We drove out on the West Cork Peninsula to see a group called Sheeps Head Yarns in the village of Kilcrohane. The group of fiber spinners, dyers, and crafters was founded by Niamh Egerton and Jemima Wallis-Eade. They started the Sheeps Head Yarn Festival which takes place in May a couple years ago in an effort to highlight the work of local artists. There are classes and a vendors market. We met them in their pop-up shop adjacent to a local pub whose owner supports their efforts.
We had lunch at the Blue Heron Gallery on the way to Ballydebob. I haven’t mentioned it so far, but it is a food lovers’ tour, as well. Kathy has a real knack of ferreting out wonderful cafes and restaurants. This is my second trip with her and what I’ve discovered is how good the gallery and craft center cafes are. I don’t find that to be true in the US, but it certainly is in the UK and Ireland. Food is fresh and homemade not brought in from elsewhere wrapped in plastic.
Jude Ratliff and her mother are friends of Kathy’s. Jude is a chocolate maker who sells her products at the local markets. We had an afternoon of learning how Jude creates her candies and taste-testing them, of course.