Participants in the Cottage Country Yarn Crawl collect yarn representing eight wildflowers from area shops and can then using that yarn create a keepsake shawl from a free pattern designed by Michele Meadows. /Submitted photo

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 or 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.