EXPERIENCE THE GAELIC CHARMS OF IRELAND
On this superb 6 day knitting and crochet holiday based in Ennis, County Clare, you'll enjoy workshops led by Carol Meldrum and discover the spirit and tradition of the Aran Islands. Along the way explore the charming city of Galway and spend a full day amidst the rugged landscape of Connemara, surely the most romantic region of Ireland.
As well as its stunning scenery the west of Ireland is also renowned for high quality goods. Creative crafts continue to flourish and traditional crafts including knitting have been revived. Part of Irish life since the 1600’s knitting schools were established across the country. During the 18th century knitting became a source of income for many households thanks also to an abundance of wool. Aran sweaters with their distinctive design are a symbol of Ireland and still inspire designers today. The patterns, representing the daily life of the islanders, have been handed down through the generations and each garment represents Irish tradition and culture.
Do The Twist Cable Bag
Take a new look at traditional cables and give them an alternative feel with this textured patch bag. The twist is all in the construction, starting from the outer edge we will be decreasing at the same time as working all those twist to give the illusion of working in the round.
This workshop is suitable for those who understand basic knit and purl stitches or want to improve on existing skills.
All Wrapped in Irish Crochet
Dip into the world of Irish crochet and show off your skills to make a fabulous wrap or scarf. We will focus on creating traditional motifs giving them a modern twist through the materials used. Irish Crochet looks far more complicated than it actually is, learn how to plot and plan your design, building it as you go or simply appliqué onto a fine lace background.
This workshop is suitable for those who can work basic crochet stitches or want to brush up on existing skills.
Meet your Tour Manager and Carol at Heathrow airport prior to check-in for your morning flight to Shannon. En route to the hotel you’ll visit the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights and boasting superb views across the Atlantic Ocean. The cliffs border the Burren, a vast, bare, eerie limestone plateau, which covers much of Co Clare. Get to know your fellow knitters at dinner this evening.
This morning you’ll visit Galway, the most westerly city in Europe. With its laid back charm Galway feels more like a large town and also enjoys a strong artistic heritage and a thriving contemporary arts scene. Explore the medieval streets on a walking tour before a visit to Ó’Máille, one of Ireland’s oldest stores. Today Ó’Máille’s sells handmade traditional Irish clothing, crafts and yarns. This afternoon enjoy your first knitting and crochet workshop with Carol at the hotel.
Today's workshop will include an introduction and short presentation from Carol about the inspiration behind project and the techniques you will be using and you will all make a start on your project.
Knitters - work through sample cables and decreasing techniques
Crochet - work through sample motifs and if required a brush on basic crochet stitches
This morning you’ll travel to Doolin to catch the ferry to Innis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. Renowned for their preservation of the traditional ways of life the islands have been celebrated in books and films. Gaelic is the principal language and fishing is the island's main industry. Aran sweaters have been worn by the fishermen here for hundreds of years and the patterns passed from generation to generation and in the past never written down. During your visit there maybe an opportunity to meet with a local group of knitters who will share the story of knitting on the islands and the evolution of the famous Aran sweaters. Later you’ll return to Doolin by ferry.
Today you’ll discover the scenic treasures of Connemara. This vast peninsula is the wildest and perhaps the most romantic region of Ireland, characterised by stone walls and charming thatched cottages set against a backdrop of steep mountains and sparkling lakes. An included visit to the Sheep and Wool Centre offers an insight into the importance of textiles to Connemara’s past. Discover the history of sheep farming and learn about the methods of spinning and weaving, the wheels and looms here date back to the turn of the last century. Later visit Kylemore Abbey, stunningly located in the Kylemore Pass. This neo-gothic house dates back to 1868 and one of its most famous features is a miniature cathedral. Today the house is home to the Irish Order of Benedictine nuns. If time allows you’ll also visit the Avoca store at Letterfrack. Here you can browse for the best of Irish crafts and enjoy more magnificent views across the Atlantic coastline.
Join Carol for morning and afternoon knitting workshops at the hotel. This evening enjoy a final get together and dinner with your fellow knitters at the hotel.
This morning your workshop will include a quick review on your work so far and you'll then continue working through your project
Knitters - look at bag construction and putting it all together.
Crochet - look at wrap layout and how to put everything together.
Morning transfer to Shannon Airport for the return flight to London.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
- Return flights London Heathrow - Shannon
- 5 nights’ half board accommodation at The Old Ground Hotel, Ennis
- Visit to the Burren and Cliffs of Moher
- Walking tour of Galway and a visit to Ó’Máille
- Visit by ferry to Innis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands
- Full day tour of Connemara with visits to the Sheep and Wool Centre and Kylemore Abbey
- The company and expertise of Carol Meldrum
- Three workshops led by Carol Meldrum
- The services of an experienced Arena Travel Tour Manager
- All transportation as detailed in the itinerary
Travel to/from the airport; drinks, meals other than those specified; travel insurance; and any personal expenses e.g. phone calls, laundry etc.
Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Europe - £50
WHY NOT MEET US THERE?
Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.
THE "STITCH TOGETHER" PROGRAMME
For single travelers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.
Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>
The Old Ground Hotel****
Dating back to the 18th century, The Old Ground Hotel offers guests the warmth and atmosphere of a country home and the style and comfort of a luxury hotel. Located in the centre of the medieval town of Ennis, the hotel provides the perfect base from which to explore the attractions of County Clare, the Aran Islands and Connemara.
- TV with satellite channels
- Direct Dial Telephone
- Complimentary WI-FI
- Tea/coffee making facilities
- Hair Dryer
Facilities at the hotel include the Town Hall Bistro and the Brendan O’Regan Restaurant. The Poet's Corner is also noted for its comfortable atmosphere and the perfect spot to share a drink and a story or two.