The exhibition areas in the museum are rather dark (good for the artefacts, not for photos) so please excuse the bad quality pics; I suggest going to visit the museum on Kildare St for yourself to really see just what our ancestors were capable of.
Some whorls, spindles and a suspected 'yarn winder' in the medieval display;
The following photos are from the 'Viking' display, mostly found around the Wood Quay / Fishamble St area in Dublin.Imagine pinning up your hand-spun and hand-knit shawl with a modern reproduction of one of these;
More pins - again, I would love something like this for myself!
These teeny tiny spindles are about the same length as a crochet hook; the whorls were tiny...
... perfect for spinning very fine threads. The individual strands in this piece of woven fabric are finer than your average sewing threads today. I cannot comprehend hand-spinning such fine thread with such consistency, but it is clearly possible.
Shears and a yarn-winder;
Handles from weaving & carding tools;
Stone & bone whorls & sewing needles;
These items were labelled as a distaff and weaving tablet; not being a weaver I cannot figure out how this tablet was used, but I'm sure some proper research would be enlightening.
spindle & whorls;
At the top of the staircase, this woollen cloak is displayed; I just love the texture.
Even though the camera policy has changed officially I still feel rather bold taking photos in a museum; it's one of the very few places where I appreciate the value of strict rules.