From Airfield to Aran: Get Knitting!

Posted 9 months ago in Arts & Culture Features

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The creative folk at Airfield are looking forward to introducing a diverse national audience to the age-old traditions of Irish wool processing, natural plant dyes and creative knitting techniques next month, as part of an innovative new collaboration with Creative Ireland and Cruinniú na nÓg.

Living on an island where sheep are intrinsic to the landscape, entire generations can probably lay claim to a grandmother who knit them their own unique woollen jumper, even if some of these precious family heirlooms may occasionally have been mislaid while dancing at the disco

Now it seems the art of knitting is currently undergoing a bit of a resurgence, with fresh efforts underway to encourage the youth of the land to take up their needles and get clacking.

Next month sees Creative Ireland and Airfield Estate join forces to celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg, Ireland’s national day of creativity for children, with a series of knitty-gritty activities on Saturday, 12th June 2021, designed to spark interest and get people knitting.

Hosted online by Airfield Estate, the event includes a unique suite of creative on-line resources including worksheets, videos and workshops, through which children will be encouraged to foster an affinity with Irish wool, while exploring the magic of natural plant dyes along the way.

Designed for 8-18 year olds, a range of creative knitting workshops feature opportunities to learn more about knitting with Airfield’s Jacob sheep wool, using traditional stitches. There will also be opportunities to learn more about the heritage of Irish wool, as well as the ancient arts of sheep shearing and spinning.

The craft of knitting has long proven itself a valuable life skill, providing children with a creative outlet, while improving dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Studies show that knitting can significantly improve social skills, helping provide a tangible sense of achievement, while helping harness innate skills and master new techniques.

There’s also a Natural Dye Plant ID Walk,  highlighting the everyday plants you can use at home to dye wool. A series of videos will also be available across social media to assist budding knitters.

Activities are open open to all from ages 8 to 18 years, with registration required.  Each workshop lasts 50 minutes. Following online registration, participants can access activity worksheets on subjects including Heritage of Irish wool, Creative Knitting and and Natural plant dyes are available to download in English, Irish and Polish.

Register on-line here and share your knitting pics using the hashtags: #LetsgetKnitting #DyeingtoKnit #AirfieldEstate #CreativeIreland

The event takes place on Saturday, 12th June 2021, and harnessesthe creative energy of previous Woolapalooza festivals at Airfield.

For more see:

Instagram @AirfieldEstate @CreativeIreland

Facebook: AirfieldEstate CreativeIrl

Twitter @AirfieldEstate @CreativeIrl


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