yarn bombing Yarn Classes

Women Of The World

This coming Friday is a significant day in the year for women. It is March 8th and it is International Women’s Day – which by coincidence was established in Copenhagen.

Today I had the privilege of having early celebrations with a women’s group in Arklow called Women Of The World which was established in 2009 and is, literally, made up of women from all over the world.  A wonderful dynamic group that meet every Wednesday morning in the Wicklow Partnership Office.

Women of The World in Arklow with Roisin Markham

Women of The World in Arklow with Roisin Markham 2Women Of The World in Arklow
© Irene Lundgaard 2013

I was invited to attend their meeting as they have plans of a spot of yarn bombing inspired by the creative and dynamic Róisín Markham. I look forward to seeing what they get up to with that crochet – cheeky things were running off those hooks!

As for my own International Women’s Day celebrations,  I will be celebrating with the Tinahely Women’s Network, on Friday 8th March at the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely from 10.30 – 12.30 with a theme of “Influential Irish Women 1913 – 2013”.
Celebrations will continue that evening with a pot luck supper, starting at 7.30 p.m. (Bring a small portions of food to share).

Perhaps I’ll see you there? If not, I wish you a happy International Women’s Day!

freeform crochet Fun Small Crochet Projects yarn bombing

The Power Of Crochet Flowers

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

Basket of Crochet Flowers in Tinahely by Irene Lundgaard

Crochet flowers in Tinahely Co Wicklow by Irene Lundgaard

Crochet Flowers on the tree in Tinahely Co Wicklow by Irene Lundgaard

flowers in the tree on the square in Tinahely Co Wicklow by Irene Lundgaard

Crochet flowers in Tinahely Co Wicklow by Irene Lundgaard at duskCrochet Flowers On Dwyer Square, Tinahely, Co Wicklow
Irene Lundgaard 2013

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…

Crochet yarn bombing

Culture Night Crochet

We celebrated Culture Night 2012 all over Ireland last Friday September 21st. My own contribution was obviously crochet…

On the square in Tinahely we have a granite bench which was donated to the village by the wonderful women of Tinahely I.C.A. It’s a sturdy granite bench that holds a lot of gatherings of the young as well as the old.

Bench on Dwyer Square TinahelyBench on the Square, Culture Night 2012, Tinahely, Co Wicklow
Irene Lundgaard 2012

The Tinahely Arts Group had planned to display Words of The Village with each contributor installing their own words, I’m a member and decided to partake.

Behind the bench there is a pretty tree with branches sheltering the bench from rain and wind and when I pass the bench I often wonder what conversations and aspirations the tree picks up, what dreams are aired that drift up from the bench and into the tree. Armed with this thought I set to work for some weeks, every time I passed the bench and the youth were gathered on it I asked them what their dreams were. My plan was to distil their words and crochet them into a luminous web that would be seen in the dark at Culture Night. A web of words caught in the tree.

As the days went on in my word gathering, I began to see a pattern of questions more than anything else and I realized my collection of words would have to be W-words. I called my piece “W-Ord-s Of Youth”. The hyphens are framing the Danish word “ord”, which means word or words.  Culture Night 2012 W-Ord-s of Youth Tinahely Arts Group 11

Culture Night 2012 W-Ord-s of Youth Tinahely Arts Group 12

Culture Night 2012 W-Ord-s of Youth Tinahely Arts Group 12d

Culture Night 2012 W-Ord-s of Youth Tinahely Arts Group 12bW-Ord-s Of Youth, Culture Night 2012, Tinahely, Co Wicklow
Irene Lundgaard 2012

I used luminous paint on the words to ensure they would shine out in the night. The village is bright at night and the words did not shine much but they are doing just that now here at home in my hallway, where I pass them for nightly visits to the necessarium. They are insistently demanding answers. Every night! As John said, when I explained to him about my installation, ‘well, the old that also gather on the bench, they will have the answers’.

I’m just not sure that I am old enough to have the answers quite figured out yet… Not on my nocturnal sojourns anyway!

yarn bombing Yarn Classes

In The Media

RTE Nationwide March 2012 - Irene LundgaardLast night I sat quietly and in my own world crocheting. The television was on and all of a sudden I saw what people have been telling me about. I saw my own face on TV.

Some weeks ago there was a feature on The Yarn Room on Nationwide on RTÉ, our national TV station here in Ireland, I featured very very briefly in the piece with very busy crocheting hands and a very big smile. These two items are now part of the trailer for Nationwide! Who would have thought that!

AND I’m in the print media too.

