I got the following email below from my mother recently:
I am a member of the Sierra Leone Ireland Partnership which advocates for justice and civil and economic rights there. Like others in the group I worked in Sierra Leone for some years in the 1960s. The news from Sierra Leone is not good at the moment and we all hope that with help from all their supporters they will overcome this crisis as they have others in recent times.
Earlier this year before the Ebola outbreak the Irish Government opened an embassy in Freetown and we decided to celebrate by arranging a talk about the Sierra Leone collections in the National Museum of Ireland. It will be given by Dr Bill Hart, an academic with a lifelong interest in West African traditional art particularly Sierra Leone. He has published many articles on this subject. In the course of his research he discovered that there were a number of items from Sierra Leone in our National Museum which had been presented to the museum over the past 200 years mainly by Irish people working in the colonial service.
You are invited to attend this talk at 11.00am next Saturday Nov 15th in the National Museum Collins Barracks. Admission is free but booking is essential at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please tell any of your friends who might be interested about this talk.
Sounds like a fascinating morning sharing a positive side of life in Sierra Leone and Irish involvement there. If you’re curious to know more about Sierra Leonean Art you should book now before places fill up.
If the long-awaited arrival of a pair of twins to two good friends isn’t an occasion for celebration, I don’t know what is. I choose to celebrate by publishing my first ever crochet pattern; a crochet booties pattern. I have made many booties over the years but was never 100% happy with any one pattern. So, with a nod of thanks to Suzanne Lesaul for the wonderful sole, I present Butaisí, booties for a newborn, or two.
A super cute pair of booties to fit a newborn baby. Perfect to keep their little toes warm in the winter. Or more likely to give them something to chew on.
Can be made with 4 ply acrylic or cotton double knit although the lighter the latter the better. The picture here shows the booties in a lovely sunny yellow which I rustled up from Crelando Spring which I picked up in Lidl last Easter.
BLO Back Loop Only. Do the stitch in the back part of the stitch. Looking at the top of the stitch, it looks like a sideways V. Hook the stitch into the part of the V farthest from you.
FPSC Front Post Single Crochet. Look at your crochet stitch. We have our sideways V on top. Below this V is the POST of the stitch. Hook around this post to create your stitch. It gives a great effect!
FPDC Front Post Double Crochet. Same as above but DOUBLE crochet.
Foundation chain: With 3.5mm hook, chain 12, leaving slip knot loose. Slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook.
This first section, sole and shoe sides, crochet in the round.
Row 1. Sl st 6 stitches. 5 sc. 3 sc in loose slip knot. Tighten slip knot. Working on opposite side of initial chain 5 sc, 6 sl st. Sl st to join. Ch 2
Row 2. Sc in base of 2ch. 2 sc in next stitch 10 sc. 2 sc in each of next 3 sc. 10 sc. 2 sc in next st. Sl st to join. (31 st)
Row 3. Ch 2. Sc in base of 2ch. 2 sc in next 2 stitches. 8 sc 2 hdc. 2 hdc in each of next 2 st. 2 sc. 2 hdc in each of next 2 sc. 2 hdc. 8 sc. 2 sc in each of next 2sc. Sl st to join.
Row 4. Ch 2. 1 sc. 2 sc in each of next 3 stitches. 12 sc. 2 sc in each of 3 st. 2 sc. 2 sc in each of next 3 st. 12 sc. 2 sc in each of next 3st. ss to join. (52 st) Sole of bootie complete.
Switch to 2.5mm hook. Crochet in the round. You are now creating the sides of the booties.
Row 5. FPSC around.
Row 6. FPSC around.
Row 7. Sc BLO around
Row 8. Sc BLO around.
Switch to 3.5 mm hook.
With toe facing you place a marker at centre stitch then count 7 stitches to left. Place marker. Count seven stitches to right. Place marker.
