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FairIsle Knitted Skirt

wearing knit skirt

This cute skirt actually started as a sweater. I was practicing some colour work in preparation for the class I was taking with Alexa of TinCan Knits. It was a full day workshop going over creating your own colour work sweater from their latest book Strange Brew.

I started by scooping up all my DK weight bits of yarn from my stash and piling them into groups of colour. I was also playing on a app on my iPad where I was working out the math for creating my own designs. It is all about colour play on graph paper really. So long as your stitch repeats can be divided evenly into your total number of stitches you can have lots of creative fun.

I love colour and just kept playing and adding more and more! Then I stepped back and really looked at the “sweater”. I realized it was probably not something I could imagine wearing as a sweater. It was a bit loud even for me!

Then I started thinking about the fact that my hips and behind were basically the same width as my bust. Hmmm…. Well why not a skirt? No sleeves to worry about. It would look cute with a pair of tights, short boots and some flashy knitted socks. Plus it would make for a toasty tush!

Voila! This would look much better as a skirt then a sweater! I kept happily knitting away and did a few measurements of my waist and a couple of skirts I own to get an idea on how to finish the skirt.

I switched to a size down needle and did 2 x 2 rib for the last 4 inches with enough decreases to get the knitting to match my waist size.

color work knit skirt

I love wearing this skirt! It’s fun, not too hot, like a sweater can be. I have had no problems with it sliding down. The waist shaping in the ribbing worked great. It doesn’t look that great since the decreases mess with the 2 x 2 pattern but I always wear a long top to hide the belly so no one sees it.

wearing knit skirt

I enjoy wearing it so much I have started another one! So if you want to give it a try just find a sweater that has a chest circumference that matches your hips and have some fun!

color work knit skirt

Playing with Nuno Felting

blueberry swirlEvery year there is a juried art show called Art In The County that is open to all artists living in Prince Edward County. I have entered a fibre art piece each year for, I think, 5 or 6 years now.

This is the piece I entered for the 2016 Art In The County and it actually won an Honourary Mention Award! This came as a complete surprise since usually the judges are painter, photographers, sculpters, graphic designer. They don’t usually have a whole lot of exposure to the Fibre Arts so to be recognized as my piece being a quality piece of art was wonderful!

Fibre Arts are sometimes a bit frowned on by people that admire high end art work. Fibre Arts are many times considered a craft and not an art form. This designation I have been working on breaking through for a decade now. I’m a knitter and a felter and so far the felting pieces get much more respect than the knitting, though in reality the knitting is way more complicated in many cases!

One of juror’s comments that was posted on the wall beside my piece was this:

“The technical ability of this work is remarkable. Silk and felt blend together in areas that are mesmerizing.” 

I have to say this made me feel really good that someone figured out how tricky it was to lay the wool the way I did and keep it from wiggling around while I felted it all!

Also I did sell the shawl at the show as well so I did an extra happy dance when that phone call came in!

IMG_8396 (200x300)IMG_8397 (200x300)I did have a free form knit & crochet shawl that was accepted in 2013 to Art In The County. This was a surprise to me since I thought for sure that one would be not accepted into a gallery of high end art. I always put my pieces on a lovely mannequin and let’s face it display can make a big difference in whether a piece looks high end or not. This shawl I got obsessed with finishing and since it is completely free form it was so hard to know when it was done! I was up until 3 am the night before the piece was to be taken in to be juried!

I did sell this piece to a lovely lady that looked spectacular in it and hopefully she still loves it as much today as when she walked out of the shop with it!

The Blueberry Swirl shawl shown above I tried something I have wanted to do for a while. I love swirls and curls and use them constantly in my art work and I wanted to do swirls on the edge but allowing the curls to have open areas around them. The tricky part was keeping the areas open that I wanted to stay open and not letting them get too big so that the shawl would not drape properly.

Felting is obviously a technique that shrinks wool and when you have a hole or opening as the wool shrinks it pulls away from the hole which then becomes larger. The other issue that occurs is all the tiny hairs from the wool that still sneak over top of the hole opening. Each hole has to be worked individually with fingers and your thumb rubbing around each holes edge to push all those fibres out of the way and clear and shape the hole properly.


Each colour of wool was laid down individually and most of the openings between the colours I had to keep working separately to them open.

I want to keep working at creating negative space or openings around the wool. I have a couple of other ideas to help make this work closer to what I have rolling around in my brain.

Never a dull moment in working with wool!

New Cool Tools!

I’ve been working on this cable sweater for my husband for a while now and working with the chart has been a bit of a highlighterheadache at times.

I have tried to knit this sweater at Knit Night but usually have to put it away because there are too many interesting conversations and distractions for me to keep track of where I’m at!

I knit everywhere I go; the movies, a restaurant, the doctors office, the kids school functions where ever I’m sitting down. Some projects work fine for this but boy this sweater is not one of them!

knit chart keeper


Knitting on the run doesn’t work when you have to track each and every stitch and row. I know there are the magnetized chart holders with the long magnet bars holding them in place. I’m always moving too fast and I know I would end up shoving it into my bag and those magnets would move and I would be lost as to where I left off!

I like having my patterns in a plastic holder keeping them away from the inevitable tea stains and such.

Then the day came that someone whipped out of her knitting bag her highlighter tape and slapped a piece onto my pattern and I was hooked!

The highlighter tape is inexpensive ($5.75), repositionable on paper or a plastic cover and covers three to four lines of your chart so you know where you are and where you left off. I can run around with it clutched in my hands and have no worries about magnets slipping or sliding.

Plus you get a whole role of the stuff so you will have plenty for all those charts in your knitting future!!


Pam De Groot’s Felting Workshops

Well our week with Pam De Groot certainly flew by!

We had full classes of enthusiastic women that got to play with colour and fibre and what could make you happier than that!!

dying techniques The first day we made pre-felt using natural white merino and silk. The next day we got to play with all the different ways we could come up with to do resist dying on the fabric.

It was fascinating watching how the colours would change, blend and bleed to different colours from the points were there was pressure clamped onto the fabric.

We had all raided the hardware stores for everything from pvc pipes, clamps, screws and scraps of wood to create our designs. Even a few wine bottles were put to good use.

The results were varied and even the colours were different from fabric to rich coloursfabric. It depended on how long they stayed in the pot to how much dye had been already absorbed by the first fabric pieces to go into the pot. There was no disappointment just lots of ooohs and aaahs as we opened up and laid out the fabric to dry.

We all kept an eye on each other’s discoveries and borrowed ideas and dye pots to try to get similar colours that we liked. Each piece of fabric was like a snowflake and very unique.

The next part of the creation of our garments was the hard part. Now began the planning of where each piece would lay in the design of the tunic. It was like more planningcreating a large puzzle of colours and shapes but without a wasting a scrap!

Cutting into the beautiful fabric was a bit scary since once you cut you were offically commited to what you were doing. At least when it comes to felting you can save every scrap to be used another time in another garment.

There was also a bit of bartering going on between some of the ladies. A few bits of fabric that didn’t work for one person but worked for someone else were happily exchanged.

Most of the ladies didn’t finish fully felting their tunics but we did get a few photos and I’ll add more as I get photos sent to me.

Esther tunic dress Esther tunic back dress back Leah tunic's beginning



Knitting in the Round the Magic Loop Way

Knitting in the round is one of those things that comes up often in the shop when chatting to customers. There begins a discussion about favourite approaches and tools of choice and the Magic Loop method usually comes up. Lots of people don’t know exactly what this method is or in the case of new knitters they look apprehensive and just want to avoid the thought of trying to figure out another new thing. After all learning how to simply hold the yarn in your hand and how to knit and purl without dropping it is a bit daunting!

Isn’t it funny how simply giving a technique a fancy sounding name can make it seem like it will be scary and complicated? I was always intimidated when I would come across some new stitch in a pattern or horrors of horrors the dreaded bobble/pop corn stitch! I would tense up and then start the search online with our dear friend google and then off I go to see which of these links will actually explain clearly and give visuals so I can do it right. Then as I go through the steps and do it myself I find that I am surprised that it wasn’t nearly as scary as I though.

This definitely holds true with the Magic Loop method. I discovered I was already doing the magic loop method when I was determined to make a hat but couldn’t find my usual needles that are the correct length. The trick was that you use an extra long cable needle so that the excess cable can sneak out between two stitches on the far side of where you are knitting. Well duh! My cable has popped out through my stitches plenty of time when I was decreasing on my hat and hadn’t bothered to switch to my DPN’s.

