De­signer Spot­light

Crochet World - - Content - De­sign by Jen­nifer E. Ryan

Ir­ish Cro­chet Ex­plo­sion

The folk mu­sic, green pas­tures, ex­cit­ing danc­ing and lilt­ing ac­cent of the Ir­ish have al­ways held a spe­cial place in my heart. It was won­der­ful to ex­pe­ri­ence all of those things and more first­hand as the in­struc­tor on An­nie’s first ever cro­chet tour to Ire­land in 2016. I found much in­spi­ra­tion for my de­signs in the Celtic Knot­work all around us at ev­ery stop we made and my love of Ire­land grew!

I also love the sim­ple beauty of the Ir­ish rose mo­tifs and how many el­e­ments joined to­gether with ba­sic chain stitches make a unique and in­tri­cate wear­able work of art. I learned that cre­at­ing th­ese beau­ti­ful gar­ments to sell to wealthy Euro­peans helped save thou­sands of Ir­ish peo­ple from star­va­tion dur­ing the Great Po­tato Famine. All ages of men, women and chil­dren learned to cro­chet and then cre­ated a va­ri­ety of ‘sig­na­ture’ mo­tifs and join­ing tech­niques that I tried to honor in this shawl.

I de­signed this "ex­plo­sion" of Ir­ish lace to re­flect the in­tri­ca­cies, shapes and tex­tures of the Ir­ish mo­tifs along with the seem­ingly sim­ple mesh­like stitches in be­tween that give the ap­pear­ance of one seam­less piece. I like to think of this pro­ject as a trib­ute to my fam­ily’s Ir­ish her­itage and a re­mem­brance of all of those Ir­ish de­sign­ers who cre­ated this style in the mid-1800s.

For more info on the his­tory of cro­chet in Ire­land and a video tu­to­rial of how to do the bul­lion stitch, visit Jen­nifer’s blog at www.celtic­knotcro­chet.com.

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