I'm irish and a granny. I've always loved making things from wool but a time came when years no-one seemed to want hand knitted garments so i had turned to making teacosies, cushion covers and crocheted throws which i tended to give as gifts. Finding a retail outlet was not easy and while working at Bede's World museum which has a renowned Anglo Saxon church and farm where visitors are often subjected to rain and chilly winds from the sea, i hit upon the idea of woolly hats and began to make some to sell in the museum shop. Before that i had worked as a costumed demonstrator at Beamish museum in County Durham, where the ability to knit and talk to visitors at the same time was applauded. It was there that i began to knit and wear shawls in the Edwardian colliery village. Now, thanks to online trading, i have found a way to reach people around the world who value the uniqueness of handcrafted garments.
My mother, Brigid, taught me how to knit and my grandmother, Minnie (Mary) taught me how to crochet. Granny lived on a hill farm on the slopes of Slieve Beagh at Eshnadarragh in County Fermanagh. In that area, the border country between Fermanagh, Monaghan and Cavan, there was - and continues - a strong tradition of Irish crochet making centred on Clones, hence it is sometimes known as Clones lace. Most of the female population, young and old, made this white cotton lace and motifs and styles distinct to the area emerged and many houses hosted crochet schools. An aunt of mine said that when she was young "In every house you entered there was an old woman in the corner busy with her crochet." It generated significant income and as another aunt commented " Many a farm was bought on crochet."
Here I added a poem i wrote about my grandmother but unfortunately the formattting on folksy lost the verse layout, changing it to almost unreadable prose. In the unlikely event that anyone is interested the text of this poem can be found in my etsy shop profile!