Monday, April 30, 2012

Roscommon Lamb Festival

 I will be doing a stall, selling my craft kits at the Roscommon Lamb Festival next Sunday 6th May 12pm-5pm in the Wool Craft Village. (Facebook link here.) It was a great event the last two years with us breaking the world record for the most knitters in the one place at the one time and sheep shearing, crafts, nice food, cutest lamb competitions and suchlike.

This year they will be trying to break the world record for the most people hand-shearing sheep at the same time. I'd like to get to see that, but may be doing my stall at that time. You can find more about the festival here.
I will also be doing a peg-loom weaving workshop on the sunday (more info on peg-looms here), where we will be making small rugs from raw sheep's fleece to take home. Its a 45 minute workshop and you can even pay in Roscommon Alternative Money - RAMs... I think its about 10 Euro or 6 RAMs (scroll to the bottom of this page for booking details) and you get to bring home your own woven mat, plus full instructions for how to build a loom and weave on it.

Lets hope today's sunshine stays for the weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2012


What is it about cats?

Why must they always sit in the centre of everything? On the nice pile of paperwork which they then rip to pieces to make a nice nest out of...on your arms as you sit at the computer working, which slowly go dead as you try and move the mouse without disturbing them...on your legs, particularly when they are at an uncomfortable angle so they slowly bend backwards at the knee with the weight of a sleeping cat...on your chest while you are sleeping so that eventually you feel you can't breathe because all the air is being slowly squeezed out of your lungs...or even just walking backwards and forwards in front of your face, rubbing themselves off you and walking across your keyboard while you try and type something...

Nothing is sacred to a cat. That glass of water you just put down is actually a nice drink your prepared specially for them, the bowl of ice-cream will do just nicely while you aren't looking as a pre-dinner snack, and the sofa is the perfect spot for vomiting up a dead mouse on, that fluffy cushion will soak up the bile very well thank you. There is no sense of guilt like there can be with a dog, instead they will sit there watching you as you clean up their poo/puke/headless bird-leavings/all three in the one go with a look of utter disdain on their faces.

The well-known phrase comes to mind - dogs have owners, cats have staff. I regret to say I am, like the majority of cat owners, a complete sucker. I get up to let them in doors, I refuse to get up to let people in doors due to a cat being comfortable on my lap, I put up with their general ill-behaviour, frequently catch the mice they lose in the house, worry about them late at night, chase off other cats while roaring like a lion to stop them scaring my babies, and just generally I am a total sucker, pandering to my cat's whims. But I am not staff. Staff are paid, staff have rights, this is pure slavery.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mustache Central.

Welcome to the felted mustache kit! Hooray, it is now up for sale on Etsy - you can find it here.
And yes, it is completely ridiculous. But, we all need fake mustaches, there is no denying that. And what better way to acquire some than by learning to needle-felt and wet-felt and make your own from some lovely soft sheep's wool (merino in two colours and some nice Gotland) using a lovely eco-friendly craft kit!

As usual, step-by-step instructions with clear diagrams are included, along with all the equipment and materials you need to make 5-6 mustaches. Choose from the handlebar, the walrus, Poirot, Fu Manchu, Dali or Captain Hook styles, or make your own shapes.
For more info, check out the listing here. Before long, you will become a distinguished gentleman.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Of Ogulla Holy Well and Broken Child of Prague Statues.

We spent a wet day over the weekend exploring some of the local holy wells. This one was my favourite - Ogulla Well named after Oigh Giolla, near Tulsk. (In Roscommon.)
It is an amazing well, with a few statues and a rag tree outside and a large octagonal glass building built for having mass in with a couple of altars where people have left things, like the armless statue above...
...candles and coins...
...and more ratty statues.

There's the building pictured below.
I love the mangled statues, the way they are weathered and damaged. It reminds me of the Child of Prague we had when I was a kid - I think it may have been compulsory by law for every newly married couple to be given one, and also compulsory for it to have its head/hands knocked off subsequently. We even saw an ad for one for sale recently - "Child of Prague, In great condition, 150 euro, no offers, head broken."

So you can see, the head being broken off obviously was compulsory, or they wouldn't have described it as being in great condition.