Eight wildflowers shawl grows from Cottage Country Yarn Crawl
By Sue Tiffin
This year, the second annual Cottage Country Yarn Crawl includes stops in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Peterborough, Bobcaygeon, Lindsay, Lakefield, Fenelon Falls and Haliburton. The self-guided tour takes participants to shops throughout the region, where at each store, a specially chosen wildflower-themed yarn awaits them.
And the people, they’re coming. Yarn crawlers visiting JanKnit’s Studio on the main street of Haliburton since the crawl began in June have signed the guestbook while visiting from Mississauga, Lindsay, Port Sydney, Bracebridge, Kanata, St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Don Mills.
“Everybody enjoys it, everybody enjoys it,” said Janet Sheehey, owner of the Haliburton shop. “I think it’s good because first of all it draws a lot of people into town who maybe normally wouldn’t come into town, and also, it gives our people up here a chance to see what other yarns are around.”
This year’s theme is A Group of Eight Wildflowers, with shop owners choosing a colourway to represent a native wildflower that grows in cottage country. Participants take a passport to each stop to collect a stamp, pick up their colourway, and later create a keepsake “crawl shawl” from a free pattern created by Michele Meadows as a reminder of this year’s adventure.
“I picked the lady slipper because we’ve got one growing in our yard,” said Sheehey, who then had someone in Owen Sound who had previously created for her a colourway based on a lakeside photo Sheehey had presented, recreate the lady slipper’s colour.
Participants can win prizes, and are also encouraged to visit local area highlights and attractions.
“We added a shop bio on our blog which connects the crawl to the communities,” said Meadows. “We have listed each shop’s lunch and sightseeing suggestions, as well as a ‘hidden gem.’ Something unique and maybe a bit off the beaten path.” Meadows said it’s about engaging the crawlers in a full-day experience at each stop.
Additionally, those with a passport stamp from Haliburton can receive a 15 per cent discount off their meal at McKecks, and a free drink from Castle Antiques. Sheehey had anticipated about 50 people participating last year, but instead saw 80 participants. This year she has a guest book in place to have a better understanding of where visitors are coming from. She’s seeing people travelling in groups of friends, and a lot of women travelling with their husbands.
“And people think, oh you’re a yarn shop, and then they come in and go, oh, I didn’t know you had that, or I didn’t know you had that, because I have weaving, quilting, fabric, I’ve got everything in here,” said Sheehey.
This year’s Cottage Country Yarn Crawl began June 8 and runs until Sept. 4.
For more information about the Cottage Country Yarn Crawl or to download a passport, visit cottagecountryyarncrawl.blogspot.com or janknitsstudio.com, or stop in at JanKnit’s Studio at 214 Highland Street from 10 to 5, Mondays through Fridays, or from 10 to 3 on Saturdays.