Search this Blog for anything you thought you might have seen here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 17th and all things Green, White and Orange!

St Patrick was brought to Ireland in 492 as a young slave boy. He lived here for six years working as a shepherd, a very lonely life until he managed to escape. Later in his life he returned to Ireland as a missionary.

He is said to put a curse on all the venomous snakes in Ireland and driven them into the sea where they drowned. A remarkable task as we never had anything venomous. The most dangerous animal we face is the wasp!

Well he didn't get rid of this snake...but he looks harmless enough.

Another Irish tale which may have an element of truth about it, tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. He apparently used it to show how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing the shamrock on his feast day, and shamrock green remains the essential colour for today’s festivities and celebrations.

So today I am going to celebrate all things green, white and orange, some in tatting some not!

My favorite shamrocks to tat are these, my favorites being the one with three beads on the long picots and the bunch of shamrocks and beads. A little bunch of shamrock is always worn on St Patrick's Day, it's a small leaved creeping low growing plant.

I am not sure who designed the original with the twisted picots, it is slightly different from the ones I can now find. The beaded one is my own modification..

This piece of shamrock tatting is my reworking of a design in Godey's Lady's Book and magazine Vol 85 August 1872.

Here is a Shamrock type edging for a handkerchief tatted in almost patriotic colours, but definitely spring like.
I rarely tat handkerchief edgings after a lifetime of tatting white ones in my early tat days. But a couple of years ago I bought way too many beautiful hand embroidered hankerchiefs in Madiera. each one I saw was nicer than the others and I thought they would look so beautiful with modern, colour matched tatted edgings. Well this is the only one finished so far. The pattern is by Judith Connors in Contemporary Tatting.

This is my favorite card to make for friends. Using simple shamrocks is a great card for a beginner to make...see my website for instructions.

Nothing is more emotive of Ireland than the Leprechaun and so this is what I have been making to send as my trademark in exchanges and to special tatting friends. I wish I could send one to every tatting friend....well maybe next year!! I learned to make them at an International Girl Guide camp in a field next to Blarney Castle to celebrate Cork 800 in 1985! Lots of Guides and Girl Scouts from all over the world.I remember it as if it were today.
800 years as a city

I was trying to think of something hand made and Irish to send for my Christmas exchange...not the usual tacky stuff in the gift shops and suddenly remembered this little fella. He didn't look half as cute as these guys do tho.

Two went to America for Christmas, one to Pennsylvania and another to Mississippi.
I hear that one just made it to New York for a certain somebody's birthday and another is winging it's way to......!
So that only leaves two, must make some more.

Here they are in various stages of completion.

And here nearly ready to go.

They're a jolly lot and infinitely poseable

Now to some silly stuff, things my daughter and I made over the years. Oh those were the days, such fun we had...well we still do.She still loves to make things and is way, way more talented and original than I will ever be.

Earrings in enamelled copper from my enamelling days. Oh and a green lizard..also enamelled copper...well he is green.

More earrings made for me by my daughter from beads and fancy pipe cleaners and yes I do wear Brownies love them.

More things we made with Brownies, a cute snake brooch for them to wear, more pipe cleaners.

Finally another leprechaun that I made with Brownies. More of an elf I think as he looks like a working shoemaker with his leather apron. What would we do without pipe cleaners and wool.

Of course geckos are often green!!! There are going to be more to show but better leave them till later...and I have started dying my own thread as i can't get enough greens!! Marilee and sherry what have you started!!

P.S. I have been asked what the difference is between a Leprechaun and an Elf, so here is my take on it.

1. A Leprechaun is native only to Ireland and should have been born here, they often travel a lot tho' and can be found all over the world nowadays..especially hand made ones!! Beware of phoney leprechauns.
Elves on the other hand are endemic to many countries.

2. Elves are hard working and are often shoemakers, work diligently for Father Christmas or can be found in Brownie Guide packs.
Leprechauns have never been know to do physical work (correct me if you know one that does, I may be wrong about this). Their mission in life is to bring good luck to those who meet them...can't say own them as you never really own a leprechaun...a bit like a cat really.

3. Leprechauns have a wicked sense of humour and are often very mischievous...they get up to all sorts of shanagings......don't know much about elves in this respect.


  1. Pam, your blog is delight-
    ful. Love the tatting and your creativity is a plus.
    Thank you for setting me straight on Leprechauns and Elves - my ancestors' speak of 'gnomes' - I believe they work mostly for a travel service and seem a bit 'dim'. LOL So good, really, to get to "know" you!
    You gave me my smile for the season of green! And thanks for the tatting tips, too!

    Happy tatting,

    BJ in New Mexico, USA

  2. I have gnomes in my Brownie pack too and they are not dim, well not very!

    'This is what we do as gnomes,
    helping mother's in our homes!

    and what about the gnomes of Zurich!!

    Nice to know you too BJ.

  3. Pam, all of your Leprechauns are so cute, I feel very special to have received one of these cute little guys from you in the Christmas Exchange. I have him in the dining room where I see him everyday. Happy St. Patricks Day!

  4. So many wonderful things in one post! Beautiful shamrocks.
    Hope all your cute leprechauns behave themselves and bring you good luck!


I love your comments they keep me blogging.
Every comment is much appreciated, but please try not to use my real name in a comment or on your blog. Tatskool is my on line name and one that I really like. Thanks.