Sheeps Ahoy

In just a little over a month, we will be gathering to learn about designing our own fair isle garments.  This email is aimed at giving you all the information you need to enjoy our time together.  

Dates - Nov. 5, 5pm to Nov. 8, mid afternoon

Where - The Glen House Resort, Gananoque, Ontario (on the 1000 Island Parkway)

Registration Fee - $650 (Cdn funds) non-refundable after Oct 19 (see details below)

Glen House Costs (payable on leaving) - $555 (single), $480 (double)

Homework - The homework for this workshop can be found in this pdf document.

The Glen House is a full service resort complete with a restaurant, bar, pool and fully serviced rooms.  The registration fee you already paid, plus The Glen House costs (which you will pay when leaving) include the following:
- your accomodation
- all your meals from Sunday dinner to Wednesday lunch, inclusive
- coffee break snacks, meeting room rentals, etc.
- yarn for your swatches (choose from the 296 shades of fingering weight Shetland wool provided)

The Glen House has a fully stocked bar just next to the dining room in the Smuggler's Lounge. If you would like a glass of wine or other beverage, you are welcome to stop by the bar on your way to dinner. The servers will also bring a beverage to your table.  Please pay your server with cash only (and remember a gratuity) and do not sign beverages to your room.

Our days will be structured as follows:

Sun. Nov. 5: 

5 - 6 pm - Welcome Reception in the Smuggler's Lounge (cash bar available)
6 pm - Dinner in the Dining Room

Mon. Nov. 6 and Tues. Nov. 7: 

7:30 - 8:30 am - Breakfast in the Dining Room
9 - 12 noon - Workshop in the Navy or Lake Fleet Room
12 noon - Lunch in the Dining Room
1:30 - 4:30 pm - Workshop in the Navy or Lake Fleet Room
6pm - Dinner in the Dining Room

Wed. Nov 8: 

7:30 - 8:30 am - Breakfast in the Dining Room
9 - 12 noon - Workshop in the Navy or Lake Fleet Room
12 noon - Lunch in the Dining Room
1:30 - 3pm - Workshop in the Navy or Lake Fleet Room

Our evenings will be free so bring some of your own knitting to work on.  We have access to the large Admiralty Room upstairs or can meet in the Smugglers' Lounge or retire to our own rooms or go for a walk along the path beside the 1000 Island Parkway.

Sheeps Ahoy will have some items for sale over the course of our stay.  If you wish to purchase a specific item, please send email ahead of time so I am sure to bring it for you.  

The weather at this time of year is usually cool but not yet terribly cold.  It is best to dress in layers.  Of course, bring your best sweaters to showcase throughout our time together. 

And finally, before you come be sure to prepare for your workshop.  Janine's instructions, what to bring and how to prepare can be found in this document.

I'm looking forward to seeing each of you in November.  Safe travels and happy knitting.

Workshop Description:

Janine Bajus is an internationally known Fair Isle knitter, designer, and teacher.  Her goal is to provide the information that people need to knit their own stranded garments, whether traditional or wild, subdued or saturated, from a pattern or self-designed.  Her hands-on workshops in custom colour knitting are known for Janine's unstoppable can-do attitude and step-by-step methods.  For more information on Janine, check out her website or visit her on Ravelry as Feralknitter.

Designing a Fair Isle sweater from scratch can seem intimidating!

So many things to consider: color, patterning, construction. And each of these elements affects the others. This class breaks the design process down into understandable steps, so that no matter what kind of sweater you hope to design—classic Fair Isle pullover, bright folkloric cardigan, mysterious Celtic vest, whatever!—you will have the tools to make it a reality. Your colorways will be derived from photographs or paintings—this results in highly individual, complex designs without requiring an art degree! There is time throughout the workshop for questions, brainstorming, and individual feedback.

Day 1 starts with a discussion of what sets the use of color in Fair Isle knitting apart from other stranded knitting traditions: value sequencing and mirroring. You will begin swatching with an exercise in value recognition. Then I will demonstrate the use of different color tools, and you will plunge into the actual process of identifying colors in your sources of inspiration. Before the day is done you will have choosen colors from the 212 colors of Jamieson Spindrift Shetland yarn that I provide and started speed swatching to see how they work together.

Day 2 is spent charting motifs and swatching them using the colors you’ve identified through your speed swatching. I will discuss how color choices affect your motif options. You can bring your own charts or create your own in the workshop. I will discuss motif placement, garment shape, ease, and other design considerations as details of your sweater emerge.

Day 3 our focus turns to construction and fit issues specific to Fair Isle-type garments: steeks, corrugated ribbing, purl-when-you-can borders, shaped shoulders, and adding bands will be discussed and demonstrated as desired. You will continue to swatch and refine the details of your garment as you gain confidence in the direction you are going.

Experience level: You don’t need to be an expert Fair Isle knitter to design your own garment! For this workshop you need to know how to knit with 2 colors in the round—although I will be answering any technique questions you may have (how to make your floats the right length, for example), I will not be teaching the basics. You will find it helpful to have some  experience knitting garments, which will help you understand construction and fit issues. However, you don’t need to be an expert knitter—slow but steady wins this race. The most important thing is that you be willing to experiment and persevere!


Hello and welcome to Sheeps Ahoy. We hope you enjoy browsing our site. Sheeps Ahoy is a small home-based business designed for knitters who love fair isle, lacework, design or something just a little different.

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