's Humboldt Sweater pattern from her brilliant new book, Penguin Patterns. I can't stop knitting. If I hadn't mucked up the neck shaping THREE TIMES, it would have been finished on Friday. Anyhow, I think I'll get there by next week. I'm using the beautiful Mooresburg DK in Giant Peach and a natural grey Wensleydale spun by my good friends at John Arbon Textiles. Love them, love the yarn, love the sweater! Happily, Anna is having a penguin KAL over in her ravelry group, so I'm joining in there too. Always fun to knit with a group!

This is my first project with Mooresburg DK (brand new for kickstarter backers!) So I'll be doing my best to wear it into the purl next week. Also, it's driving me crazy that I'm not wearing it right now!