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To give you a better idea as to who is behind Sheep’s Head Yarns and its annual festival let us introduce the team. After many years of living in West Cork and hearing stories of ‘Knit & Stitch’ Shows across Ireland and the UK and further afield, a small team of yarn crafters and fibre artists from the Sheep’s Head Producers Market got together in 2014 to see what could be organised for the people of West Cork.

The organisers of this group come from various backgrounds and age groups and feel this adds to what they can offer as they all use different techniques and styles.
As the ball started rolling, crafters across West Cork offered to share their knowledge by running workshops for various skill levels in Knitting, Crochet, Fibre Blending, Spinning, Felting and Lace. Soon they had a good variety of workshops available to offer. From what they first planned i.e. 16 workshops in our first year (2015), they have expanded to offering 28 different skills in our 3rd year.

From the outset, it was decided to involve as many local businesses as possible and help extend the summer season, so workshops were to be placed in Cafe’s, Pubs and B&B’s from Ahakista to Letterwest encouraging visitors to see as much of the beautiful scenery as possible while travelling to their next workshop. This proved a great success for all involved and showed that anything is possible when you have the support of the community. It has also seen many return to the Sheep’s Head during the rest of the year too.
They are now in their 3rd year and seeing more interest as the festival grows with more new workshops and new skills being offered each year and more support from the Yarn & Fibre producers of Ireland. Visitors come to the festival from all across Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States all looking to learn new skills. They hope that this unique festival will continue for years to come as their support grows both locally and nationally.

Sheep’s Head Yarns Shop
After the success of the first Sheep’s Head Yarn festival they decided a good way to progress would be to open a pop up shop. For the first season, in 2015, the shop was located at The Black Gate at Letterwest, just outside Kilcrohane village where they continued to stock gift items from local and national Irish Yarn crafters and Fibre Artists as well as offering a small number of classes during the Summer season. The team discovered this was a great opportunity for tourists and those unable to make it to the festival in May.
In the spring of 2016 they were able to relocate to Kilcrohane village, giving  more opportunity to expand their customer base, once again offering Irish made gifts and skills workshops as well as drop in craft sessions. These workshops run from June – August and could be pre booked or on a drop in basis. They can also run organised workshops on request if a large group wish to visit.
For the winter months they relocated to the Studio just outside Kilcrohane where they operate a smaller scale outlet. They also attended some of the local Christmas Craft Fairs in West Cork too. It was so great to see the support and interest in what they have achieved and what they are planning for the future. They have great hopes for the coming 2017 summer season and will return to the village in May. A variety of workshops will be planned for August 17 as part of the Cork Craft Month
Both Sheep’s Head Yarns and Sheep’s Head Producers Market are non-profit organisations and rely 100% on volunteers to keep the shop open. They are always looking for new people to join us as we continue forward with this venture.

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