Friday, December 11, 2015

getting back into the swing of things

  This week (is it Friday...I think so) has passed at a remarkable pace. I've been busy doing lots of little things. The sort of things that you think won't take any time at all, and then hours have gone by...there are so many ends to tie up for Kickstarter, whilst trying to carry on with the main task at hand (dyeing yarn!) Needless to say, things have been bonkers. Still a good and exciting type of bonkers, but I truly have no idea what day it is today.

I've started to send out backer surveys. So anyone who pledged in the Kickstarter campaign will be hearing from me soon if you haven't already. It's been so much fun to hear back from you about your colour choices. I always love to know who wants which colour! I forgot to mention in Kickstarter that 'Soft' is listed as the colour option in a few rewards, but I've shown Wild Rose. This is  my fault...there was a time when I was going to switch them, and I FORGOT! So There's a big picture of Soft at the top of this post, on Mooresburg DK. I dyed up lots of Soft yesterday, on Sock too...beginning of the kits! 

There has also been rather a lot of painting and drawing. I am so happy with the way my sticker illustrations have come out. I love stickers, I always want them even if I don't stick them on anything at all. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but here's the original of my favourite sticker design. It's all about the socks around here, don't forget!

I've been running around so much that knitting time has been rather hard to come by. Don't worry, my sock addiction is showing no signs of waning, just paused for a moment. As I am still knitting the last of my test socks, ironing out any kinks in the Favourite Sock Pattern, so all spare time has gone into knitting those guys. When some time frees up though, I'm casting on with the Mooresburg colourway for a pair of socks for me. I simply could not resist a skein of this colour - I love it more every time I look at it!

 There are a couple of other projects waiting in the wings too...


I've had my eyes on the Karusellen hat from Pom Pom issue 14 for...well, since it came out. I've seen a few in person. Loved them all. It's time I knit my own! Whilst trying to focus on something less exciting, these 2 skeins of Mooresburg DK announced that they would be the perfect hat and that now was the time to cast on...I cannot argue.

And then there is this...I've kept it quiet because it features something new(ish) and very exciting. A bit of a surprise...MOHAIR! I'm knitting a shawl for my mum. She requested a very plain and simple, no nonsense, Tasha Tudor-like shawl. I'm doubling Ghost Merino Lace with some old Viola Mohair Lace. This is just about the most dreamy thing I've ever met. It is so soft and warm and substantial, but light and delicate all at the same time. I think it's also a great way to use lace weight yarn in a non-scary way. I'm using 5mm needles and the knitting is going by super quick. Anyhow, the big reveal won't be far off...

Last, but not least, here I am in my Speckled Mist creation. It's been neglected of late, due to busyness and indecision. Now that I'm getting back into the knitting groove, I've returned to contemplating my options long should it be? One friend (you know who you are) has suggested that I knit it super long, like to my KNEES. I just have no idea where to stop. Transitioning from rust to purple was lots of fun, although I do not want to think about all the ends in there...
So I've been wearing the partially knit jumper/dress/thing around all afternoon (right now, as a matter of fact) just to get a feel for it. Who knows what it will become...I certainly don't, but I love it all the same!

Monday, December 7, 2015

a hearty thank you!

Yesterday was a big day indeed, the Kickstarter campaign that I've been going on and on and on about has finished, and what a huge success it was! Thanks to everyone who contributed and shared it with their friends, my funding goal was surpassed...and then some. As I've mentioned in the latest Kickstarter update, I'm still totally in shock over the generous support people have shown. Holy cow!
But it's time to get into action. I cannot wait to iron out all the little details that remain to be sorted. The extra Kickstarter funds will allow me to get my long list of things to buy and jobs to do scratched off much more quickly too...which means settling into the new space sooner than expected! That's pretty much the best news I can think of.

I spent a most luxurious weekend painting, knitting and drawing in an effort to give myself a little break. I also managed to accomplish rather a lot work-wise (sharing more info soon!) I've been working at such a break-neck pace recently, that the creative time was much needed. Now, I'm ready to jump back into the action! All backers, you will be hearing from me soon regarding your rewards. Everyone can still follow along with progress on this project just by clicking over to the Kickstarter page.


 Stay tuned...

