Yarns from the Mill Festival 2018

Sept 22, 2018 – 8:30 am to 4 pm, Admission $5 (free for 6 & under)

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Tickets & Memberships

About the Festival

This family friendly, community inspired Festival has lots to offer everyone who attends.

General Admission to Yarns from the Mill Festival

Sat 22 Sep 2018 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
The Mill at Piper Creek, 1742 Percy Street, Castleton, ON

General Admission – $5.00 (free for 6 & under)
Please bring a copy of your ticket; you will be issued an admission bracelet at the gate.

Pictures from Yarns from the Mill Festival 2018

Photos by John Charlton – click any image to view larger

The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast from 8:00 am. The Festival itself runs from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm with a program including goat yoga, horse-drawn buggy rides, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, games, a Mill tour, talks and a vendor’s market. Live music will be performed on an outdoor stage all day.

Demonstrations will comprise a piece of working mill equipment, as well as sheep shearing, carding, natural dyeing, weaving, spinning, felting, quilting and rug-hooking. The celebration will incorporate first nations, settler and immigrant traditions including a Kawartha First Nations Truth and Reconciliation Quilt Exhibition.

Learn the whole story of yarns from flock to fabric: shearing, skirting, carding, spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting, knitting, rug hooking, plus fibre art workshops and marketplace. Vendor sales, story telling, art exhibition, food, live music, vintage farm & mill equipment, wattle fence making, Irish kitchen dance party, ceilidh and more!

We are excited to welcome Cabinboy Knits from Stirling, Old Mill Alpacas from Salem, Artisanthropy from Cobourg, The Black Lamb from Port Hope, and more! Not only are we welcoming these artists, but also some of our local guilds. The Warkworth Spinners and Weavers Guild and well as the Campbellford Seymour Rug Hookers will be joining us for this special event!

There will be art displayed by Laura Berman, a sheep shearing demonstration provided by Geraldine Heffernan, and an quilt display and talk by award winning indigenous quilter Minaachimo/Alice Olsen Williams to look forward to as well.

With live professional music including Renaissance, Cheryl Cassleman and Ken Tizzard and a variety of activities throughout the festival, there will be something for everyone, rain or shine.

Register for the Workshops

In the morning, we are offering a couple of great workshops, Knitting the Voyageur Cap with Cabinboy Knits and Beginner Needle Felting with Old Mill Alpacas. There are still a couple of spots in each workshop — it’s best to register in advance so the instructors can bring enough materials. You can register for either or both of these two workshops by clicking the red Register for workshops button above.

We will also be offering fantastic “mini” workshops: Making and Using a Drop Spindle and Kitting with a Sock Machine, which will be hands-on, small group opportunities offered by artisan Jackie Shute. These workshops will happen several times throughout the day; you just sign up at the festival site (please note class sizes will be small). Check the schedule below for times!

We hope you’ll join us! “Yarns” will be happening on the Mill at Piper Creek lawns here in Castleton and through-out the entire hamlet!

Schedule of Events


8:00 am – Pancake Breakfast at 8:00 am at Castleton United Church

9:00 am – Ribbon cutting with MPP David Piccini

Festival Site Map

More information

Workshop 1: Knitting The Voyageur Cap (Toque) 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Please note that unless otherwise indicated, workshops will take place at Castleton United Church, 1815 Percy Street, Castleton — just a two minute walk up the road from the Mill grounds.

Workshop Cost: $25

Materials Cost: $25, payable directly to instructor (or participants may bring their own yarn, worsted weight). Please bring your own appropriate sized needles (circular or dpn’s)

Level: intermediate knitter and up. The workshop will focus on the history of the Coureur des Bois, the Voyaguers, our First Nations people and fur trade. As we learn to knit the Toque (colour stranded knitting, German twisted cast on.etc), Christopher will tell the story of our fur traders and what life was like back them. The pattern in the Toque reflects the history of the interaction between these people and the influence of the Hudson Bay Company.

Christopher Walker is a natural yarn dyer, Knitwear Designer, and founder of the label Cabinboyknits. Christopher splits his time between Toronto and his log cabin in the Oak Hills of Stirling, Ontario. His work is heavily influenced by the rugged Canadian landscape around him. He is committed to working with the environment in the production of his naturally dyed yarns. Water is sourced from rain barrels and snow, and many of his dyebaths are made from plants foraged from his forrest and garden. His Canadiana designs are enhanced by the fibre selected from local farms with breeds conducive to the Northern climate and terrain. Christopher has taught knitting and Natural yarn dyeing classes, in Europe, and throughout North America. His work has been featured on the runway and at art gallery showings. Christopher hosts the “Knitters in Residence series” which brings an international group of faculty members to the cabin as well as “The Men’s Knitting Retreat North,” which hosted male knitters from across the US and throughout Ontario.

Knitting provides an opportunity to engage socially, trigger emotion and provoke thought.” – Christopher Walker

Workshop 2: Beginner Needle Felting 9:45 am - 12:00 pm
Please note that unless otherwise indicated, workshops will take place at Castleton United Church, 1815 Percy Street, Castleton — just a two minute walk up the road from the Mill grounds.


Level: Beginner (Not suitable for very young children.) Needle felting is a fun and unique way to work with fleece before it has been spun into yarn. The “scales” on each fibre are agitated by repeated stabbing of needles of different thickness, which causes the fibres to lock together. Needle felting is sculpting with fleece!

This workshop is being brought to you by Old Mill Alpacas, and each participant will be provided with alpaca fleece roving, as well as a basic kit of tools which will be theirs to keep. We will be making a simple animal while learning the fundamentals of needle felting.

Because felting needles are very sharp, this workshop is not suitable for younger children. We recommend participants be at least 13 years old; children 10-12 may participate if accompanied by an adult.

Sheep and Goat Yoga
Sat 22 Sep 2018 9:30 am – 10:15 am
The Mill at Piper Creek, 1742 Percy Street, Castleton

Sheep and Goat Yoga + Festival Admission = $35.00
This ticket includes entrance fees to Yarns from the Mill.

Join the latest trend, Piper Creek style, as we share sun salutations and more with not just goats, but also our flock of loving and inquisitive Gotland sheep. You can admire their fleeces as you lie in a bridge pose!

Practising classic yogic shapes on the grass beside Piper Creek, with the animals nibbling your hair or leaning in for a scratch, is about as restorative as life gets!

Because the flock are going to have a big day and can only manage so many visitors, we are limiting the number of participants, and encourage you to buy a ticket to reserve your spot in advance.

Volunteers Needed


1742 Percy Street, Castleton, ON