I have been thinking lately about the wool shops located in and around Dublin, and it worries me that a few have closed in the past year or so. The closures may be linked to the recovering economy. During the recession, DIY and craft activities surged in popularity, but they may be losing ground now that some people have a bit more money to spare. However, when I did a bit more thinking, I realised that there are still several lovely knitting shops within a reasonable range, many of which we have visited on our perambulations around the city. Here is a quick wool shop report for anyone looking for inspiration in the wider Dublin area.
The two branches of a very nice craft and home decor shop called Take Me Home have shut down, one in Nutgrove and one in the old Dundrum Shopping Centre. The unit in Nutgrove has been filled by Tiger, while the premises in Dundrum is now home to a different kind of needle, in the form of an acupuncture clinic. I was surprised when these shops closed, as whenever I was in the Nutgrove branch it seemed quite popular. On the other hand, the Dundrum shop was much smaller and always quiet. I bought the wool for my snood (see picture above) in this branch and the staff were very nice and helpful.
Another sad closure was that of Knit’nd Make, which was a wool shop in the Swan Centre in Rathmines. Although very small, it was packed full of wool in a riot of colour. In my opinion, this was an attractive little shop that was an asset to the shopping centre, and I think it’s a real pity that it is no longer open. Now, the premises has been incorporated into the one next door and is occupied by yet another branch of Tiger.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Tiger is a great shop. It’s very useful and it does sell some wool and craft supplies such as ribbon and sequins. However, for quantity and variety, its wool section can’t be compared to a proper knitting shop, so I can’t help wishing it would stop expanding and pushing out other shops. Also, the health food shop opposite to Knit’nd Make used to provide space for a knitting group run by the shop. I wonder what happened to knitting circle after the shop shut?
On the other hand, Dublin still has The Constant Knitter which is located on Francis Street, in an area known for its antiques shops. Another wool shop in the city centre is This is Knit in Powerscourt Town Centre. This shop is a decent size, but it’s often quite expensive to shop here. Of course, there is our old stand by, Hickeys, which is centrally located on Henry Street. Hickeys sells haberdashery, soft furnishings and craft items, but it also has an excellent wool section on the top floor.
A little further afield, there is Winnie’s Wool Wagon in Blackrock. I’ve never been to this shop but it has been highly recommended to me and, if the website is anything to judge by, its stock is very good. Although Bray is not in Dublin, but rather in Wicklow, I’m going to include Love to Knit, because it is one of my favourite knitting emporiums. Love to Knit is fairly small, a trait which is shared by most of these shops, but it has wool in every weight and colour imaginable. I don’t get to browse there as often as I’d like, but I definitely recommend it.
These shops also have a stock of knitting and crochet needles, row counters and other accessories, not to mention patterns and instruction books. Many of them offer knitting and crochet classes for a variety of ages and levels, as well as weekly or fortnightly knitting groups.
Initially I was worried that Dublin’s knitting scene was is decline, but it seems I was wrong. There are quite a few wool shops out there, when you look hard enough for them! If you want to follow anything up, just click on the links for shop contact details.
Where is your favourite wool shop? Or have you visited any that I’ve mentioned in this post? Drop us a line in the comment box…
Shop Picture Credits: the wool shop websites (see links above)