Many new knitters when wanting to take on the next challenge after the creation of a rectangle, also known as the scarf, want to try creating a hat or socks or some other tube like creation. This of course means you are stepping into the unknown of “Knitting in the Round”!! (que scary music!). Cheryl Toy is our go to knitting guru in the shop and has classes on this exact thing so if you need a hand to hold while you try this then sign up! Cheryl is a fabulously patient teacher and knows all the ways to learn this easily.

Of course for those of you that can’t squeeze into your busy lives a class on this we have to rely on the good old internet! While crashing through various web searches (surfing is way too smooth and cool to describe my way of finding what I want on the web!) I came across a very decent and clear video of knitting in the round. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was done by our favourite knitting needle makers KnitPicks, all the more reason to trust it!

So without further ado here is the link to the “Magic Loop” video tutorial.

Happy knitting!

Felter Extraordinaire Pam De Groot is Coming HERE!!!

I am so excited to announce that Pam De Groot is coming to Rosehaven Yarn Shop to teach a 4 day and a 2 day workshop on felting!

The 4 day workshop will be August 24th to 27th from 9-5 and the 2 day workshop will be August 28th to 29th from 9-5. After that Pam is winging her way to Vancouver!

10491212_852928628052497_8674838530394716852_nPam is going to teach us how to create a gorgeous mosaic garment in the 4 day workshop.

Here is Pam’s description of the class;

In this workshop we are creating a cloth from multiple dyed pre felts. It is method of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction to discover a cloth with interest and complexity. The garment pieces are linked to unify the cloth with each maker creating their own garment of unique beauty and interest.

We will learn how to make a template from our own body measurements and to allow for differing shrinkage rates. We will be dying our own pre felts using safe dyeing practices.

467647_540222562656440_501844913_oDSC_0083 copy-001



The 2 day workshop will be focused on creating jewellery. Pam has told me that this class is one of the best for learning a large multitude of techniques that can be utilized when creating many other felted items. We will be working with roving, silk fibres, pre felts and lots of other different embellishments that can be added to wool. Learn the skills of felting on wire and sculpting wool to bend to your will!

524140_481562238522473_1284598392_nThe 4 day Mosaic Garment Workshop will be $475 with materials included (plus HST). There will be a lunch break so you can bring a lunch or visit one of the local cafes right around the corner for lunch. There are 12 spots available and we have a list already begun of interested people so don’t wait too long if you are interested before you call the shop to register.



DSC_0007 copyThe 2 day Jewellery Workshop will cost $275 with materials included (plus HST). There will be a lunch break so you can bring a lunch or visit one of the local cafes right around the corner for lunch. There are 12 spots available so register by calling the shop at 613-476-9092.

We will be hosting the workshops at Picton’s Salvation Army gymnasium and large kitchen so we will have lots of room and good lighting.

Wine & Wool In The County Knitting Retreat Materials List

knitting tool essentialsSo time is flying by and fall is here and we are organizing and getting ready for our big Knitting Retreat at Jackson’s Falls in November.

Our two instructors, Robin Hunter and Elizabeth McCarten have organized their materials list which I am posting here for you perusal.

Double check which class you are signed up for and then you can start organizing for the weekend too!

Seamless Techniques Class Materials

100g chunky weight light-coloured wool
25g of contrasting colour chunky wool for use as waste yarn
Size US #10 / 6 mm 24”/ 60 cm circular needle
Size US #10 / 6 mm set of 4 double-pointed needles
6 ring markers
small scissors and a tapestry needle
a CROCHET HOOK, 5 to 6 mm in size. (No crochet experience is necessary)
pencil and notepaper, or other means to take notes


Lace Knitting Perfected

Students should bring worsted weight yarn in a light colour, needles in an appropriate size for the yarn (4 – 5.5mm), a crochet hook in the same or a slightly smaller size, stitch markers in several colours, waste yarn in a lighter weight, paper, pens in several colours, rulers, darning needles and scissors.


Steek Class Materials & Homework
(Because you need something to cut!)

