Oh yes, I did say I’d share the atmosphere of some of my favourite parts of Dublin, didn’t I? Well, at a lot of that ambience has been too plain soggy to come across well, but how’s this, for a start? The Powerscourt Townhouse Centre is what good shopping centres look like when they go to heaven, and it houses one of my favourite yarn shops too! The townhouse is a Georgian hollow square around a (now glassed-in) courtyard which belonged to the Powerscourt family (yes, they had a country house, too, and an estate which includes the highest waterfall in Ireland, etc. etc.) and now contains a multitude of tempting little boutiques and restaurants.
Up the steps, thru the main door, into the porch where we encounter what must be the prettiest flower shop ever. Not only are the windows and doors gorgeous, the floor consists of trompe-l’oeil marble (the pattern of tumbling blocks is of course familiar to all needleworkers!), and the ceiling is simply splendid…
Back in Georgian Dublin it was decided that all townhouses should be built to a certain format, especially their facades. This meant it was quite difficult for the owner to express their individuality to passers-by. Not to be denied their right to flaunt their wealth shamelessly, homeowners lavishly decorated their front door and the ceilings of their front rooms. These were the two surfaces visible from the street which were not under the control of the planning regulations, so they went all out!
On we go through the stairwell- sigh! – onto the main gallery, where “This is Knit”, my LYS, awaits like a casket of jewels (yep, just being in here makes me feel creative, it’s like a charm…..).
The shop is owned by a mother and daughter team, Jacqui and Lisa, who are passionate knitters, and it shows. They have everything a knitter’s heart desires, including generosity with tips and help (no, I’m not getting a kick-back for this, I just like to share the good news, because not so long ago it was hard to find designer and hand-painted yarns in Dublin, so there!).
This is what I like most, that they showcase indie yarn artists working in Ireland, as well as companies producing unique Irish yarns such as Cushendales and Donegal Tweed. It means support for tiny start-up businesses, and gorgeous one-of-a kind woollies for us.