A while back I was approached by the Irish Quilting Magazine as they were featuring The Irish Reef in an article. Our wonderful Hyperbolic Crochet woolly wonder which is currently on display in The Greenhouse, 17 St Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2 where ECO-UNESCO are doing trojan work to educate the masses on all things environmental. As a matter of fact, they are having their ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards Showcase and Awards Ceremony next week.

The Greenhouse is a great central place for the Reef to be on display! If you haven’t seen The Irish Reef yet, I strongly encourage you to go and take in the beautiful work of 100 Irish women and a couple of men and learn a bit about geometry, the environment and creative use of crochet at the same time. The Greenhouse is open during normal business hours.

The Irish Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef - Irish Quilting Magazine - by Irene LundgaardMy picture of The Irish Reef featured in
Irish Quilting Magazine

Irene Lundgaard 2012

They also featured my piece of Yarn Graffiti, which I did earlier in the year. I first thought it odd that a Quilting Magazine would do a piece on crochet, but when I thought about it, I realized that Granny Squares actually can only be described as the quilts of crochet and all of a sudden it all made sense in my little mind…

Yarn Grafitti - Irish Quilting Magazine - by Irene Lundgaard Urbanization of the Irish Countryside featured in
Irish Quilting Magazine

Irene Lundgaard 2012

They published my piece of Opinionated Crochet called Urbanization of the Irish Countryside which I had pointed out was the title of my work. However, they seem to have forgotten to include that bit of info in the article…

I also notice that there is now an International Yarnbombing Day on June 9th. It’s interesting how underground movements are eventually adopted by convention.

Being in the media will not pay any bills, so I better get back to my hook as I prepare my classes starting on Tuesday where there are a couple of places left and then I better start working on some patterns that are in the making too.

Hook on, is all I can say!

Crochet yarn bombing Yarn Classes

Democracy Was Knit Together On Facebook

In late August I wrote about a yarn activism project which my Danish friend Dana initiated as a response to the atrocities in Norway. Yesterday the piece was unveiled at the Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) in Copenhagen where they are building a new metro station.

Klar til aktionDemokratiet har plads til os alle

Demokratiet har plads til os alle
All pictures are kindly made available by my friend
Lisa Risager You can see more here

Demokratiet har plads til os alle
‘Democracy Has Room for Us All’

The press release that went out read as follows:

Democracy Has Room for Us All
This group project came about in the slipstream of the gruesome act of terror in Norway.

The reaction in the political sphere and hemisphere in Denmark was a lot of attempts at defining exactly what *that* group of society’s interpretation of democracy and the democratic debate is – funnily enough, all the definitions were defining the ones who were *not* included in the definition…

However, reality is different. Democracy and the democratic process are not bound by a particular colour of skin, a particular geographical origin or a particular belief system or none, as the case may be. Democracy simply consists of people, including the ones we do not agree with or we don’t like.

“Democracy Has Room for Us All” are words translated into something as simple as yarn and human hands.
Facebook turned out to be the right place for finding likeminded people to realize the idea. And this is it – 27 people, a month and a half and numerous stitches later. The work is installed at the Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) in Copenhagen.

On behalf of Knit Crochet Graffiti,
Dana Watsham”

I am very proud to be part of this project, it is made by women of huge integrity, intelligence and compassion. Yes We Can, is what I say!

Crochet yarn bombing

A Statement In Yarn

My Danish friend Dana has a bee in her bonnet about yarn, she is a spinner and dyer and a knitter extraordinaire. Dana also has a bee in her bonnet about the state of the world. As a matter of fact, she has strong, well-informed opinions about most matters. Dana does not just stop with the usual ‘hand-wringing’ about anything. From my perspective, she has taken a leaf out of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book and “Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.” Dana reacts spontaneously and intelligently to the state of the world and this time she has set in motion a piece of knit/crochet graffiti among her friends. The text will read: “DEMOKRATIET HAR PLADS TIL OS ALLE” (democracy has room for everyone) alongside symbols of democracy.

A by Irene LundgaardClones Roses by Irene LundgaardShamrocks by Irene Lundgaard

This weekend I made my own contribution to the project. I committed to making an A and two symbols. I chose a variation of ‘Clones Roses’ as a symbol of the empowering effect piecework has had on generations of women and I simply just had to include the Shamrock to symbolise the fact that ‘there always is an Irish connection’. I made them up as I went, perhaps I should have used a proper traditional Irish pattern, but it was just too much fun to make them up, so I chose not to.

Dana is currently working on finding a relevant place to display this wonderful piece somewhere in Copenhagen – I imagine. I look forward to seeing it in it’s entirety and I am very happy to be part of the project and I hope to be able to show a picture of the finished item in place eventually.

Note: These pieces are made in horrid acrylics. I really don’t like working in acrylics, but we must suffer for the cause. 😉