Friday, July 22, 2016

Wool in Ireland

We took off for Dublin from Vancouver on Canada Day, July 1st. I had prepared two toes for sock knitting, but as this is medium weight Socks That Rock, they were amusingly large. Of course I didn't find out until I pulled them out on the plane and had to start over. 

By the time we landed I was into the ribbing pattern on the foot. These are for DH. I have only knit him one pair of socks before and they were heavy DK for boots. He has only worn them a few times, but they are intended for bitter cold winter days in the barn.

As he was attending the World Buitatrics Conference for cattle Veterinarians, he had symposiums to attend and I got to walk around Dublin at my leisure. Loved the warm welcome at the Constant Knitter. The welcome everywhere was very lovely and we felt more like family than tourists. My family roots are from Ireland, so I was charmed.

This shop has a good range of regular yarns and Studio Donegal (which I can get at home). But I found some locally died speckles from Fine Fish and Ella and Ada.
I also picked up this lovely book. The patterns are simple, but it is charming and a good souvenir. There were many books I would like to have but not to carry home. I will do a whole post on book shops.
Bumped into the Dublin Cloth Shop. Very lovely, but they didn't have what I was looking for or willing to invest in.

This Is Knit was a fabulous and fun shop. It is on the second floor of a former block of flats around a courtyard that is now a restaurant. They had Hedgehog Fibres. This is what I really wanted! I didn't buy it right then because of wool fumes, but I went back with D and also found a beautiful button and some Knit Pro Zing needles.

Only Hedgehog could mix these bright colours so delightfully.

The second project I brought is the Afternoon Tea Shawl by Helen Stuart of Curious Handmade in the merino silk blend from a Vancouver dyer, Kinfolk Yarn & Fibre. It is truly a desert island knit.
We took a day trip to the burial ground at New Grange and Tara and had lunch at the New Grange Farm. Loved seeing all the animals.

In the National Museum of Archeology there are so many ancient treasures. This is the Brooch of Tara. Something any of us would love for our shawls.

Just outside the museums we found this amazing store.

These are really handknit, unlike the ones on the high street.

Was tempted by this yarn, but the pricing was confusing and I was already feeling like a wool pig.

I felt as if I had discovered the shop, but it has a strong on-line presence. Am so happy I bought a hand woven linen shawl. It was perfect for the cold and warm weather when we were walking. 
In the tourist shops there are lots of hats and sweaters. This makes me want to knit cables! It was hard to find a linen dishcloth because there were so many cotton and "linen union" (blended).

Avoca is a local store akin to Anthropologie and had locally hand woven lovelies.

We took a train across to the west coast and a Bed and Breakfast in Galway where the music festival was in full swing.
A delightful day trip to Inishmore, the largest island in the Aran Islands gave us the best experiences. 

These luscious sweaters were beautifully displayed.

Inside was a treasure trove of hand knits.  I was surprised the socks, worsted weight machine knit but with lots of cables, were only 19 Euros. The yarn to make them would cost almost that! 

The wool was lovely and came in many colours. There were even sweater kits. 

In the back was such a nice video of sheep to shawl. I think all wool tutorials should have an Irish accent.

Back in Galway, we were able to walk anywhere and enjoy the music on the streets and in the concerts. DH googled yarn shop and found this lovely store that we had walked past before.
The owner was up for a wooly chat and told me all about her shepherd who sheers by hand, dyes and spins the yarns. The light grey had to come home with me.

On leaving Galway to return to the airport in Dublin, I found "what's on".

Enjoyed the quiet of watching podcasts and continuing on the socks in tandem while we hurtled across the country. DH wore his sweater and said it was quite comfortable, especially in the chilly wind. 
Such a dream to go to Ireland, and not disappointed!

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