Day 1: Dublin Arrival, Dublin City Tour & Constant Knitter
Begin your knitting tour of Ireland with a transfer to your hotel (for arrivals prior to 11am). After the tour introduction at your hotel, pay a visit to The Constant Knitter. This has been a favoured stop of many of our knitters through the years. Meet a local craftsperson for a demonstration and informal chat about their craft topic which will either be knitwear design or Irish Lace crochet depending on designer availability. Next, it’s off to the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Ireland’s most important cultural institution which was established in 1877 as the primary repository of the nation’s archaeological treasures.
These include the most famous of Ireland's crafted artefacts, the Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch, dating from the 12th and 8th centuries respectively. They are part of the Treasury, itself part of Europe's finest collection of Bronze and Iron Age gold artefacts, and the most complete assemblage of medieval Celtic metalwork in the world. Return to your hotel where you will have time to relax before your evening welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Basis
Today your knitting retreat will take you to Kerry via the remarkable Cahir Castle. One of Ireland’s best-preserved Castles, Cahir sits on a rocky island above the river Suir. Once the home of the powerful Butler family, the castle’s keep, tower and defensive structures remain intact. Continue to Parknasilla Resort Hotel and meet your host, one of Ireland’s most famous knitters, Carol Feller.
You will spend a lot more time with Carol over the few days spent in Kerry, so this evening is an informal get-together and ‘get to know each other’ session with some informal knitting thrown in for good measure! Overnight at Parknasilla Resort Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Basis
Over the course of this knitting retreat, you’ll work on a very special cabled hat and cowl set with Carol which you will start today. Both of these patterns will provide a great learning experience as they are knit from side-to-side with some fantastic techniques! You’ll learn how to do a provisional cast-on, cables without a cable needle, short rows in pattern and grafting in pattern. Carol will walk you through every step of the project over the following days. Learn how to tighten up loose cables and fix cable mistakes.
Go on a virtual tour of the Irish Mills with Carol and even learn how to pick the right size garment to knit. This afternoon, enjoy a Whiskey and Chocolate Tasting Event where experienced whiskey and chocolate connoisseurs will take you through the history of Whiskey in Ireland and how to pair it with the perfect chocolate flavour. You can enjoy samples of both or either! This evening after dinner enjoy a Traditional Irish Music Show in the hotel’s bar. Overnight at Parknasilla Resort Hotel, Bed & Breakfast Basis
Today you can opt to stay at Parknasilla and enjoy some of the facilities on offer. Pamper yourself at the hotel’s Spa, surrounded by the natural beauty of woodlands, ocean and mountains; let your troubles drift away as you take in this awe-inspiring backdrop, enjoy a round of golf at the nearby course or just relax in the wonderful surroundings.
Alternatively, you join us for a tour of a section of the Ring of Kerry which will include a visit to Kenmare, Sneem and Ladies View or Molls Gap. Return to the hotel where there will be time to relax and work on your knitting projects. Overnight at Parknasilla Resort Hotel, Bed & Breakfast Basis
Day 5: Optional Tour: Sheep’s Head Peninsula with Workshop
Again, today if you prefer to stay at Parknasilla you can do that or join us for a tour of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in Cork. If you do decide to tour with us, bring your knitting! Today we travel to Cork across the magnificent Healy Pass. The Healy Pass is known for some of Ireland’s best views. It was built in 1847 during famine times to connect Cork and Kerry and to provide relief work for the poor. There are a number of places to stop where you can get out and enjoy the view.
After a short stop continue to Sheep’s Head and meet Niamh and the other organisers of the annual Sheep’s Head Yarn festival. Enjoy some knitting sessions with Niamh and the gang on the topic of travel sock knitting or textured stitches depending on your preference. After the workshop and some lunch, we will explore the peninsula some more before returning to the hotel in time for dinner. Overnight at Parknasilla Resort Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Basis
Day 6: Travel to Kilkenny via Zwartables Farm & Cushendale Mill
Today, we travel towards the city of Kilkenny, colloquially known as the ‘Marble City’, making a stop or two along the way. Firstly we visit Crampton Farm to meet Suzanna and her family who breed and rear Zwartbles Sheep. Tour the farm, meet the sheep and chat with the family who will tell you all about their unique yarn which you can buy direct from the farm if you wish. Nearby is Cushendale Mill where products made on site are crafted natural-fibre textiles made with mohair, Irish wool and merino lamb’s wool.
Enjoy a tour of the mill and see the spinning mule in action. You might even spot some of the wool from the sheep at Crampton farm! Continue to your nearby hotel for check-in and take some time to relax before dinner. Overnight in Kilkenny, Dinner Bed & Breakfast Basis
We start the day with a visit to Kilkenny Castle, a 12th century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands. There will also be time to visit Kilkenny Design Centre which offers a fantastic selection of Irish handcrafted gifts including Jewellery, Knitwear, Celtic Gifts, China & Crystal, Pottery & Glass, Home & Fashion Accessories and contemporary design pieces.
Begin your return journey to Dublin where on arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy a free afternoon to explore, shop or relax before your farewell dinner this evening. Overnight in Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Basis