27/10/2014

judging a book by its cover…

An interesting book on Irish craft, arrived at The DKC HQ a few weeks ago. It’s been a busy time for me, so I’m just getting around to posting my review of The Irish Countrywomen’s Association Book of Crafts 40 Projects to Make at Home published by the Cork based publishing company, Mercier Press this year.

This hardcover book is a collaborative project from members of The Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA). Their aim is to “showcase the best of the crafts that are still taught and used by ICA members today.” Liz Wall, National President mentioned in her introduction, that ICA were “overwhelmed with submissions from members who wanted to share the many skills and expert knowledge on their interpretation of the tradition and comtemporary Irish craft.” The introduction gave me a look into the history of the ICA, and as a point of interest, I learned that there are active ICA Guilds in every corner of Ireland.

“judging a book by it’s cover”…

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The cover depicts the comforts of crafting…yarn, tea, and books. The book photography by Joanne Murphy conveys the cosiness and warmth of crafting and immediately wants the crafter to pick up the book and peruse through it with a cup of hot chocolate.

The book is divided into four sections:

Stitch and Sew
Make and Wear
Store and Keep
Celebrate

with a total of 40 craft projects submitted by members of the ICA.

The layout of each project chapter is simplistic with a bold title, underneath is the name of the ICA member, and the Guild she is associated with. Each project has a list of supples needed for each project and organised with sub-headings, making it an easy read.

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The first project in the Stitch and Sew section is the Hairpin Crochet Stole by Nora Keady from the Moycullen Guild in Galway. Hairpin crochet, also known as hairpin lace caught my attention on You Tube, and to my delight, I was able to purchased a hairpin loom from The Constant Knitter.

This project looks to be a worthy stashbusting project. The instructions are detailed with simple illustrations, and as a non-crocheter, I can manage a chain and a double crochet by using this loom to create strips of crocheted lace and then sew them together into a unique stole.

The second project that caught my eye was the Chicken Scratching Embroidery Tea Cosy, submitted by Margaret Clince from the Garristown Guild in Dublin.

The teacosy in the photograph was in the background, and the details of the needlework were very much blurred out, making it very difficult to appreciate this craft.

As unfamiliar and very curious to this type of embroidery using gingham, I dropped into my local fabric and haberdashery shop, Sew The proprietor gave me a quick introduction to chicken scratching embroidery and it is now on my learning list and I’ll be back in her shop looking through her bolts gingham fabric and embroidery threads.

As knitter, I was curious to read through the knit submissions. So, I moved on to page 58 to find a Child’s Aran Jacket by Helen O’Sullivan from the Derryquay Guild in Kerry.

What I found was an aran cardigan fit for a 3 to 4 year old child. The pattern is written out, knitted in pieces then sewn together. It is a traditional pattern in every sense of the word. It is a pattern to keep any level of knitter interested by cabling patterns, aran stitches, increasing, decreasing, shaping and buttonholing.

If you are a knitter who has an adversion to sewing pieces together, This is Knit offers a finishing class which I took several years ago. As a result, I am no longer afraid sew things together and my knitted garments are seamed quite neatly. If you can’t get into town, Winnie’s Craft Cafe also offers a finishing techniques workshop in Booterstown.

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The Lumra Bag by Réiltín MacCana from the Dun Laoghaire Guild is a interesting project using carded fleece, then drawing up loops through rug canvas. The instructions are organised in chronicalogical order started from preparing your carded wool, preparation of the rug canvas, and the actual instructions using the traditional and a more contemporary method to create an Irish inspired handbag.

There are also a few smaller projects, perfect for Christmas, such as mini-wreaths, table runners, and a Christmas card holder. I receive very few Christmas cards, and if I made one, it would hang empty on my wall, unless, you my readers wish to send me a Card this year ; ) you know I’m joking, right?

Overall, The Irish Countrywomen’s Association Book of Crafts is a very pretty craft book. It has lovely photographs and the pages itself has a lovely feel to it (very difficult to provide a tactile description).

The projects itself are not to complicated, however, I do find some of the instructions a bit vague since I may not be familiar with a particular skill or technique. The accessibility of instructional videos on You Tube and other crafting sites will provide that bridge to learning. I also had to call on a few of my Irish crafty colleagues and specifically ask questions like, “what is gingham? what is a rag rugger? What is rug canvas?” Of course, it is a great way to stimulate crafting conversation…

I personally would use this book to inspire my creativity in Irish crafting in which the ICA has proudly presented.

On an interesting note:

I am delighted that Mercier Press is offering an online promotional price for the Dublin Knit Collective.

Use this Link to purchase The Irish Countrywomen’s Association Book of Crafts

When you checkout, use the PROMO code: DKC ….

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…. and your discounted offer will appear. Also, shipping is free within Ireland.

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23/10/2014

Come see it Unravel….into awesomeness

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I am absolutely delighted that I was invited to take part in the first ever Unravel event organised by an enthusiastic  team behind the New in the Old City project.

There will be fiberistic activities for the family to enjoy.

I will be leading Learn to Knit sessions on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm.

