"... she is turning base knitters into golden crocheters -crafting alchemy at its finest."
- Máiréad Quinn - crochet pupil
"You have created a masterpiece."
- Victoria Vesna - on her Blue Morph installation at Science Gallery, Dublin
"An amazing teacher....."
- Becky Allen - crochet pupil
"... learnt so much. Even remembered the stitches when I got home."
- Siobhan - crochet pupil
" ... Irene's ruffled coral towers ... are among the most ingenious reef creations."
- Margaret Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring on
Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Submission for
"There is probably nothing as cosy as these days in existence..." Anette & Bente, full day workshop participants
I have noticed that a lot of people who come to crochet are doing so inspired by Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers more so than their own mothers; I have to say that this is true for me too, although my mother is an eternal inspiration for my own crafty adventures. I wonder if this is a trend or just something I imagine to be the case as I learnt to crochet from my own Grandmother?
Helen is one of my crochet pupils and she is drawing inspiration from her Great Grandmother too. Helen has brought in the finest of lace to share and the other night she brought what she called her Great Granny’s Coronation Blanket in for inspiration. It is a large blanket, very large for a single bed, done in squares in the most exquisite colours. It is so elegant and Helen told me she actually has two of these magnificent pieces of crochet in her possession.
Isn’t this just wonderful? The colours are exquisite and completely contemporary even though this blanket is over 60 years old. Helen’s Great Granny made no less than four of these wonderful pieces of crochet and she called them Coronation Blankets as they were crochet to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation – the 60th jubilee of which was celebrated last year in the UK.
In each corner there is a square done in white, red and blue – to mark the Coronation. These colours are somewhat out of tune with the rest of the blanket, but they totally work. Helen’s Great Granny’s sense of colour is exquisite and she was a practical woman too as she crochet the beautiful edge around this, finishing it off with a black edge – no dirt showing there any time fast!
It is on the shoulders of giants we stand – also in crochet – and Helen has some beautiful boots to fill!
Note: Thanks to Helen for allowing me to take pictures of this blanket and to share them here. I find this work very inspiring and hope you do too!
I was first and foremost excited about the interview and also delighted to hear that another crochet magazine was to hit the shelves. Crochet is sometimes treated like the poor cousin of knitting by the print media although I have to say that is very much changing, particularly now that the models on the catwalks are draped in creative crochet around the globe – the awareness of crochet is definitely heightened.
Anyway, I live out in the sticks of Ireland and had a hard time laying hands on a copy of the first issue of the SIMPLY CROCHET MAGAZINE and only found it when I was passing through London visiting my sister. The first issue was bright and cheerful with what I saw as an emphasis on targeting the beginner crochet market. There was nice photography in it and fun projects. I liked the feel of the magazine, the light-hearted approach to crochet and having a background in printing I really appreciate the quality of the paper the magazine is actually printed on. Lovely detail! And the hook gauge in the second issue; what a hoot…
I was to be featured in the second issue and I only laid hands on it during this week just gone by and I’m chuffed with the result. Judy has done a great job on making sense of my unstructured meandering answers.
It is always nice to be recognized by ones peers and I hope you enjoy the article and the magazine, I know I do!
I teach crochet classes in the Market Square building right in the centre of Tinahely, Co Wicklow. At the bottom of the steps the Tinahely ICA erected a granite bench for people to congregate at for at chat. Behind the bench there is a tree – a tree that I appear to have “something” for…
Today the crocheters of Tinahely sprinkled crochet flowers onto the branches of the tree while it is still bare, just because we can! Colourful flowers, imaginative flowers, mad flowers, fun flowers, pretty ones, romantic ones – in other words a great concoction of crochet flower biodiversity in one place, flowers to brighten up the last few weeks of winter.
Perhaps the flowers will be stolen, perhaps they will be laughed at, frowned upon, embraced, torn apart, picked and be never seen again and perhaps they will cheer up the people passing and make them smile…
I have been busy giving crochet workshops in Denmark and busy in my regular crochet classes here in Ireland too. So busy I have not been able to get my web page updated which is a disgrace as I have loads of news to share.
However, I will not be able to get to that until tomorrow afternoon, but I can tell you that it involves the mention of an article in the current edition of the new UK magazine SIMPLY CROCHET in which I’m delighted to feature – have you seen the magazine? It’s bright and cheerful and if nothing else, check it out for the paper quality alone – having a background in printing – I’m a sucker for nice paper!
I will also roll out my new regular classes as well as making suggestions for one day workshops that might be of interest to you. And then there is a whole other crochet venture which involves sales of select pieces of my crochet too.
In the meantime, I share a couple of photos form the workshops I did at the wonderful library in Skive, Denmark. As you can see, they were a busy lot! Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the beginner class on the Friday. They were a great and came through in flying colours with a great grasp of more than just the basics on the day.
The last week the only thing I have seen of Donal is the back of the screen of his computer as he has been very busy extracting images and composing this little video of my crochet from the last year for me.
A video of my crochet inspiration to whet your appetite for a crochet class or a customized, themed workshop for you and your friends. Drop me a mail at email@example.com for details on availability!
