It is March, the month that Ireland and it’s many descendants worldwide, celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. I confess religion does not play a big part in my life and so I know little of the history behind this much-loved Saint. On my journey to learn a little more, I came across this beautiful animation from Brown Bag Films, it is one of a series of short films based on the 1960’s recordings of children in a Dublin school telling Bible stories to their teacher. It is so lovely I had to share it with you. So, to hear little Mary’s heartwarming tale of Saint Patrick, listen very carefully…… Give Up Yer Aul Sins – Story of Saint Patrick
Inspired by this truly Irish occasion, we chose to dress our Wee Black Faced Sheep as a leprechaun. The pattern for ‘Outfit No 3’ is available on Ravelry, additional information and pictures can be viewed on my design page here.
Along with St Patrick, leprechaun’s and Guinness, ‘Kissing the Blarney Stone’ is a phrase I have heard often and another well known Irish tradition I knew little about. So I went to find out more….
One story tells of the goddess Cliodna who when sought for advice with regards to a law suit, by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, the builder of Blarney Castle, advised him to kiss the first stone he found on his way to court. MacCarthy did as he was told, pleaded his case with great success and won. Thus the stone was believed to impart eloquence or ‘the gift of the gab!’ The ‘Blarney Stone’ was then built-in to the parapet of the Castle, and hence the kissing began! At one time, it was necessary to be held by the ankles and lowered to the stone!
Kissing the Blarney stone is a little more civilised today, (Mmmm….not to sure about that looking at the photo above!) although still not recommended for the faint hearted!
Finally, I would like to dedicate this post to some very special people. Twice a year, accompanied by my sister, I make the journey from North East Scotland to The Glen Gallery in Northern Ireland to teach knitting workshops. The hospitality provided during our stay makes the trip a relaxing break and not like work at all! The Glen Gallery is a treasure filled shop, nestling in the countryside close by the village of Culleybackey, County Antrim. It is a haven for crafters of any kind with an unbelievable selection of luxury fibres, Rowan, Sublime, Noro, Debbie Bliss, Araucania, Louisa Harding, Adrafil and even some gorgeous local boucle from Cushendale Woollen Mill, Co. Kilkenny. There is a well stocked library of books for sale, patterns, beads, buttons, cross-stitch, threads, ribbons, fabrics, local crafts…..the list goes on…and on. You can even enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while your brain is concocting a cunning plan to sneak your many purchases inside your home without being spotted by your adoring (but not so understanding with regards to yarn addiction) hubby! As well as taking care of their elderly parents, Frances and Marilyn see to the day to day running of the shop, organising events, workshops, etc. Sister Doreen is at hand to help when required. They are genuinely three of the nicest people I have ever met. Doreen who often takes part in workshops, brings with her lots of chat and laughter. I am certain that she has kissed that Blarney Stone, perhaps more than once!