Row 9. Starting at marker at left of toe attach yarn and, working FPDC for both row 9 and 10, Ch 2, DC, 2(DC 2 TOG), DC3TOG, 3(DC2TOG)
Row 10. Ch 2. DC7TOG. Fasten off.
Switch to 2.5mm hook for 1 row only.
Row 11. Join yarn to stitch on side closest to toe cap and sl st to side of shoe i.e. into one of the BLOs made in row 8. 9 sc across cap. 2 sl st along side of shoe i.e. into two of the BLOs made in row 8 on opposite side of shoe. This would be a turning chain in a flat piece of crochet.
Switch to 3.5mm hook again.
Row 12. Ch 1 SC Repeat 3 times across toe cap. 1 sc. 2 sl st to join to side of shoe i.e. into one of the BLOs made in row 8. Turn.
Row 13 Sc Ch 1 Repeat 3 times across toe cap. 1 sc. 2 sl st to join to side of shoe i.e. into one of the BLOs made in row 8. Turn.
Row 14 – 19 Repeat rows 12 & 13 3 times. However on row 19 continue ch1 SC onto shoe side and continue around. Row 20: 14(Ch1 SC) Row 21 Continue (Sc Ch1) until row 31.
Row 32 Crab stitch all around to finish i.e. insert hook to RIGHT and sc to right all around. Sl st to join.
Repeat for 2nd bootie.
Weave in ends. Pop on the nearest tiny wee foot. Be chuffed and try not to faint with cuteness overload.
A bilingual blog post so skim on through if you have no Irish as there is more for the Anglophile below. There will be a touch more Irish on this site in future as my gig with Beo.ie has fallen by the wayside due to the loss of their funding. I need somewhere to keep it going! In this post I muse on the burgeoning pride in making and on how the Internet allows us to take pride and share the creative process.
Bhí mé ag súil nach mbeadh anseo ach blagmhír scioptha faoi rudaí a chríochnaigh mé le déanaí. Ach tá mé díreach tagtha ar ais ó pháirt a ghlacadh ar an gclár cainte Róisín ar TG4 agus cuir an ábhar cainte ag smaoineamh mé. Ní bhíonn am a dhóthain ar teilifís nó ar raidió ceisteanna móra an lae a phlé in iomlán. Nílim ag cur an milleán ar an dteilifís ach sin mar atá an foirmeád. Is iomaí uair a shéan mé ábhar dom’ phíosa ar Splanc Newstalk toisc go raibh sé ró-chasta nó fealsúnach in ionad ceann le níos mó siamsaíocht ag baint leis.
Mar sin is ar éigean go raibh an triúir againn ar an gclár abalta leath den mhéad a bhí againn le rá a chlúdach ar an gcéad clár den tsraith úr. I ndáiríre is dócha go raibh an triúir againn ar an leathanach céanna faoi síneadh scileanna tís ó ghlúin go glúin. Tá ghá leis agus gheobhaidh roinnt páistí na scileanna sa bhaile, roinnt ar scoil agus roinnt ó leabhair agus ar ndóigh ón Idirlíon mar a dúirt mé ar an gclár. I ndáiríre is meascán de na foinsí a mbeidh i gceist: d’fhoghlaim mise conas crochet ó leabhar agus ansin thug aintín liom nodanna breise dom. D’fhoghlaim mé conas fúáil ó mo mháthair agus anois faighim nodanna breise ó leabhair nó blaganna pearsanta.
“A woman’s work is never done.
Maybe that’s why they are paid less.”
– Seán Lock, comedian.
I laughed when I heard Lock throwing out this one-liner in a repeat of an ancient Live at the Apollo that he was hosting. Yes, I know some might take offence at this but I see it more along the lines of so-funny-because-it’s-true. I got to thinking about finding worth in the unpaid work of making a home, be it for yourself, your and a partner or for a family whatever shape that might take. If this work is unpaid how else can it be given value? Kudos, appreciation, applause, feedback can go a long way to making a person feel like they have acheived something. This doesn’t even have to come from outside: I’ve noticed online a few folk talking about journals where they plan what they hope to achieve each week, month, year and then review accordingly. Patting yourself on the back isn’t only physically difficult, yoga babes excepted.