Follow @TheDKC as I’ll be unravelling the awesomeness at Cow’s Lane.

09/10/2014

I <3 Ravelry

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I love Ravelry.  It is an online resource for knitters and crocheters.  From organising projects and yarn stash to researching patterns and yarn from an awesome database, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the Ravelry experience.

For social networking, the site has forums, groups, and friend-related features that give people ways to interact with other knitters and crocheters.

Let your Ravelry journey begin here, to set up your Ravelry account and username.

Feel free to look me up under the People tab and search for my username TheDKC

As I am a frequent user of the Ravelry forums, please join The Dublin Knit Collective group. This is where you’ll find updated information about knitting events.

08/10/2014

See it Unravel…into awesomeness

What’s happening in Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar October 25th and 26th? A fun filled fibre festival in the City Centre!

Unravel is part of a series mini-festivals and events known as New In The Old City which are supported by Dublin City Council and will take place in Temple Bar’s Cow’s Lane.

Unravel will offer a range of activities and fiberistic workshops to including felting knitting, and weaving workshops.

There is also an opportunity for the public to donate knit and crochet pieces for the craft bombing project in Cow’s Lane. 

Anyone who wants to contribute is asked to drop/post their piece of knitting or crochet to The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane

The organisers of Unravel are doing a fantastic job of pulling this event together and I am delighted to be joining in the fun.

Keep an eye out for me as I live Tweet as and Unravel….into awesomeness.

06/10/2014

Learning to KNIT in D6

Learn to KNiT

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An introduction to knitting for those who absolutely have no knitting experience whatsoever. The essentials are the focus of this class by learning how to begin and end a project, and the basic knit stitch.

Date:  Tuesday 21st October 2014
Time:  7pm to 9:30pm
Venue:  Sew, No. 2 Wynnefield Road, Rathmines, Dublin 2

Contact Eilish to register for this class: 
Telephone:  01 406 2006
email:  classes@sewdublin.ie

04/10/2014

Knit and Natter in a Secret Location…

Date: Saturday 11th October

There is an interesting tie-in with the Young Hearts Run Free music and literary festival and knitting.

On Saturday 11th October, a walking tour will feature the artist Bill Drummond and his “Knit and Natter” which is part of his Million Stitch Blanket Project project to be completed by the 2025.

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Advance booking is required to attend this event.

Proceeds of the Young Hearts Run events go The Simon Community.

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03/10/2014

KNiT in the CiTY: Cow’s Lane

I am delighted to announce three knitworking sessions in Cow’s Lane for a craft bombing project

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Calling knitters of all levels – it’s time to Knitwork!!  Get involved in craft bombing Cow’s Lane. Join our free knitting sessions and make your own woolly creations to add to the craft bombing project as part of UNRAVEL. Suitable for all levels. Bring needles and wool.

What we need you to knit:
–  squares / rectangles either 25cm wide or 46cm wide and any length, in bright colours
–  stripes, flowers, shapes, patterns – all good!

Knitwork at The Queen of Tarts
Tuesday 14th & 21st October: 10am – 12 noon 
Wednesday 15th October: 5.00pm – 6.30pm                    

Can’t make it to a Knitwork session but want to donate some of your knitting to the craft bombing project?Just drop/post your knitting for craft bombing to: 

The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane, Dublin 2 before 23rd October.

Contact newinoldcity@gmail.com with any queries.

Join the chat!
Facebook: New in the Old City
Twitter: @NewintheOldCity #Unravel

No needles or yarn? Drop into The Constant Knitter , mention unravel to receive 10% off your knitworking purchase.

02/10/2014

Knit ‘n Cafe

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Dublin has several well attended and established knitting groups, just take a look at our Knit in the City page for a group of knitters near you.

What if you can’t make it to a knit and stitch meeting? Or what if you want to organise a knitting group but don’t want to commit to planning one every week or two?

The Dublin Knit Collective would love to invite knitters to the concept of pop up knitting groups.

Check out our Ravelry discussion thread on Ravelry for more details, updates and where a pop up knitting group can appear out of no where ; )

28/09/2014

Whatever happened to…

Ever wondered what happened to the Knitting Club that used to meet at Cafe Moda in Rathmines every Tuesday night?

Cafe Moda changed their hours and had an earlier closing time.   The knitters moved to The Rathmines Inn, then they closed their doors and underwent a new management process.

This led the knitters to move around between Starbucks and Murphy’s Pub. They also ventured out to Headline Bar a couple of times.

Over the summer months Blackbird was their meeting place until they were made to feel unwelcome and cramped the hipster style of the venue while the knitters got their knit on.

This group of die hard  knitters still meet every Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm. Until they find a more permanent home, you will find them at The Portabello Inn.

17/09/2014

Friday morning knitting…

Join the knitters this Friday at 11am in the Ballyroan Community Centre cafe for a knit n chat. Hope some of you can make it. We’ll be hanging out at the window seats. We’re aiming to make this a fortnightly meet, but like anything always best to check the DKC/Ravelry forums so that you’re not left solo! ;)

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