Knit­ting world

Li­brary As­sis­tant Áine O’Brien and her Knit and Nat­ter group love a crafty chal­lenge, es­pe­cially when it’s for char­i­ties and lo­cal an­niver­saries

Simply Knitting - - In This Issue -

Áine O’Brien and her knit club recre­ate the Sam Maguire Cup in yarn

Knit­ting groups are more than just a club; they’re a place where like-minded cre­atives come to­gether, shar­ing not only knit­ting skills, but laughs, sto­ries and above all, ex­cit­ing ideas. This is ex­actly what hap­pened with Ire­land’s Dun­man­way Li­brary Knit and Nat­ter group, who came up with the idea to recre­ate the most fa­mous prize in Gaelic games, the Sam Maguire Cup.

The Knit and Nat­ter group was started in 2014 by Áine O’Brien, who works as Li­brary As­sis­tant at Dun­man­way Li­brary, and the group have gone from strength to strength ever since. “We have fan­tas­tic ladies in the group, some that have been knit­ting and cro­chet­ing for over 60 years and some, like me, who are very ba­sic knit­ters.” The group knit and cro­chet for four char­i­ties: blan­kets, caps and cardi­gans for Pre­ma­ture Ba­bies Cork Univer­sity Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal, chemo hats and head bands for chil­dren at Cork Mercy Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal, In­no­cent Smoothie hats for Age Ac­tion, and hats, scarves, ted­dies and so on for the Christ­mas Shoe­box Ap­peal. “We also knit and cro­chet three li­brary win­dow dis­plays an­nu­ally – Easter, sum­mer and Christ­mas,” Áine says. “I come up with the ideas and the ladies have never failed to come up with the knit­ted good­ies.” So, where did the idea for a knit­ted ver­sion of the Sam Maguire cup come from? Áine tells us, “Sam Maguire was him­self a Dun­man­way na­tive and lo­cal sport­ing le­gend. The orig­i­nal and highly prized cup, mod­elled on the an­cient Ardagh Chal­ice, was first pre­sented to the Gaelic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion 90 years ago this year. Our group de­cided to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion by recre­at­ing our very own, full-size woollen replica of the cup.”

In March, Áine O’Brien, Eileen Hur­ley and Mandy Fer­gu­son trav­elled to the GAA Mu­seum in Croke Park to take mea­sure­ments and pho­tos of the cup. The shape was put to­gether us­ing a flow­er­pot, fun­nel and pineap­ple can, cov­ered in papier mâché and spray painted. Af­ter many at­tempts – and lots of rip­ping – the cup took shape and the mas­ter­piece was cre­ated. The ladies used a mix­ture of knit­ting, cro­chet and em­broi­dery to cre­ate the de­tail on the cup, which was then put on dis­play in the win­dow of Dun­man­way Li­brary for July and Au­gust, along with all 32 hand­made county colour flags of North­ern Ire­land and the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land. “It is a great op­por­tu­nity to dis­play our pride in our lo­cal area, our her­itage and our cre­ativ­ity for the whole com­mu­nity to en­joy. And the re­ac­tion has been amaz­ing,” says Áine. “We have been pic­tured in lo­cal and na­tional news­pa­pers, in­ter­viewed on lo­cal ra­dio and for RTE Na­tion­wide (sim­i­lar to Coun­try­file). We even got the plea­sure of meet­ing our Taoiseach (Prime Min­is­ter) Leo Varad­kar on his re­cent visit to Dun­man­way!” The suc­cess of the cup has in­spired the group to con­tinue their won­der­ful cre­ations. “Our Christ­mas win­dow theme is ‘Christ­mas Din­ner’,” says Áine. “We plan on knit­ting and cro­chet­ing all the food for a typ­i­cal Ir­ish Christ­mas Day, in­clud­ing turkey, sprouts, car­rots, cran­berry sauce, tri­fle and of course a Christ­mas cake and pud­ding.

As for the Sam McGuire knit­ted cup? It’s been o ered a per­ma­nent home by the lo­cal Rec­tor, Cli Je ers, at Saint Mary’s Church in Dun­man­way, County Cork, where Sam Maguire is buried in the church­yard.

For more info on the group, visit www.cork­­brary-ser­vices

"Sam Maguire was a Dun­man­way na­tive and lo­cal sport­ing le­gend The orig­i­nal and highly prized cup was first pre­sented to the Gaelic Ath­letic As­so­ci­ati­ion 90 years ago"

Not all Ire­land’sofTSaoair­sae’sach (Prime Mknini­tis­tit­negr)i,s Leo Va­raudskeadri,nwtahse shown tch­leasksnri­to­toemd .c..up Cel­e­brat­ing the li­brary’s 21st birth­day in true crafty style The ladies and their yarn-bombed bike with for­mer Mayor of Cork, De­clan Hur­ley Cel­e­brat­ing cre­at­ing an­other huge batch of char­ity knits

The cup – made from a plant pot, fun­nel and pineap­ple can Knit­ted gin­ger­bread houses dec­o­rate Dun­man­way’s li­brary Aine’s group knit­ted a replica of the GPO (Gen­eral Post O ce) in Dublin Show­ing o their top knit in their home town

Áine O’Brien of Dun­man­way Knit and Nat­ter group

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