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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dublin and No 30. Elephants!

Another looooong post....sorrry again!
As you know I love to tat animals...well I love animals! so inspiration is always useful.
Remember when I posted about my trip to Belfast and the zoo in Feb..well it was time for another meeting of the research committee and this time it was held in Dublin Zoo.

One of the advantages of getting in Ireland (bet you didn't think there could possibly be any!!) is that everyone gets a Travel Pass when they reach seniority and can travel FREE by bus or train anywhere in the island of Ireland..south and north. Is that cool or what!

Well hubby just got his and I can travel free with him, the world is our oyster ...well Ireland anyway! and sooooh we went up to Dublin by train twice in one week!! to the Bloom garden and Flower show (our Chelsea!) which was fabulous, the weather was just like summer!

Two days later we were on the train again but the weather couldn't have been more rained constantly till 5pm when it stopped for a short while only to start again.

I had not been to Dublin Zoo for about 20 years since we took the Brownies on an outing and it's changed a lot.

Dublin zoo is the third oldest zoo in Europe having started in 1831 in the Phoenix Park and was a typical Victorian Zoo of caged animals.

First stop was the new Meercat Restaurant I had been dying to see. It has a viewing area at one end. I was hoping to see the meercat on watch duty stretched up to his full height but the group were obviously not under any pressure and so he was only watching half heartedly.

A walk outside in the rain....interesting to see the renovation of an old Victorian animal house was in progress. Hope you can read this if you click on it. It must have been a wonderful spectacle for visitors who didn't get to travel to see animals much or watch them on television. How things have changed.

Moving on...what about this for a headdress inspiration for tatting.

or this Rodrigues Fruit bats eating a piece of fruit, not much like my tatted bats.

But the bit that I liked the most was the new elephant area. Elephants need access to water to keep cool in the summer and this area has two pools, don't they look inviting?

You can see the rain.
I liked the walkway to the elephant area from the restoration house complete with elephant footprints in the concrete. The whole zoo complex is a pleasure to see just for the landscaping and planting.

Even an elephant playground.

I didn't think the elephants would be out in the rain but they were. It was good to see how big an area they have to live in. I had ro zoom in on this photo a lot to be able to see them they were so far away.
Modern zoos can be wonderful and the three Irish ones have great conservation policies. Their breeding programmes often returning animals to the wild. They each specialise in breeding certain animals.

The latest baby elephant to be born in the zoo last february is in that group.
the zoo held a competition for to find a name for it and an 11 year old boy won with the name Budi which means wise one. Hope the video link still works, there may be an advert first.

What I didn't see at the zoo was the main attraction of the day bit I didn't know, it was the first appearance of the new baby white rhino, born just the week before. She looks fabulous and is the first rhino to be born in 14 years. Hubby did get to see it after his meeting. Do take a look at the video link..hope it's still active..the baby is so cute. Guess there will be another competition to name it.

I wanted to able to show you some photos of Dublin City but the rain got worse and worse..the sort of rain when cars sent water shooting up at you as you wait to cross the road, and every one jumps back.

The best I can do is Molly Molone wheeling her barrow, am sure you all know the song. Maybe more next time I go.

Well you have waited patiently for some tatting, I promised you elephants and here they are.

First up was Jane Eborall's elephant.

This cute elephant I think looks more like a Woolly Mammoth and I am tempted to tat it again in a earthy brown which would be perfect.

Next was Inga Madsen's elephant and I just love this one for it's realism and that's what I am looking for. I did give it a tusk as it seemed naked without one!

Now a pair of elephants. I changed the pattern slightly so that I could have two different elephants and added tusks to both. The front one is my version, still not happy with my trunk. Wanted to make it thinner and more curving up without doing major changes to someone else's pattern.

The elephants were all tatted in Coats Red Heart 20 (tats like a 15) which is just about ok once you learn to master the twist in the thread. It was the best colour that I had. Jane's measures 10cm/4.5in wide and Inga's 12cm.5in

You will be hearing more about don't groan..but first I need to dye some thread so that I can tat a green elephant!!