50 g of non-superwash worsted-weight 100% wool in a light colour (MC)
50 g of non-superwash worsted-weight 100% wool in a dark colour (CC) (omit if not working stranded knitting)
25 g or less of a contrasting colour lighter weight non-superwash yarn (sport or
fingering weight
a few yds of waste yarn for holding sts
sewing thread (cotton or polyester)
5.0 mm circular needle, 40 cm long
set of 5mm dpns (for 3-needle BO and borders)
3.25 mm crochet hook
large-eyed blunt tapestry needle
small-eyed sharp sewing needle
small scissors with sharp points
sewing thread (cotton or polyester
6 ring markers
Prerequisite Techniques (these are all available on Youtube):
longtail cast-on,
although it is not necessary to know how to crochet, please take time ahead of class to learn how to make a crochet chain,
3-needle bind-off (this is what the dpns are for).
(If you do not know how to do stranded knitting, then simply CO 72 sts, work 4 rnds of k2, p2 ribbing, and then 3” of Stocking stitch.)
With 5 mm circ, CO 72 sts using the longtail method.
Join into a rnd, being careful not to twist and work corrugated ribbing as foll:
Rnd 1: *K2 MC, k2 CC, rep from * to end of rnd, place marker to indicate start of rnd.
Rnd 2: *K2 MC, p2 CC, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 3 and 4: Rep Rnd 2.
Rnd 5: Knit around in MC.
Rnd 6: *K1 CC, k3 MC, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 7: K2 MC, *K1 CC, k3 MC, rep from * to last 2 sts, k1CC, k1 MC.

Rep Rnds 6 and 7 until work meas approx 3”.
In class, we will set up 2 armhole steeks and a neck steek, learn how to secure them, cut them open, and, if there is time, finish the cut edges.


What the Pattern Doesn’t Tell You (and the class for the Sunday afternoon about Garments)

Students should bring small amounts of worsted weight yarn in 3 different light colours, needles in an appropriate size for the yarn (4 – 5.5mm), a crochet hook in the same or a slightly smaller size, paper, pens in several colours, rulers, darning needles, scissors.


Afterthought Buttonhole Class Materials
50g worsted-weight wool
Size US #8 / 5 mm 24” circular needle
Size US #7 / 4.5 mm double-pointed needles
Size US # 5 / 3.75 mm crochet hook
small scissors and a tapestry needle
pencil and notepaper, or other means to take notes

Quince & Co. Yarns Exclusive to Rosehaven!!

Hello all!

We are thrilled to announce that we have officially been invited to be a flagship store for the Quince & Co. Yarn Company. 

This is especially exciting for Canadians because we will be the only store in Ontario to carry their yarn and only the 2nd place in Canada to have it. The only other shop is Espace Tricot in Montreal.

Quince & Co. offers wool yarns that are sourced and spun in the US. Known in the trade as “territory wool,” their wool comes from Merino, Rambouillet, and Columbia-based sheep that roam the ranges of Montana and Wyoming. All Their wool and wool-blend yarns are spun in New England mills with venerable histories. By sourcing their wool in the US and manufacturing their yarn locally, they minimize their carbon footprint.

When Quince looks for an animal fiber, they want to know if the animal was raised in a way that sustains the earth and preserves the culture of the people who care for it.

Quince Kestrel
Kestrel 100% linen

Quince Sparrow
Sparrow 100% linen

We have been carrying their two 100% linen yarns, Sparrow and Kestrel since this past spring and it has been well loved by our customers that have bought and made garments with it. One person’s description of the Sparrow was that it turned to butter in your hands as you knit it. Yum!



Now we are just waiting for the boxes to arrive of  Quince’s Chickadee, Lark, Osprey and Puffin in lots of luscious colours.

Lark Petra sweater
Lark Petra sweater

Chickadee Kilkenny cowl
Chickadee Kilkenny cowl

Osprey Camilla pullover
Osprey Camilla pullover

Puffin Cullin Cowl
Puffin Cullin Cowl

Wine & Wool In The County – A Knitting Retreat!

jacksons fallsWe are putting together our first ever Knit Retreat and we are so excited to invite you all to come and enjoy a fabulous weekend in beautiful Prince Edward County, the capital of fabulous food and wine for eastern Ontario.

There will be classes each day being taught by Robin Hunter and Elizabeth McCarten.  Robin has been knitting her whole life, so long she has no recollection of learning. She brings her extensive background in sewing, tailoring, pattern drafting and millinery to her designs and to share with students. Elizabeth McCarten is a top knit designer and has created amazing and beautiful garments with the patterns available on Ravelry. Both of these ladies have also been showcased in Vogue knitting magazines for their talent and designs.

Jackson’s Falls Country Inn is built around the original old school house for the area and is filled with old artifacts from the school house including the original chalkboards and maps. There is a wood stove to cuddle up next too and a friendly dog that likes to wander in for an occasional pat.

Elizabeth steekingYou are welcome to bring your own wine to the Inn and can drink it in the public rooms or your own room with only a $5 cork fee to cover the legalities of the liquor license for the Inn. All the rooms are set up to be a shared occupancy so tell us in the registration form who you will be rooming with.

We have also invited a few vendors to join us and show us their wares on the Saturday so bring along some cash for a yarn treat to take home. Silver Cloud Alpacas, Anwyn Yarns and us of course Rosehaven Yarn Shop.

Follow this link to see the itinerary and to register.


Come join the fun in the County!

Freebies! What Could be Better!

imageWhen I came into ownership of Rosehaven I acquired a rather large amount of knitting, crocheting, Piecework, Fibre Focus and other magazines. Plus of course there is also my own stash of magazines to add to that.

They were all a year or so old and not worth really anything much but there were still some good patterns in them and then I thought why don’t we work a trade system?  Originally the idea was that people could bring in their old magazines and trade for some different ones. I quickly discovered that when someone brought me their magazines it usually consisted of large bags of them!

I quickly changed the whole trade idea to just take what you like and if at some point you have a few to donate back, great! If not I wasn’t going to worry because we seem to have an never ending supply of magazines! I think one of the best things that came out of this idea was the day a woman came in to check things out on her way to visit her elderly mother who at one time was an avid knitter, sewer and all around amazing crafter. Her mother was unable to do any of the things she loved due to her arthritis but she still loved to see what others create. I loaded this lovely lady up with lots of magazines of different crafting genres and sent her happily on her way.

She popped back into the shop about a week later with some of the magazines to return and said how it made her mother’s day to have all these magazines to look through. She got very excited about all the creations in the articles and spent the entire week pouring over the magazines. It really made my day hearing that!

It proves that sharing can be fun so come and check out the pile of magazines and get a good laugh over a few of the much older ones and grab a couple with ideas and patterns you would like to create.

New Textural Yarns In the House!

I am a lover of anything colourful and textural when it comes to my knitter’s dreams so when Marsha came with her books of samples from Estelle and I saw these my heart was going pitter, patter rather loudly!

hudson-estelle yarnhudson_455 ocean floor hudson_768red hudson_760pastel rainbow




These are the three colours we currently have in stock. I make a cowl out of the pastel rainbow one. It turned out gorgeous and it only took an evening to knit up.

I love those quick instant gratification projects!

They also come with a pack of the free patterns that the yarns have been used on, like this one.

Our New Look

The new look inside the shop.
The new look inside the shop.

I had our friend Michael Grills, photographer extraordinaire, come and do some shots of the store and how it now looks. He does beautiful work and somehow magically makes the room even bigger and brighter!

As you can see we have a nice sitting area at the front of the shop, and my Mom brought an afghan that my grandma made for us decades ago for one of the chairs. Lots of colour was her rule and I love that it is in the shop now to keep her close. She passed away about 10 years ago when she was 92 and was always an avid knitter and would have been thrilled that I now own a yarn shop. My other grandma, who was Nana, was also a big time knitter and used to make baby sets to donate to the hospitals for years and years. It is funny how it was always around me but I only picked up my needles in my early thirties. Those ladies would sure have loved that I turned into such a big knitter that I bought a whole store filled with yarn!

IMG_6101-webI also added some fresh new colours and a bigger sign out the front to welcome everyone in. Plus one of my favourite people, Susi Mayer, had the brilliant idea to make a sweater into an open sign. Her lovely husband made the giant knitting needles out of old curtain rods and rigged us up to hang it. Isn’t it fun looking?!

We miss our Susi, who has moved back to Germany with her family, but we are very hopeful that she will come back again!