Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ireland weaves a spell.

Hello folks, I'm back from my springtime holiday at last! It was a visit up north to stay with my family for a few days, see a couple of friends, and then went with my parents to spend a week in Ireland.

I've never been to Ireland before but always wanted to go - I had ancestors from there it seems, which makes me feel a little proud because all the people we met there were lovely. I'd heard that Ireland was very green (they call it the Emerald Isle of course) and it is - probably more so in summertime but I think it's the sheer amount of open space that makes the impact.

One of the places we visited was a village called Avoca, which was the filming location for the lighthearted 90s drama Ballykissangel - Avoca is very nice, with some gorgeous scenery nearby, but also has an attraction we didn't expect - a hand-weaving mill and shop. Apparently the mill is the oldest one in Ireland, dating back to the 18th century.


For a colour-addict like me, the shop was like a sweetshop full of goodies. Everything was a little outside of my budget sadly, but I got some nice photos of the looms inside the mill to share with you. I learnt a fair bit about weaving at school, as I grew up in Lancashire which was at the heart of the cotton industry in the 19th century (Etsy has an interesting blog post about one of the few remaining Lancashire cotton mills here) but seeing such a colourful weaving process really made me appreciate the intricacy and artistry of it. It is such a shame there aren't more mills like this remaining in Britain.





We also saw the beautiful Slieve Bloom Mountains, which I think may provide some arty inspiration for me in the future:


(Dad taking photos with his first digital camera, which is better than mine by far...I have camera-envy in a bad way)



I'll be getting back to the stitching and making soon, but this week I'm determined to finish my accounts for the year...it's not a fun task for me, which is why I want to get it out of the way. Then, I can get back to the extensive list of Things To Make...