Thursday, March 17, 2005

Crochet & St. Patrick's Day

Wee bit Irish, are ye?  Ah, what other day is good to blather about the Irish and crochet than today?  First we'll chinwag a bit about the history, and then I'll give you some deadly links to try.  If you're having a desperate time scanning this, then give the website a visit.  You'll be having a craic in no time at tall!

No need to go scarlet, you can scatter if you'd like. But it's time to pull your socks up, stop foostering & messing; we've got crochet on the brain!    Yes, it's wee in the morning, and I am off the drink, and the mushies.  I'm just messing...

    ... because today is St. Patrick's Day!

Yep, I'm part Irish.  Comes from my Grandmother's side.  And I'll be wearing the Shamrock pin I crocheted in celebration.  (This is the same pin I'll be wearing at the upcoming field trip planned for Saturday!)

So, as I said in so many strange words earlier, that we should look at history today -- Irish history, and blend it in with crochet.  Did you know that crochet saved the Irish economy's arse back during the time of the potato famine? 

Don't know about the potato famine?

OK touching on it briefly ... during the time of 1846-1850 over a million people died from starvation and disease in Ireland.  This all started when potato crops were covered with a black rot.  As the crops, people's livelihood, failed, food became scarce and quite expensive!

At the same time crochet was becoming THE fashion accessory to wear ... the more you wore, the wealthier you were.  To meet this demand, towns in Ireland started offering various crocheted motifs ... and the crocheted lace was exported around the world.  This provided the Irish with income -- their main income -- for a number of years.

To read more about this, visit theweb site

To read more about Irish Lace and try your hand at it, give the book,  Clones Lace: The Story and Patterns of an Irish Crochet by Maire Treanor, a read.

And, since it is St. Patrick's Day, Irish or not, try to create your own shamrock to honor those crocheters who came before us:

     1. Carol Alexander's latest newsletter offers a shamrock pattern (I'm going to try to whip two of these up before the lads head off to school): talkingcrochet

     2. Try this one too: blshamrock

              Have a Happy & Safe St. Patrick's Day!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its amazing about the traditions brought over from our Irish ancestors.  While watching the History Channel about the potato famine, the narrator prepared some potatoes and proceeded to eat them with buttermilk poured over them.  I always wondered how buttermilk came to be associated with southern cooking and now I have an idea about it.  The Irish were also responsible for the concept of the southern "wake".  My mother has told stories of a person being laid out in a parlor upon their demise and it was customary to stay up with the body for 3 days until the funeral (from what I have read, this was to see the spirit off to Heaven - and "3 days" because Jesus was resurrected after 3 days).   During that time, people would come over with food and local musicians would come over and play gospel songs.  Normal people would think its creepy but she said that's just what people did back then down South and since most southern settlers came from Ireland or Scotland, it was one of the traditions brought with them.  If you ever are watching a program on t.v. where the Irish accent is too thick to understand, adjust your ears as if you were listening to someone with a thick Southern accent and I bet you'll be able to hear what the person is saying.  Yep, the language is something else that was brought over and is partially responsible for the southern dialect you hear these days.  Hugs, Sheila