Once our holiday in Connemara, Co Galway had been planned and booked, I knew I wanted to visit Kylemore Abbey with its beautiful restored Victorian Walled Garden.
When I was knitting the 3 Colour Cashmere Cowl designed by Joji Locatelli, I visualised it photographed with the beautiful Abbey in the background.
After queueing to buy the entrance tickets, we decided to walk to the walled garden along by the lake. The views were really beautiful. But we also noticed that it was a very popular place for the tour buses. We’d counted over 20 in the car park as well as large number of cars.
“The story of Kylemore – both Castle and Abbey – is a truly remarkable one. The twists of fate which its occupants experienced, from moments of romance and happiness, to sadness and courage have all combined to create a fascinating history spanning over 150 years.”
“Kylemore is home to a community of nuns of the Benedictine Order who came here in 1920 after their Abbey in Ypres, Belgium, was destroyed in World War 1.”
On reaching the garden we headed to the tea room for a cold drink and a slice of apple pie. The walled garden is spread over 6 acres with flower gardens, the glass house, vegetables, herbs and a rockery.
The bothy where the 6 under gardeners had lived was very small. The head gardeners house next to it was beautiful and had such a beautiful view across the garden to the mountains beyond.
“All of the plants growing in the Victorian Walled Garden are old Victorian varieties. These are varieties introduced to Ireland before 1901. Many of the plants are rare and some varieties are unavailable commercially today.”
“The gardeners at Kylemore Abbey work to preserve these heritage and heirloom varieties through seed saving and plant propagation. Thanks to their work, these wonderful Victorian varieties are here for you to enjoy.”
In the gift shop they sold packets of seed from the plants grown in the gardens. We bought a pack of round cucumber seeds which are growing well at the moment. We had bought two cucumber plants for the green house but they turned out to be mis-labelled and so we actually have two very healthy courgettes growing in out greenhouse. Cucumbers are rather fun as they seem to grow an inch every time I look at them!
The day was so hot and the place so busy we opted to photograph the 3 Colour Cashmere Cowl on the woodland walk.
We found a lovely spot with a gate and wire fencing with the mountains and wild rhododendron as a backdrop.
Neil did a great job… but I was being eaten alive by midges!
We noticed, as we walked towards Kylemore Abbey that the crowds visiting with the coach tours seemed to have disappeared.
On our way out, we paused with Kylemore Abbey in the background and Neil took a few photos of me wearing the cowl standing in front of the Abbey.
Two French ladies going past said ‘très jolie’ and smiled at us.
I used a 3mm 40cm clover bamboo circular needle for knitting the cowl. I liked how the alpaca yarn drapes in the finished cowl. I used a 3.25mm needle to cast off the cowl.
I felt that my finished cowl looked a little bit narrower than the one shown in the photos so when I blocked the cowl I was relatively aggressive.
I really liked how the finished blocked cowl turned out. I love the colour combination in this cowl. The pattern was clearly written and easy to follow. I love the strong contrasting stripe and the interest created by the different textures and stripes.
This cowl is going to be given to my mum but I really do want to have one of these cowls for myself. I just need to choose 3 colours that I really love. With the amazing range of colours in the Artesano Alpaca 4ply I don’t think this will be a problem!