Four years ago I sat in the late morning sunshine with a cup of tea in hand, warm and safe, and I listened to the cracking sounds of gunfire not three fields away.
The pops and clicks of ancient pistols and far away voices were faint, but they shook me in a way I hadn’t expected.
I hadn’t been lucky enough to win a ticket to the 1916 Rising re-enactment down the road in Ashbourne. I’d been disappointed, but then I recalled, that the vast majority of Ireland was surprised on the day independence was declared miles away outside the General Post Office in Dublin and few places outside of Dublin’s borders rose in the days that followed.
Ashbourne was one of the exceptions. It’s a fact that makes me proud of my little country village every day.
And so, rather than witnessing the re-enactment itself, I chose to play the part of the startled local wondering what the hell was going on over there.
And every 24th of April since, I think about that moment and the gravity of it. The historical weight fell on my shoulders like a rain-sodden cloak and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sob into my tea as the ghosts of the past breezed through me.
The Easter Rising of 1916 certainly wasn’t the first time Irish men and Irish women had made a strike for freedom, but it was the first in the modern age. It’s the first Irish Rising we have photos of. It’s the first where news papers and Pathé footage existed. It’s the first where people dressed in recognisable clothes using recognisable accents and modern language proclaimed their right to self govern.
It was the first step in the modern fight for freedom that eventually resulted in the 26 county Republic we have today and all the murky difficulties and historical complications that come with it.
It’s a lot to take in. The bravery those men and women had, and the responsibility they took on to dream of an Ireland they absolutely knew they’d not see.
So, every year now, I sit in my garden with a cup of tea in the afternoon sunshine, I remember those gunshots across the fields and what they represent, and I dream of the Ireland I want to see; one that fulfils the Proclamation’s claim that Ireland should “…guarantee religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, … to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, oblivious of their differences…”
And a helpful collection of How To Videos are featured below:
Part 1: Wherein I explain the beginnign of, and the basic Short Rows used in the charted sections of the pattern. (This section of the pattern is also written in long hand on Page 3 of the pattern)
Part 2: Wherein I work you through the eyelet featured in Chart A2 of the pattern, as seeon on Page 13 of the pdf.
Part 3: Wherein I explain how to read Charts C and E, and parts of Charts E and F. The eyelets I create in this video are used for the majority of the lace patterns in Homeward Bound.
Part 4: Wherein I show you how to reverse the eyelets made in Part 3. This reverse version is easy to do, and features in both Charts D and F. Part 5: Wherein I explore the technique used to mirror the short rows in Chart B.
Coming Soon: Part 6: By request! How to finish off the panels in Homeward Bound, as described in the pattern.
Happy New Year, everyone! And welcome to the Aoibhe Ni 2020 CAL Rules page!
Here’r the rules, folks:
1. Post your Aoibhe Ni pattern progress on Instagram each week to be entered into that week’s prize draw. Multiple posts are welcome. The more you post the more chances you have to win! All participating projects MUST be an Aoibhe Ni pattern.
2. Each Instagram post MUST include both the hashtag #AoibheNi AND that week’s dedicated hashtag: The (bracketed) suggestions under each week are offered for inspiration. You don’t have to stick to them, of course.
Week 1. #AoibheNiWeek1 (Show Us Your Yarn and Pattern choice)
Week 2. #AoibheNiWeek2 (Show Us Your Swatch, or the beginning of your project if you like to live dangerously!)
Week 3. #AoibheNiWeek3 (A photo of your hands out and about crocheting on the bus, at the library, at the kid’s swimming lesson, under a tree… wherever you happen to be!)
Week 4. #AoibheNiWeek4 (Video time! Treat us to a few seconds of your gorgeous, talented hands crocheting away. I bet we all hold our hooks a little differently. How cool would it be to see how everyone else crochets!)
Week 5. #AoibheNiWeek5 (Have you made any modifications? Here’s the week to show us what you’ve changed.)
Week 6. #AoibheNiWeek6 (The Finale! Your completed shawl blocking, or modelled. There are no bonus points for using a dog to model your shawl, but that would make me very happy!)
Not including the weekly hashtag will mean your post won’t be part of the random number generator’s count come prize time and you will miss out on your chance to win a prize that week.
3. Week One begins on Monday the 6th of January 2020, and each week thereafter will begin the Monday following. The first prize winner will be chosen and announced at 12 noon, Irish Time on Saturday the 11th of January 2020, and each winner thereafter will be announced the Saturday following.
4. Aoibhe Ni will tag each week’s winner in an announcement post in her Instagram grid. This is the winner’s cue to message Aoibhe on Instagram with their Name, email address and their preferred postal address.
5. The Aoibhe Ni 2020 CAL will run from Monday the 6th of January 2020 to Saturday the 14th of February, with the final prize being announced on Saturday the 14th of February 2020.
6. Be nice!
And this isn’t a rule, but I encourage you to look at other participants posts, and to like, comment and encourage them along with comments and love! Let’s make this a fun and fulfilling time for everyone involved!
Additionally, any questions or comments can be directed here: I’ll endeavour during the duration of the CAL, to pop in every day or two to help anyone who might be stuck.
Fashioned out of quality stainless steel and strengthened in the traditional manner, these shawl pins are understated, easy to use and glide through shawl fabric gently.
They’re hand crafted, and finished with a granite texture to ensure the pin stays in place all day.
Double Spiral The double spiral is seen as a symbol of balance in nature. It is believed that the spiral represents the sun and the double spiral is a depiction of the sun’s journey across Irish skies throughout the course of the year. It’s also suggested that it is representative of the eddies and waves in the swirling rivers that exist at many ancient Irish sacred locations.
The Spiral is a well-recognised symbol of Celtic Ireland but many, many examples of its importance are to be found all around Ireland on Neolithic tombs that date back over 5,000 years.
Salmon Of Knowledge One of our greatest legends involves the attempts to capture of a great, mythical salmon that possesses all the knowledge the world has to offer. It was said that he who took the first bite of the salmon would possess all of its learning.
Perhaps this shawl pin will endow you with a little of that great salmon’s learning? Don’t try eating it, though.
Ancient Scroll While the rest of Europe was descending into the Dark Ages, Irish monks continued to work diligently to make copies of sacred texts, and to spread their advanced medical, political, creative, and linguistic learning.
Every wondered why Ireland is known as the “land of saints and scholars”? That’s why! This simple, elegant scroll shape is a tribute to them.
Ram’s Head One of the most striking sights you’ll encounter around most of Ireland are hedge-crested fields and open mountains full of roaming, grazing flocks of sheep. They’re dotted across the island from east to west, and one of the most beloved breeds is the Blackface Mountain sheep. It’s got a long, shaggy fleece and glorious swirling horns framing its curious face. Why not top your favourite shawl with one of Ireland’s favourite sheep? “Mmba-a-a”