Monday, November 23, 2015

SNOW in Mooresburg

It's been a week since the launch of Viola meets Mooresburg, and what a week it has been! The number of people who have supported the campaign, and each person's generosity, has been staggering! I think I was a bit delirious...

I cannot say enough 'THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU' !!!!! So thanks a bunch!

My delirium is slowly winding down now, and I've just spent a lovely weekend up at the store working out the best ways to use the unexpected donations, and the first step was simple...insulation!

As Mooresburg and all of Gray Bruce was dumped on by our first big snowfall of the year, winter boots and down coats appeared in every Tim Hortons (non-Canadians, Tim Hortons is a cultural institution in can google it, but you might not get what the big deal is) it became very clear that winter was officially here. With it...COLD. The cold weather is here to stay, and my little shed still has cracks in the walls and doors that I can see through. Not for long!

 When planning this project, we considered a couple of options; the normal, pink stuff...I always loved it just because it's pink. Certainly the most affordable option, but quite time consuming to fit into all the uneven nooks and crannies of my space. The other option was spray foam, certainly more costly but better R value (look at me using the lingo!) way faster, more efficient and critter deterrent! 

The choice is easy now - spray foam all the way! The studio space will retain hear more efficiently (and the reverse in the hot summer, of course). The job of insulating will be completed in just one day, no time to waste with the cold closing in around us. AND, spray foam is apparently like building a fortress against critter invasion! This aspect was very appealing to me, being in such a rural spot I'll take all the help I can get. There are lots mice and bugs up there, but they're not getting into my yarn!

So that's the latest studio news...

back in Toronto, I'm gearing up for a busy week of dyeing, knitting, pattern writing and organizing Kickstarter rewards. The Favourite Sock pattern is coming along very well, and seems to have given me the excuse to cast on even more and more and more socks. Not such a bad thing!

I will leave you with this lovely pile of natural Mooresburg DK, ready to get coloured in this week. I'm so excited to get working on these rewards!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Ok, wow, oh my goodness. It's been almost 24 hours since the launch of the Viola meets Mooresburg Kickstarter campaign and I've spent almost the entire time watching my computer screen with my jaw on the floor. Literally.

I've always been aware of the fact that I know some pretty amazing knitters (and I don't take it for granted either), and felt so lucky for the encouragement and support that has always been there. But wow you guys. Just wow! As I am slowly emerging from my state of 'gobsmacked-ness' I am at last able to say the most heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported the campaign so far, everyone who shared it, everyone who even looked at it. I never dreamed that my goal would be surpassed in mere hours, and beyond that, that it would be more than doubled in less than 24 hours. Gobsmacked, I say!

So, to all of you unbelievably kind and generous friends out there, THANK YOU. I cannot wait to get to work putting your generously donated money to the best possible use! Without a doubt, this new studio will be growing into the most ideal workplace. I know I kept going on about being excited before, but this is something else!

This is the lovely view from the front window of the store. I took it this past weekend, whilst pondering last minute Kickstarter adjustments and details. Pretty, huh?

I'm off to get to work on some reward-related things, the knitting that I couldn't manage to pick up yesterday because I was way too excited to focus and a cup of coffee...

Friday, November 13, 2015

little update!

As the launch day for Viola's Kickstarter campaign draws nearer, I've been busily ironing out little details, proofreading a million times over and revisiting my many lists. It's all so exciting!

The campaign is set to launch on Monday, the 16th of November @ 12pm EST

I'll share a link to the project page as soon as it goes live, so it's all easy to find.
For now, here's a little update on rewards...

I've doodled and drawn my way through several pencils since the beginning of Kickstarter planning, and I'm really excited about some of the artwork and goodies that are going to be offered. Many are still in production, so the goods aren't in my hands just yet. But be sure that I'll be sharing the news as soon as products land, and sharing the stuff too!

Casting on ANOTHER pair of socks this weekend to hammer out pattern details for the Favourite Socks pattern and kit that is going to be available through Kickstarter. Is there anything better than mixing and matching colours? I can't think of anything... 

Don't forget to check out the latest KAL over in the Viola Ravelry group. We're all knitting socks this time round, any sock goes. Pretty good timing I think, considering that there are loads of sock-y rewards headed your way through Kickstarter! Any sock goes, any pattern you can think of any any Viola yarn you want to use. Looking forward to seeing everyone's plans!

Here's a first glimpse of the Mooresburg colourway, designed just for Kickstarter backers! Completely inspired by a year of watching the seasons change in Mooresburg, it makes me think of the forest, river, pond, fields of crop and big stormy skies that I've grown to love so much. I can't wait to cast on with this. Hope you love it too!
It's dyed here on Mooresburg DK, but will also be available dyed on sock yarn...back to socks again, I can't help myself!

This is the seriously cool Jane Smart. Mastermind behind the kickstarter video! Thanks Jane!!!
Keep checking into the Kickstarter thread on Ravelry for project and reward updates.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mooresburg DK. This is serious.

Hey everyone! So I sneaked a little teaser onto Ravelry last night, but for anyone who didn't catch it...there's a new yarn in Viola land!

This yarn is really special. It's exclusive to Viola, it's grown and spun right here in Ontario Canada, it's brand new for Kickstarter backers and it is soft, light, rustic and wooly. So I'm chuffed. You heard me right, it's an all Canadian, hand dyed sweater yarn! Whoa. 

The lovely Mooresburg DK is a light double knit weigt, 2 ply yarn. It's spun from the fleece of a Cotswold/Dorset cross sheep that live very close to me in Grey County (how exciting is this?!) It get's even better still, because this beautiful fibre is spun by the seriously lovely folks at Wellington Fibres. They're so close to me too, I really feel like I'm winning the day today!

So, I have some pretty big plans for Mooresburg DK. I've been swatching already for a jumper that I'm going to start on soon (more top, I feel like I'm some kind of knitting spy with all my secrets these days). I can say that my jumper is going to be knit in Giant Peach, which is one of my new favourites...and the reason for all the pictures of Giant Peach coloured yarn at the moment. 

Mooresburg DK will make it's debut in my upcoming Kickstarter Campaign (launching this Monday, the 16th!) It will be available in a selection of favourite Viola colourways, and some new special options too!

I've been dyeing quite a bit of Mooresburg DK these days. The red above is Black Lodge and has traveled across the sea to my fellow Canadian abroad, Natalie (Leeleetea) who is working on a pattern for the Kickstarter campaign. The pattern is going to be a hat and mittens combo knit in Black Lodge, Mooresburg DK. I can't wait to see what she comes up with! 

Black Lodge seemed to me to be the perfect colour for Mooresburg, and Kickstarter. It's the deep rich red that can be found around Grey County throughout the autumn and winter time, from dogwood and berries to the red roof of my new studio. This red just makes sense. 

Mooresburg DK will be available to Kickstarter backers before anyone else, and there are lots of colour options for available too! It's your chance to preview this seriously amazing yarn before anyone else. Hope that you love it as much as I do!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

lots of sock news...

 Everyone knows how much I'm loving sock yarn these days. A lot. It's a good thing too, because I've been busy doing lots of sock things (and dreaming of more still!)

I'm pretty excited that I can finally tell you about a couple of them too...

These are one of my favourite pairs of socks. I knit them years ago, with Viola Sock, in a simple rib that has become my go-to sock style. I wear these all the time, and they certainly have stood the test of time. These socks have survived traipsing across Exmoor in my Blundstones. That's some sturdy sock yarn! Since this groundbreaking pair of socks, I've repeated this pattern countless times (socks being a favourite gift of mine) and I got to thinking that it was time I shared the pattern. So that's what I'm doing...

My favourite sock pattern will make it's debut as a reward in my Kickstarter Campaign (launching mid November). It will be available as a PDF as well as in a kit featuring 1 main colour and 2 carefully chosen contrast colours. The best thing about knitting these socks is mixing and matching toe and heel colours...and I'm pretty excited about the colour combos I've dreamed up! 

In addition to some fun sock kits, you will be able to order skeins of sock yarn in a selection of favourite Viola colourways, ready to be knit into anything your heart desires! You can't loose!

There will be a sock reward option for everyone, and I'm looking forward to sharing one of my favourite Viola yarns, and favourite projects. Stay tuned for more Kickstarter previews and news, there's lots more great stuff to come!

Of course, if you're in Toronto, you won't have to wait very long to get another taste of my favourite yarn. Many of you may already know that the Purple Purl is celebrating their 8th anniversary Sunday November the 15th. There will be a LOT of Viola Sock there too (wahoo!)

