Darn good yarn
January 20, 2019 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Cloughmills Crochet Club has been astounded by the attention their wool creation has attracted. Members of the close knit County Antrim group have been interviewed by national and local media and now their story has reached American online magazine, Atlas Obscura, based in New York.

May Aitcheson, from the crochet club, said members can’t believe how this project has taken off. “The idea for the knitted village came from members of the club. We wanted to establish a project which would bring people from different cultural backgrounds together, in a bid to address the issues of social interaction and rural isolation while promoting good relations in the area.”

The members, some 35 women of varying ages, meet every Wednesday morning to knit, exchange stories and enjoy lunch together at the Orange Hall in Cloughmills where the knitted village is on permanent display. Over a period of seven months the crafting of the buildings came together with the help of cardboard and cereal boxes. Teenagers helped out over the summer months, men made ‘props’ such as fencing, headstones and signage, and the younger generation even donated their toys to authenticate the village.

Margaret Murphy said: "We just look forward to meeting up every week and getting the latest gossip."

As for what the group's next big project could be, she said: "That's what we don't know, I mean where do we go from here? Maybe a model of Belfast, but we'd need lots of helpers for that one."
posted by cynical pinnacle (17 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Oh wow. Do I have a friend who will love this? Yes, I do!
posted by greermahoney at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2019

Oh my gosh, the crocheted veggies in the vegetable garden! This is kind of amazing!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:52 AM on January 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

omg the sheep!!
posted by supermedusa at 12:08 PM on January 20, 2019

Hang on. They call themselves a crochet club, but they knit?

It's one or the other.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:09 PM on January 20, 2019 [11 favorites]

Adorable. Inspiring. Stash-busting.
posted by wellifyouinsist at 12:09 PM on January 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Empress, I looks like there are both crochet and knit elements in the piece.
posted by wellifyouinsist at 12:10 PM on January 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

(ponders a full sized knitted house)

Can you imagine how warm and cozy and quiet it would be?
posted by cowcowgrasstree at 12:20 PM on January 20, 2019 [7 favorites]

I think it would be very soggy if you lived in Ireland
posted by supermedusa at 12:28 PM on January 20, 2019

Yeah, I have to be a wet blanket about that idea.

Jokes aside this is utterly delightful. And having grown up in a similarly tiny town, I am, as always, struck by how the importance of the latest gossip is inversely proportional to the amount of it.
posted by ZaphodB at 12:47 PM on January 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have seen the little vegetables and now I want to be crocheted myself and live in the little village forever.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:45 PM on January 20, 2019 [7 favorites]

I wonder if, when you open the doors of the woolen Orange Hall, you see a tiny knitted model village inside…
posted by evilmomlady at 2:53 PM on January 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

I approve of this.
And sure as your born, some visitor is complaining about the choice of stitches on the church steeple in the corner... someone is debating whether lilac bushes in bloom and vegetables should be in the same display ... and someone is willing to pay top dollar for a replica of his house -- if he can have it by next week....
posted by TrishaU at 6:43 PM on January 20, 2019

I wanna do this! Or something like this!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:10 PM on January 20, 2019

Members of the close knit County Antrim group have been interviewed
I see what you did there.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:49 AM on January 21, 2019

I feel bad diverting a discussion about a cool thing in Northern Ireland to the one stereotypical thing that everyone knows about Northern Ireland, but I'm seriously curious about how Orange Halls function in tiny Northern Irish villages. Orange Halls are affiliated with the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal society that is deeply anti-Catholic. It seems clear that there are Catholic women involved in this thing, and it sounds like that was the explicit intention. (That's what "bring people from different cultural backgrounds together" means in this context, right?) Is the local Orange Hall a place where elderly Catholic ladies would generally feel welcome? Was the idea here to invite them into a space where they typically wouldn't go? Or is this one of those things where it seems from the outside that an Orange Hall would be a hostile space for Catholics, but in reality people pretty much get along and it's not a big deal?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:12 AM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

It is possible that by people of different backgrounds they don’t mean Catholics. It’s the centre for a number of Orange Lodges so it could be about bringing them together.

Elderly Catholic women are unlikely to feel comfortable in an Orange Hall without a lot of outreach and not even then given that they house their banners and gear and those don’t get seen in the best light on the marches to say the least.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:08 AM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

That's what I would have thought, but Margaret Murphy sounds like a Catholic name, and one of the ladies in the BBC article is quoted as saying:
"I live in an isolated place, and I've made friends from both sides of the community and that's an important thing for me."
and the Ballymoney Times article quotes May Aitcheson as saying:
“We’re very proud of the fact that our club and the community group is cross community and open to everyone.”
Which I suppose isn't saying much, because it doesn't matter if your community group is open to everyone if you hold meetings in a place where some people wouldn't want to go. And I guess maybe cross-community means something like "we're open to both Presbyterians and members of the Church of Ireland?"
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:25 AM on January 21, 2019

« Older Láadan   |   The product was so good, it sold itself and went... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments