Saturday, July 23, 2016

settling in and getting back to work

Quite a lot has happened since the last time you heard from me. Lots of unpacking, moving boxes around, putting things away and then moving them over and over. It's a long and slow process - settling into a new home and making things comfortable - but at last I can see it all coming together! There is still yarn everywhere, knitting projects teetering on the arms of chairs and Viola stickers all over the kitchen counter, but settling in progress is being made every day.

 At the beginning of the month, I hosted the first ever Viola dyeing workshops (a kickstarter reward) I had such a fun time sharing the studio, wonky old general store and new home of Viola with these two lovely women. Sherry and Jenny, you are delightful - thank you for your support and for the very fun day!

Sherry and Jenny's finished colours. They each tested out a few different bases and the results were great (if you ask me). Looking forward to seeing these beauties knit into things!

Dyeing workshops are not the only kickstarter rewards that have been filled this month. My new studio is up and running (at last) and the first yarn I dyed was Mooresburg DK for the secret surprise Leeleetea kit rewards. Natalie is a fellow Torontonian currently living in London. I've known all about her serious knitting skills for a long time now, so I was delighted when she offered to design two secret patterns for Viola meets Mooresburg. Some folks out there may have already received their kits, and the rest of you won't have to wait much longer. We're keeping the design a secret for a little while longer (or else it would be a pretty bad surprise!) but I cannot wait to see these hats and mitts being knit up. My own set is not far off. So please share photos of your kits as they are being knitted and when they are done too - I can't wait to see!

the kit colourways were the very first skeins that I dyed in the new studio, and I think it was the perfect yarn to start out with. Mooresburg DK and Mooresburg colourway being made in Mooresburg at last!

 Next up, I moved to the Mooresburg DK yarn club. Packing and moving took up much of the spring, and then it was battling water issues in the new studio (mostly sorted, more on that in a minute), which left the spring colourway quite neglected. These delays gave me lots of time to think about both the spring and summer colourways, so I made the most of it with lots of research and exploring...

 The colourway for spring came to me on an early morning run in April; the roadside was full of these pussy willow plants, just starting to bloom (or puff, what is the correct term?) It seemed to me that the young plants had a core of bright lime and yellow that showed through their thin bark, giving the effect of glowing from inside the stalk. On that cloudy, spring day they looked like they were softly glowing along the roadside. Quite magical!

Summer's colour was an easy choice for me. I came across these wild Columbine plants on a walk in the woods. They're pretty much my favourite colour, and it took some restraint to keep this photo (and my yarn colour plans) a secret while I was waiting to get back to work.

I cannot say how good it feels to be dyeing in the new space. While I still have lots of work to do before it is 'finished', it already feels like home. There will be quite a steep learning curve - I still have a lot of experimenting to do and fine tuning the new system. I am not planning to change anyone's favourite colourway, only iron out some of the kinks at my end. I am so happy to have the opportunity to do this overhaul!
Thankfully, the water woes I mentioned in my last post are not nearly so bad as I had thought. Many of the colours I've dyed so far are...just not the same...the space is not the same either so it's unreasonable of me to expect the yarn to do all the adjusting. I'll be spending the next few weeks bent over a dyebath pondering and stirring until I have what I want. So just a bit of growing pains over here, and that was certainly to be expected from the beginning!

There is still more news, if you can believe it. At last, I have started working on something that has been on my list for longer than I care to mention. I'm making a real WEBSITE!!!! Slowly, but surely (that's my only pace) I've been plodding away on scary internet things that I don't really understand. Learning lots along the way, of course, and so excited at the prospect of having a store, blog and lots more stuff under the same digital roof.

...SO, this will be my last post here on blogger. For more news and future blog updates, please click over too...

I will be adding and changing things for a little while still, but feel free to click over and take a peek at the progress. I will keep you up to date on Ravelry, Instagram and the new blog too!

Righto, more news very soon 😊