Friday, September 20, 2013

Irish Goodies

 Here's some more highlights from my trip to West Ireland, I'll return to regular blogging soon!

We visited Coole Park, the estate of a wealthy Englishman that was planted with extensive forest and gardens.
 A lovely old Abbey has become cow pasture. These are by far the happiest cows I have ever seen! No wonder Irish beef and dairy are so good.
 After the Abbeys were dissolved or abandoned people began to be buried in the Skyclad (roof-less) churches.
 And ancient tomb uncovered. These were built in a range from 4,000-3,000 BCE, and were originally piled over with dirt and stones. They dot the Irish landscape, but are found across the entire range of Indo-European culture.
 Nestled in the rough rocky coastline was this lovely white sand beach, that on a sunny day had pleasantly warm water. Ireland actually has a considerable amount of surfing spots!
 Horses, ponies, cows, and sheep all pastured together right up against the Flaggy Shores.
 A view of a 3,000 year-old ring fort built on a promontory. I was on the largest of the Aran Isles, and saw two of this neat ancient forts. I also bought an Aran sweater, straight from the woman who knit it!
 Riding bikes along the Burren Coast Road into Galway Bay.
 Small hidden path that led to a ruined church, lined with blackberry bushes, yum!
 The fleece I brought home from Ireland. The breed wasn't specified, but in the area I saw Blackface and Suffolks. Look at that lovely crimp! I washed the fleece, and I'm looking forward to spinning with it for Spinzilla.
I also found some wonderful hand-dyed yarns at the Sheep and Wool Centre. From right to left they are dyed with tormentil root, sorrell root, heather, young gorse and mature gorse.

I'm somewhat inspired to pursue natural dying again, my previous attempts were underwhelming. But if those gorgeous yellows can happen, it's worth the effort!

1 comment:

Joy said...

Wow, looks like an amazing trip! That fleece looks a lot like a bag of English mystery fleece I got with my wheel... It could be a lot of different breeds. Some people on Ravelry suggested possibly Ryeland or Lleyn. It's impossible to know for sure. Whatever it is, it will definitely be nice for spinning.