Ach an rud a rith liom is mé ag teacht abhaile ná gur tháinig meath ar luach na scileanna seo mar ní raibh aon stádas ag baint leo i sochaí caiptlíoch. Ní raibh aon brabus i mbacáil cáca nó dearnáil poll i ngeansaí. Fiú ba chur amú ama a leithéid nuair a bhítear inann cáca i measc na ceadta a cheannach sa siopa nó nuair a bhí sé níos saoire geansaí nua a cheannach.
Ach píosa ar píosa, le leathnú an Idirlíne, tá athrú ag tarlúint. Dar liom is athrú tábhachtach é i sochaí. Tá borradh mór tagtha ar an mbród a léiríonn déantóirí as an obair atá á dhéanamh acu. Don chuid is mó is obair gan phá atá i gceist: caitheamh aimsire nó obair tí. Tugann lucht na fógraíochta “mummy bloggers” ar roinnt dóibh, i mbealach dímheasúil, “makers” ar chuid eile dóibh. Aithnítear, i réimse na fógraíochta, go bhfuil cumhacht ar leith ag baint leis na mummy bloggers: nuair a mholann na blagadóirí is ráthúla ina measc tairge ar leith, bíonn tóir air. Ach rud a rith liom ná go bhfuil níos mó i gceist anseo ná mioneolas don earnáil fógraíochta. Tá neart de na blagadóirí seo atá ag séanadh fógraíocht nó formhuiniú tairge. Cinnte, b’fhéidir go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh a dtairgí féin a chur chun cinn ach táthar ann nach bhfuil “agenda” ar bith acu seachas eolas a roinnt.
Ach sé mo thuairim féin ná go bhfuil snáithe amháin fite fuaite tríd na suíomhanna seo ar fad. Is é sin an bród. Nílim ag caint ar mórtas ná ar mórchúiseacht ach an píosín beag bród a bhraitheann tú ionat féin nuair atá rud curtha i gcrích agat agus jab maith déanta agat. Bhraithim sin óna blagadóirí seo mar tá siad sásta, don chuid is mó, a sprioc, a gníomh agus an toradh a roinnt linn. Muna roinneoidh ach an toradh ní bheadh deas againne, na léitheoirí, an saibhreas céanna a chur lenár saol féin.
Lena chois sin seo cúpla rud a chur mé féin i gcrích thar an tsamhraidh. Gheobhaidh sibh naisc chuig na hoideas is na patrún fite tríd, ó blagadóirí is gnólachtaí beaga a bhí bródúil as a gcuid oibre agus sásta ligint dúinn ar fad cuid den bród céanna a bhraith.
Nuair a bhí mé níos óige ba mhinic a rinne mé éadaí dom féin, go háirithe fá choinne ócáidí speisialta. Táim beag agus cé go glacaim leis le gnáth éadaí laethúla b’fhearr i bhfad liom go luífeadh gúna liom d’ocáid speisialta. Mar sin rinne mé (le cabhair agus treoir mo mháthair foighdeach) mo ghúna féin do mo “Debs”, don Trinity Ball ach faraor ní raibh an muinín agam mo ghúna bainise féin a dhéanamh. Is dócha go ndéarfadh mo mháthair go dtagann ciall le haois! An uair dheireanach a rinne mé iarracht gúna a dhéanamh fá choinne ócáid speisialta rinne mé praiseach iomlán de (agus b’éigean dom mo ghúna bainise a chaitheamh ina áit – an-aisteach ar fad). Ó shin i leith ba bheag ní a fúáil mé.
But after lining a few crochet bags and purses earlier this year and rustling up a few small things on the machine my confidence began to return and I decided to make Nipper 3.0 a dress. That was in July. I finished it early September. I used the Sally Dress Pattern from VeryShannon.com, a cute Russian Doll Cotton Print by Rose & Hubble that I picked up in Murphy Sheehy in town one day.