  1. Well, now, that's not something one sees every day...a tatted pachyderm!

  2. Nah TattingChic, that's just everyday run of the mill tatting!!
    Now a tatted woolly mammoth that is different!

  3. This is a delicious post - start to finish! I would love to see Dublin, especially the zoo. You are making me want to come over more and more. Elephants are my very favorite. I used to collect them and had a house full. Not so many now. I have a little clay one that looks like the baby in the newsclip. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    The tatted ones are great. I have to get out Inga's book and Jane's pattern and get busy.

  4. I love animals too! This was a fun post! That fruit bat was especially entertaining....I've never seen one eating before.

  5. As always, we wait for your post which is very informative and wish we can travel with you.

  6. Reading your blog has made me fall madly in love with Ireland. One day I hope to visit top to bottom and side to side! I love those elephants. As luck should have it, I just ordered Inga's book today. I'm a giraffe fanatic myself.

  7. If you put long cut picots on the outside of the mammoth then it could be a really woolly mammoth! Love the long posts.

  8. Tattycat, thats cool that you collect elephants, these are lovely to tat, must do a pink elephant too.

    Sherry the other fruit bats were all up in the rafters in a huddle like a big ball, the one eating was very sus of us and turned his back on us in the end.

    Zarina, Steph and Victats I am sooh glad you dont find ithe long posts too boring.

    Steph did you see my tatted giraffe on the lable at the side to mammals and you will find them somewhere.
    Inga's book is excellent.

    Victats that sounds a cool(or very warm!!) woolly mammoth idea.

  9. Now this is just too weird! I have my book out and was picking out pink thread this morning! I don't have any gray or proper brown, so why not pink? That's the only other color I know for elephants!

  10. What can I say! Just elephanticious!!!

  11. Hello Pamela, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I too have fallen in love with Ireland through your eyes. Your photography of Ireland and your descriptions are so delightful to read. That will be some beautiful animal house, when the Haughten House is restored. What a beautiful blue bird, the headdress looks so pretty. Thanks for sharing your day and I love elephants too. I use to collect elephants also. I have quite a few of them from when we first got married, almost 25 years ago. I tatted Jane's elephant in size 80 in a pink and gray thread, then in a few other size threads and of course Pam Palmer's big elephant. Have you done that one?

  12. At first, I thought...what zoo? And then I remembered! I didn't really get into the zoo...we drove out and watched the herds of deer in the park! There is a tall monument not far from there with steps and there is a video of me and my Irish lover (at the time) going up the steps and then posing for a photo taken by my sister. Ha! You bring back so many memories. My 2nd stay in Dublin was downtown by the River LIffey. There was a wonderful bead store right down the street.
    :-) Gina

  13. I followed Jane's link ~ I like to live dangerously!
    I wanted to see your elephants! My daughter collects all things elephant. We went to Sea World in CA and saw elephants up close and personal~a bit too personal as one decided to ummm errrr 'evacuate?' PHEW
    Your blog is such a nice place to visit and gives me the Irish wanderer feeling too! I wanna go see the Zoo!(wahhhh). I have only tatted the onion ring elephant (rather badly, a first try) and it is in the UK now with Zena.
    But I've bought the thread for the big one from Pam Palmer's pattern. I even bought small sequins to decorate the trappings and want to have a colcha embroidered background with the sky of Yarnplayer's Nectarine wool silk HDT. I'm gathering all the goodies and it is my 2009 BIG project!
    I love your blog and I like the long posts.
    XXX BJ

  14. TattyCat wait till you see my green elephant! Gawd I hope it's gonna be nice now I have opened my big mouth!

    Linda what a lovely word..elephanticious.

    Carol and BJ yet more elephant collectors. Nope I don't have Pam Palmer's pattern, have lots of her other patterns but not that one. Wow BJ waiting to see yours.

    And Gina making me blush with her Irish lover!!
    Saw the monument in the Phoenix Park but not the deer. The zoo is very near the entrance to the park. Yup went to that bead shop too 'The Yellow Brick Road'is a treasure Trove and 'The Crown Jewels' is good too.

  15. You are toooooo funny! I just know the green elephant will be gorgeous! Can't wait to see it.

  16. Me funny!!!
    There are so many of you who want to come over to Ireland that I am beginning to wonder how many are hoping to find an Irish lover!!!

    The green thread for the elephant isn't quite what I wanted but what ho! I'll give it a go anyway.


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