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"I grew up in East Donegal on a farm near Convoy.
My mother hand knit aran jumpers and cardigans for Molloys of Ardara.
Many of the neighbours did too and shared skills.
Besides this my mum Eilish was always dreaming up designs, especially for us 'three girls' and once she source the fabric and trimmings, Granny Margaret, her mother in law was on hand to entertain us at her busy dressmaking establishment. I remember red and white dress suits, with rickrack edging, purple tweed capes with spotted fur trim and brightly checked dresses in pink, orange, blue.
My first real knits after some serious doll trials and booties for countless new cousins arriving were for my younger brothers and sisters, my first models, especially the cute new arrival Danny.
So it began.....
This Craft of Hand Knitting has always had the greatest connection for me, a yarn from past to future. Not something I gave serious thought to as an ambitious and dedicated fashion student at Limerick Art College in the 1980's Limerick, or as an even more ambitious entrepreneur in 1990's Derry City, or as an employer over the decades or mother of four wild personalities!
ONLY in the past decade I’ve been so aware of the dilution of the Aran knitting story and of the erosion of the great skills embedded in that story and felt a calling!
This challenges and directs my design work and ethics in this very interesting time for fashion.
Sustainable fabric sourcing, slow fashion, the circular economy, ethical production and cultural appropriation are all on the radar and trending ....
For me, this is a way of life and I truly appreciate your interest and support "
Edel MacBride, Donegal 2021
Our wool knitwear collections are entirely handmade.
This means that someone knits them on two needles or using a knitting machine operated by hand and sometimes both techniques are used in one garment (The Danny Boy Sweater, the new romance shawls, each piece will specify how it is made).
The stitches and techniques used have ancient origins and are very skilled.
The designs are all imagined and patterned by Edel, who also knits the samples and custom items. Our label has a proven track record of being worn and ‘held onto’ dearly for decades.
We proudly make very small numbers of each style and each piece is made individually.
We have a zero raw material waste policy, designing smaller items to suit ends of yarn and donating ends for craft purposes. We actively promote repairing or mending and vintage shopping, all of which respect the value of things and the world.
We believe slower as in ‘Slow Fashion’ need not imply boring or less, rather it needs to be more considered, more questioned, more creative.
The story of the materials, the process of making, the longevity of great design. Can it be repurposed or recycled? Is it biodegradable?
Yes, our Irish knitted treasure is.
We are a direct to consumer studio and as such can keep our pricing to you great by International comparison.
Join our fight to eliminate wasteful clothing manufacturing practices and save traditions.
(More information: email@example.com)
Recall the Heart
I read that the word remember has Latin origins that can be interpreted as ‘to recall the heart’, to be deeply mindful of, rememorari.
I loved this thought and how it inspires creativity.
A double woven heart in the shape of a knitted stitch has been my brand logo since 1993.
Recalling early skills I was gifted from my grandmothers, my parents and generous teachers.
I recall the world I grew up in where dreaming of and making a cardigan or jumper to wear was full of excitement and planning. Then collecting wool for the great project a few balls at a time each week under a big shop counter in Raphoe. Simple times and pleasures.
As our World holds its breath in 2020, it feels like we await BACKSTAGE.
I believe in creatives for creatives right now. If there’s a way to support someone, DO.
That purchase, card, call, message or post share may mean more than you know, it often has for me.
The Backstage Photoshoot Credits
I chose the Balor Arts Centre in Ballybofey as it represents everything that is great about our Irish Arts community. It produces a brilliant schedule combining local productions with National and International visiting artists. I have never left this Arts centre disappointed and cannot wait to return. Thanks to manager Conor Malone for the Open Door and welcome. While the country was reopened at the time it afforded us great open space too.
Shooting the Wool
Mr Photographer Andrejs Plavins of Inspired Photography.
I only discovered on the day of our shoot that he too (like me) was to have been at Milwaukee Irish Fest for it’s 40th Annual Showcase in August, as videographer with the renoun Emerald Guitars (also Handmade in Donegal),
Andrejs works hard, is very reliable and I don’t have to explain too much! He shot the previous website images too and they still work three years later.
His mum is refusing to knit him a sweater as it seems he didn’t appreciate her knitting as a kid.. Hint?
Wearing the Wool
Nerissa Moore, Donegal.
Nerissa was a double star on the day as due to social distancing measures she did her own hair and make up for the shoot. Well, if Taylor Swift could do that on her lockdown ‘Folklore’ album, I didn't mind asking.
I discovered she has other creative talents too, like singing, she was a Voice of Ireland contestant who got through! Then check out Nerissa Moore on IG at NMOHART, her art page.