I can’t begin to describe the little sparkles of joy I get in seeing Nipper 3.0 wearing the finished dress. There were 2 false starts, mainly down to Americans’ ridiculous use of non-standard paper sizes (shakes fist) but I have requested some Letter sized paper to be brought home from Yankland to avoid this problem in future.
I finished this little blanket below for my latest grandniece. If I have rabbited on before that I am great aunt to five, forgive me. But also believe me: it deserves this level of rabbiting on as it is a perennial shock to me.
This is my own pattern and I hope to post it soon. I can’t say that it was quick to hook but it required that extra time to ensure it was safe for a baby. It is soft and light but tight enough to avoid entangling tiny baby fingers.
As to food we have tried some new and interesting things. I love this tomato salsa recipe from Smitten Kitchen and I far prefer her photos. I’m going for the photo-realism look here. A great recipe to use up your glut of tomatoes and I would definitely recommend adding the lime juice that she wavers on in her blog post. Fingers crossed next year I will be using my own tomatoes in this recipe!
Another big hit at home and at a few other family events this summer were campfire cones. Here you can see Himself looking very summery, enjoying one hot off the barbeque at home. As I synthesised a few recipes to make the most of Irish ingredients I will shortly post this recipe here so keep your eyes peeled. I can’t believe it’s still warm enough on the eve of October to think that some of you might be able to try these still! Otherwise file (Pin it!) for next summer.
A new BBQ favourite that I have made successfully under the grill are these delicious salmon skewers which I found on Epicurious.com. In this pic they are on our barbeque with just the marinade and thinly slice lemon wedges. However the second time I made them I added courgette and red pepper and mixed these three ingredients in the marinade, rather then trying to coat skewers once, eh, skewered. Consider adding chunks of feta because Feta and Salmon are just fabulous together.
I’ve also designed a new pair of crochet baby booties after much trial and error. I think they are a really cute and unique present to give on the arrival of a newborn but I was not happy with all of any of the patterns that I tried so I decided to design my own. I will post this pattern soon. It will get cold soon and you will be glad of it! I am also working on a pair of fingerless mittens which I hope to share soon too, once I’ve gotten over my bootie obsession.
I’m making a concrete effort this year to get to more shows in The Dublin Fringe Festival. Maybe I’m trying to make good on last year’s (yes 2013’s) resolution to see more theatre. I am the cultural bulimic that I may or may not have spoken about during my undergrad viva voce.
Wow, that sentence is full of hot air.
That sentence couldn’t be less like the lunchtime play I attended in Bewley’s last Sunday. Charolais is full of shit. And muck. And blood. Cows. Jeeps. Kitchen tables. In other words, very down to earth, realistic. It’s a one woman show about a love triangle between a woman, her man and his cow with a little bit of his mother thrown in for good measure. Hilarious (guffawing out loud hilarious) and moving, this Show in a Bag is technically excellent as well: minimal set and lighting are augmented by extremely clever but simple costume and hair changes. Written and performed by Noni Stapleton and directed by Bairbre Uí Chaoimh the site for this drama is very much Stapleton’s body, rather than any particular stage, which she uses to great effect. This in itself is a metaphor for the action of the play which is occurring in the bodies of the main character, Siobhán, and her farmer lad’s Charolais, who are both living that which is many females’ most physically dramatic experience: pregnancy.
It doesn’t escape my attention that the last play I reviewed was also situated in the drama of the female body and while Charolais is no less dramatic than Between Water and Trees, it is likely a far more accessible production. Interesting though that two productions that I have attended almost by accident have focused on this topic.
If you fancy a lunch time or tea time pick me up this week (check Fringe site for times) get yourself along to this most excellent and original production.
Buíochas le mo chomrádaí ollscoile a roghnaigh an dráma íontach seo dúinn. Go raibh maith agat agus ná ligimid chomh fada arís é!