The endangered Galway sheep. Photo: Stolen Stitches

Close knit community

Great things can happen when people ‘wool’ together.

A close knit community of Cork wool lovers have created a special club to help raise the profile of an endangered Irish sheep breed.

In the late 1990s, the beautiful Galway sheep was officially listed as a breed in danger of extinction by the Irish state after a major decline in numbers.

Thankfully, the farmer-owned Galway Wool Co-Op has been working tirelessly over the last number of years to revive this proud Irish heritage by encouraging local farmers to breed the animals once again.

Now, in an effort to further raise the profile of the Galway sheep, Cork-based knitting community Stolen Stitches has developed a unique once-off knitting club called The Galway Blanket Club.

The club, developed in partnership with Galway Wool Co-Op and Donegal Yarns, gives members the rare opportunity to knit with Galway wool while learning about its long and proud history.

Stolen Stitches describes the yarn as being rustic and strong, with outstanding stitch definition. It offers amazing warmth, is visually stunning, and is perfect for home wares, including blankets, which are at the forefront of the club.

Irish designers Carol Feller, Eimear Earley, and Laura Perrem are all on board for The Galway Blanket Club, each picking 4 of their favourite stitch patterns for the project.

“While working with Gaillimh, I think we can sense the place that it comes from. We can almost see the field in which the sheep stand, almost hear the birds and feel the cool breeze on our faces,” says Laura Perrem.

The club will be available to purchase via the Stolen Stitches website:

€5 from the sale of every membership will be donated to the charity, Jigsaw.