Donal also composed and recorded the pretty tune which he gave to me to use anyway I like, he also made the animated hook too and all I can say is, I Like!
I was in a builder’s suppliers a couple of weeks ago and came across a spool of Manila twine, I love the scent of Manila and couldn’t resist buying a few meters of it to convert into “something”.
On the way home in the car I remembered my spool of candlewick cotton in my stash and I thought the two would be a happy mix. I also had an eye on my “Crochet Living” workshop coming up and a plan started to take shape.
After a few attempts I ended up making a very plain little bowl, an ideal little basket for holding small one ball projects or perhaps some fine cotton lace work or tea lights or pretty stones or keys or perhaps just to be left out to touch and smell.
One way or another, it’s simple crochet for around the home and I really enjoyed working with these materials, it could be fun to use coloured cotton in sections of a basket or even coloured twine.
Do you ever use alternative materials in your crochet?
It has been too quiet about this place for the last week or so, all due to much teaching of crochet and many very capable hands turning out well defined crochet stitches.
I am also busy preparing handouts for my next workshops in Denmark; or rather, I should be doing that as they do not just manifest themselves just because I have crochet the relevant samples. I have not yet mastered the art of printing them out straight from my brain – if you have found a way, please let me know.
As I said, I should be preparing handouts but my imagination ran riot the last few days and I started no less than four different projects, and they are all in a state of non-completion. I am being very bold and I had to send myself in the bold corner.
That move proved counter productive and matters escalated in that corner as I found about 100g of yarn that just had to be crochet there and then. The crochet has absolutely no relevance to the workshops I am preparing other than I just may be able to turn it into a pretty cushion cover, that way it fits the crochet “Living” workshop I’m doing. Can’t you imagine this crochet stretched over a pretty piece of violet coloured silk? My imagination can, but I really do not have the time for these sort of ideas popping up in the middle of an otherwise well scheduled time plan. Fortunately, I don’t actually have enough yarn to complete the project – and I don’t have any violet coloured silk either. Yet…
I better get back to those handouts… Are you good at being disciplined or are you bold like me?
We had a beautiful sunny day here today, a perfect day for a quick yarn trip although further inland and down out of the hills, it was quite foggy, Graig-na-managh included, which was my destination; Cushendale Wollen Mills to be exact! I use their yarns in all my tuition, I find it’s superb for the purpose as the stitch definition is perfect, not to mention the colours… Oh, how I can drool over that colour card!
After a joyful encounter with Philip Cushen himself, I extracted the couple of kilos of mixed yarn goodies that I needed and when I was leaving I turned around to have a look at the mill. It’s beautifully old and well preserved, and today – in the fog – the exterior colours were just as magical as the wool on the interior!
Look at the colours on that lean-to shed, aren’t they just inspiring? To me it is simply magical.
I’m delighted to be able to say that due to popular demand my regular Thursday classes, both morning and evenings are now fully booked for the 4 week term commencing on Thursday January 10th.
Therefore, I am now taking bookings for Wednesdays as well with classes commencing on Wednesday January 16th, in Market Square, Tinahely with morning classes from 10.00 am-12.00 pm and evening classes from 8.00-10.00 pm. Price for absolute beginners is €65 (all materials included) and €55 for continuers (bring your own yarn + hook).
Continuers will have an emphasis on learning new stitch combinations and techniques and we will have fun elaborating on the traditional Granny Square as well as enjoying Free Form Crochet.
Beginners will get a thorough grounding in Classical Crochet, learn all the stitches, increasing/decreasing, reading patterns and crochet charts as well as finishing to the highest possible standard.
Everybody will get completely hooked! Well, I’ll do my best for that to happen!
Price €55 (€65 for beginners) per 4 weeks or drop-in classes at €15.
I was delighted to be part of a nice article on Yarn Graffiti and all things yarn in THE SUNDAY TIMES yesterday. I was rubbing shoulders with the best of yarnies in Ireland in the article and some Hollywood stars too! What more can a woman ask for? There was a great emphasis on crochet in the article, something that is delightful for a crocheter like me that is doing her best for some crochet world domination!
Delighted I am, and not least grateful to Stephanie Kennedy of The Yarn Room for the loan of “The Sofa” keeping me snug and out of the murky wet outside on the day that Photographer Fergal Phillips came to take my picture!
Best practice, pattern/chart reading and good finishing are always included in my tuition as well as how to avoid repetitive strains, achieve beautiful drape in the fabric you are making and not least, all the handy tricks of the trade.
I give one to one tuition as well as tailoring classes for groups. You can check out the Bookings tab on the site for details on current available classes.
I also teach Continental and Fair Isle style knitting.
You are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have questions about available classes, any
of my patterns or would like me to tailor a workshop.
The Irish Reef is currently exhibited at The Greenhouse, 17 Andrews Street, Dublin 2 where it will be on display until late 2011.
We are also looking for other places to exhibit The Irish Reef which is a satellite of the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles.
The Irish Reef was brought into being under the auspices of the Science Gallery, an initiative of Trinity College Dublin.
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