Day 1: Woollinn or Optional Dublin Tour and Woollinn Welcome Dinner
Your tour begins with a transfer from Dublin Airport (for arrivals prior to 10:30am on start day of tour) to your Hotel. Your Woollinn pass will grant you access to explore Woollinn at your leisure where you can visit the exhibitions, demonstrations and social get-togethers. Your package also includes a 10% discount off any pre-booked three-hour workshop at the event. It is important to note that the cost of attending a workshop at Woollinn is not included in this package and it is up to you to book your own workshop. We will provide you with the information in advance on how to book directly with the organisers as soon as this information is available to us. Spaces at the workshops are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. KnittingTours.com or Woollinn organisers cannot be held responsible if you do not manage to secure a place at your chosen workshop. Please book your workshops/classes on Friday or Saturday, using your discount code, directly on the Woollinn website http://woollinn.com/
An optional sightseeing tour is also available for non-knitters or those who wish to do some sightseeing. Meet with your guide at 1pm in the hotel and take a panoramic tour in towards Dublin City centre. Here we visit the National Museum of Archaeology which houses many of the nation’s cultural and archaeological treasures. Here you can see some amazing Celtic metalwork, Ireland’s Gold, featuring jewellery and decorative objects created by Celtic artisans in the Bronze and Iron Ages. We then return to our hotel in time for a sit-down Social Dinner with some special Woollinn guests in attendance. Dinner is included for both knitters and non-knitters. Overnight Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Dinner and Bed & Breakfast
The choice is yours today – spend some more time at Woollinn, take a walk down the pier in Dun Laoghaire or take the option of free transfers to and from Dublin City Centre for your own personal sightseeing. Overnight Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 3: Knitting Workshop with Carol Feller at Woollinn and Sightseeing to Russborough House & Glendalough in Wicklow
Today, we begin with an exclusive 3 hour workshop at Woollinn with well-known Irish Designer, Carol Feller. Carol will instruct on Short Rows and take you through several different ways of creating short rows until you find the perfect method that works with your style of knitting. After some free time for lunch (included), we re-group and take a tour south towards County Wicklow also known as the Garden of Ireland.
We visit Russborough House, built between 1741 and 1750, with its magnificent views out over Blessington Lakes and Wicklow Mountains. This house is beautifully maintained and contains fine furniture, tapestries, carpets, porcelain, silver and a collection of paintings. It also features beautiful cellings, plasterwork and a mahogany staircase. We travel on to Glendalough, not too far from Russborough, set in a glaciated valley and renowned for its beauty and amazing views as well as its Medieval monastic settlements. Overnight Dun Laoghaire, Lunch and Dublin, Bed & Breakfast.
Day 4: Spinning with Áine Dunne, Dyeing Demonstration with Olann and the Boyne Valley
Today, we leave Dublin and travel to Drogheda to visit Áine Dunne, a tapestry weaver and artist who resides and works from The Boyne Valley. Meet Áine and her team and enjoy a tapestry workshop which will include weaving a sample piece on a four-sided tapestry frame loom. Enjoy learning about Áine’s designs and weaving methods.. We will also meet Jess from Olann.ie who will show you some of her hand-dyed yarn from her hub in Cavan where they dye yarn and fibre in small batches with an emphasis on material and process. She will also give a short dyeing demonstration.
. For non-knitters, we will arrange a trip to Drogheda where you will have the opportunity to visit Oliver Plunketts Head at St. Peter’s Church or just simply wander around the town centre. Lunch (included) will be followed by a visit to the Boyne Valley, known for it’s historical importance and mythical landscapes. Take a tour of Old Mellifont Abbey, the first Cistercian Monastery in Ireland which was founded in 1142 by Saint Malachy who was the Archbishop of Armagh. Overnight Cavan, Lunch, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast.
Day 5: Crafts of Ireland – Sock Knitting and Spinning Demonstration
Today we travel to meet with Sandra at Crafts of Ireland to participate in some craft activities. At Crafts of Ireland, we learn how to crochet a traditional Irish Rose motif that often adorns Irish Knitwear.
We also see a spinning demonstration as well as a sock knitting demonstration on an antique sock knitting machine. For our non-knitters, your coach will take you to the heritage town of Trim and a tour of Trim Castle. There will be some free time for you to relax this afternoon. Overnight Cavan, Lunch and Bed & Breakfast.
Day 6: Travel to Donegal via Enniskillen and Belleek Pottery
This morning, we bid farewell to Cavan and travel towards the northwest coast. En route, we stop off at Enniskillen at the Buttermarket where the early 19th century Buttermarket buildings have been beautifully restored and house a diverse array of crafts. We continue on further to Belleek Pottery Centre for a guided tour which is a step back in history with pieces dating back to when the pottery was started in 1857.
There will be time to take a walk around Donegal town and enjoy some lunch at your leisure before our next visit of the day to Donegal Castle. This castle was the stronghold of the O’Donnell clan, lords of Tír Conaill who were known as one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland from the 5th to the 16th centuries. Overnight Donegal, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 7: Studio Donegal, Slieve League Cliffs and Glencolmcille
Today, our first stop will be to Studio Donegal, a hand-weaving and clothing manufacturing business dedicated to promoting and preserving traditional Irish hand-weaving. See first hand the process of hand-weaving and spinning, warping and weaving of the wool where beautifully tailored vests, jackets and homeware products are made on site from their own fabrics. Soft Merino yarn is dyed and spun in the region and sold on site at Studio Donegal.
We travel on to Slieve Cliffs to enjoy some dramatic views out over the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay. Our journey then takes us to Glencolmcille Folk Village which is a collection of small cottages or ‘clachan’, designed, constructed and conserved by local people to preserve a glimpse into daily life as it was during the past centuries. Overnight Donegal, lunch Dinner, Bed & Breakfast.
Day 8: Edel MacBride Workshop and City of Derry Walking Tour
Check out of our hotel and journey to Derry to meet one of Ireland’s finest knitwear designers, Edel MacBride. Enjoy an informative experience with Edel during this workshop including yarn pack, working of Irish moss, cable and Edel’s favourite Aran stitches. Following this workshop and lunch (included), we embark on a guided Walking Tour of Derry City.
This tours will take in some local attractions such as Derry’s Medieval Walls, The Bogside, the Peoples Gallery (Murals) The Bloody Sunday Story, the History of the Apprentice Boys and the Marching Season Traditions. The remainder of the day is yours to check out some of the shops and local restaurants. Overnight Derry, Lunch and Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 9: The Ulster Folk Museum, Carrickmacross Lace and return to Dublin
Today we leave Derry and return to Dublin stopping en route at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh. Immerse yourself in the story of Irish emigrants who travelled across the Atlantic hundreds of years ago. Wander through the thatched cottages and keep an eye out for the weaver’s cottage where you will see an authentic handloom used to weave tweed or linen. Staff will be on hand to give you a demonstration on the spinning wheel and inform on traditional yarn dyeing methods.
Continue on our journey to Carickmacross Lace to see lace masterpieces produced in the area since early 1800s. Enjoy a live demonstration and see for yourself the attention to detail given to each hand crafted piece. Finally, we travel to Dublin City Centre where the remainder of the day is free for you to sightsee or shop before your final farewell dinner tonight. Overnight Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast.