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Our Thoughts & Experiences

13 Mar, 2019
Kilkenny Craft Trail with KnittingTours.com
Kilkenny is a medieval county and is known for its heritage & craft culture. Discover some of the craft heritage of Kilkenny City & County on our 9 Night Kerry, Kilkenny and Aran Islands Irish Knitting and Craft Tour.

In the heart of the city, you will find Kilkenny Castle and Gardens, built in 1195 by Norman occupiers. Kilkenny is a haven for craft enthusiasts with shops along its winding lanes selling pottery, paintings, knitwear and jewellery.  On our craft trail of Kilkenny,  the Kilkenny Design Centre will be visited and this offers a great experience with all sorts of crafts on display.

On our 9 Night Wool Lovers Tour of Ireland, there will be a chance to visit the castle and explore the beautiful gardens. A highlight of the Kilkenny Craft Trail is the opportunity to see master crafters at work with Knitting and Felting workshops with Anita Marnell and Helena Kelly Maye with a discussion on the natural fibres used in yarns.

Cushendale Woollen Mill is also part of our craft tour – this is a family run business who take extreme pride in preserving the skills of the textile trade. Cushendale produces natural fibre textiles in Mohair, Lambswool and Irish Wool. On our craft tour, there will be a chance to visit and tour the mill at Cushendale with a chance to see the spinning mule in action.

Some of the wool produced in Cushendale Mill comes from Zwartables Sheep Farm where you will stop and meet Suzanne and her family who breed and rear the Zwartables Sheep. Introduced for breeding in Ireland in recent years,  this type of sheep is very niche on the island.  Zwartables fleece is medium to fine with excellent crimp along the length of fibres. At Zwartables farm you may have heard of the Bodacious Shepherd Cat (who thinks it is a sheepdog) but unfortunately, in the last few weeks, Bodacious got ill and had to go to cat heaven.  Suzanna wrote a very moving post of Bodacious passing (RIP), well worth a read.

On our 9 Night Kerry Wool Lovers Tour of Ireland, there will be a chance to learn and visit some of the attractions on the Kilkenny Craft Trail along with knitting in picturesque Kerry with Liz Spillane and  Una McDonagh in Aran Islands – home of the iconic Aran Sweater. Get in touch with our knitting team to learn more about the tour.

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