I had lots of fun dyeing all these goodies for the Purl. If you're in the Toronto area, be sure to visit the Purple Purl Sunday November the 15th to see these babies in person (along with a whole wack of Merino Singles 4 ply too!)

All this sock chatter has got me thinking (along with the encouraging suggestion from Ravellers) that it's high time for a sock KAL. And so, following the fun and success of out Breaking into the Pretty KAL, I'm saying let's have a sock KAL! The Super Slouch Socks are a great idea, and were the prize giveaway for everyone who finished the last KAL, but any sock would do! 

Phew, I don't think even I could handle any more sock news in one post. So I shall leave you with that!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

i almost kept this...

Sharing the yarn that 'I almost kept' has become one of my favourite things about shop updates...suppose I just love pretty pictures of yarn. Don't we all?!

Today's shop update is very exciting, because it features the return of SOCK yarn! I've mentioned this already, I know, but I just love it so much. As a very serious sock knitter, I did stockpile a lot of Viola sock before I went off on my little break, but it was running low (and I was getting a bit panicky). Just in the nick of time, Viola Sock is back and I've managed to NOT keep it all!

Winterwood Sock

Bronte Sock

Wild Rose Sock

Black Lodge Sock

Truth be told, I want all of the sock yarn. All of it. But I cut myself off at 4 colours, gotta reign in the sock craziness!

There's lots of lovely Merino Lace as well and this rich green Eclipse is hands down my favourite!

Runner up is another Eclipse on Merino Lace. There is so much going on in this colour, I've spent more time that I should just staring at it!

And last, but not least, Cosmic Merino Lace. This colourway is quickly becoming a favourite of mine as well. Each skein came out quite differently on this base, but each one is seriously cool too!

Hope to see you today @ 4 pm EST for all this and more great yarn too!

Friday, October 30, 2015


This post is appropriately titled indeed, it is chokablock with news. I'm excited! It's a bunch of stuff that I've known about for ages, I don't know how it hasn't slipped out in a little explosion of enthusiasm...anyhow, I managed to keep it together until now, the big unveiling!

First off is my favourite; I am about to launch a Kickstarter Campaign to help fund the completion of my new dye studio! For anyone who does not know about Kickstarter, it is a crowdfunding website. I create a profile and a project page, outlining just what it is that I would like to fund, what costs are involved and what I want to achieve. Then, I come up with a whole pile of fabulous rewards for anyone who is interested in supporting my campaign. That's the short version. 

I can't wait to share more information about the project and rewards, and exactly that will be trickling out from now to the project launch date (mid November) and beyond! For now though, I will say that helping me complete my dye studio will not only mean that I can produce more yarn more that's a good thing. It will also mean that you have access to brand new and exclusive yarn, limited colourways, lots of Viola swag, studio visits and...more stuff that's going to remain a surprise. Phew, so that's my biggest news!

Up next in this action packed post is next week's shop update. Wahoo! While this update won't be the biggest, it can boast the return of SOCK YARN. I've finally resurrected one of my all time favourite Viola yarns. This is the yarn that I hoard like a maniac, seriously. I knit a lot of socks, like a lot, and it's my favourite base hands down. So it's back! In addition to sock I'll have Merino Lace and Merino Fingering as well. I'll share some photos next week as update time approaches! For now, here is the triumphant return of sock yarn in Cosmic...

So please tune into the Etsy shop next Thursday November 5th @ 4pm EST

Last, but not least on the list of exciting is the end date of our Breaking into the Pretty KAL. There are loads of lovely finished projects on display in the Ravelry group, and hopefully a few more will squeak in before Saturday's deadline. I'm looking forward to the random draw Sunday morning, and will announce the winner as soon as I know (as well as get chatting to them about their yarn-y prize). So much fun! I loved participating, even though I think I missed the point and kept casting on MORE new projects. I did get an awful lot knit though. Here are my last 2 pairs of socks, all finished on time and sent to their recipients (knit from Viola sock yarn too!)...

Congratulations to all those who have completed, good luck to everyone who is still trying to get their projects done before Saturday and thank you to everyone who participated and chimed in on Ravelry. It's been loads of fun!