Perched on a hill in County Cavan with panoramic views of the ancient Lough Crew hills in neighbouring County Meath, Crafts of Ireland is the perfect crafter’s getaway. It is less than a one hour drive from Dublin and surrounded by green fields, farm animals and wildlife. This purpose built studio welcomes people with an interest in traditional and modern crafts, log fires, home baked food and vintage china, all of which add to the whole experience. It is a space where people can relax and create, in tranquil surroundings. In the Spring the baby lambs arrive and in April the new crop of flax is planted. Depending on the time of year you can witness the different tasks involved in producing wool or flax fibre to spin into wool and linen thread. Flax was grown on the farm from the late 1700s into the 1800s and members of the family are recorded in the 1821 census as flax spinners. However, with the industrialisation of flax processing, the growing of flax ceased and the farm returned to animal, milk and food crop production. The last milk churn used to make butter on the farm is still used in cookery demonstrations and a rare traditional Irish breed of sheep produce some of the wool that is spun in the studio.
Along with a growing number of antique and modern wool and flax spinning wheels, the studio is also home to Sandra’s collection of antique sock knitting machines. Keeping them company are many antique sewing machines dating from 1860 along with various other pieces of antique crafting equipment. Traditional seam free wool socks made on the machines and finished by hand are available to purchase in the studio along with a range of other handmade gifts including items made from locally grown flax and wool.
Visitors can book into any of the workshops listed on Crafts of Ireland’s website or can get in touch to organise their own unique afternoon or day visit. Workshops include wool spinning, traditional lace or wool crochet, knitting, needle felting, pebble art, string art, peg loom weaving and more. Crafts of Ireland also offer presentations and demonstrations for tour groups, including talks about the traditional crafts of Ireland, flax growing in Ireland or the journey from fleece to fabric.
Crafts of Ireland is wheelchair accessible with parking for cars and buses. Special dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice.