Sheeps Ahoy

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!

Nov. 6 - 8, 2017 (arrive after 4pm on Nov. 5)

The Glen House Resort (off the Thousand Island Parkway)

Cost: $650 + $555 (single) or $480 (double)

Registration Opens - June 26

Limit: 20 Students

Cancellation Deadline - Oct 19, 2017*

Registration for this 3-day workshop will open on June 26, 2017.  Payment can be made in instalments as follows: 

     $325 on or before July 10

     $325 on or before Sept. 18

The Glen House costs (payable on leaving the workshop) are:  $555 (single) or $480 (double). Check-in time is 4pm Sun. Nov. 5 and check-out time is 11:45am Wed. Nov. 8. 

This workshop is limited to 20 students.  A waiting list will be kept in case some people have to cancel before November.  

To register for this workshop please send email to with the following information:

- your name

- email address

- mailing address

- telephone number

- if you would like a single or double accommodation

- who you would like to room with

- any special requirements (diet, mobility issues, etc.) 


Payments can be made either by cash, cheque or credit card.  Cheques can be sent to:

Sheeps Ahoy c/o Debbie Wilson

20 Wheeler Street

Ottawa, Ontario

K2J 3B6


If you need to contact us, please phone 613-823-2469 or 1-877-740-2469 or e-mail us at

*Cancellation Policy:  Cancellations prior to Oct. 19 will be offered a full refund minus $25 if your spot can be filled from our waiting list. 


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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