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Yarnbombing at Blarney


gatesml Read all about success at Blarney with photos at the end!

To all CTN Members,
Firstly I would like to thank all the members who came on board the workshop for the Blarney in Bloom Festival, all help no matter how big or small was greatly appreciated.
The CTN Workshop at the festival was a great success and the feedback from the public was brilliant. Everyone loved all the different activities we had created for the day and there were smiling faces everywhere you looked.
Thanks to all the helpers who gave their time on Friday in helping to yarnbomb the castle and the gardens. All the tree cosies were stunning and provided a very colourful focal point on the day of the festival. The hard work of everyone who knitted them was there for all to see: Karin Kempf, Martina Carroll, Edith O’Regan, Sarah Geary, Margaret Thuillier, Treasa O’Malley, Nuala English and myself.
Another hit on the day was the pom pom alley that was created in the willow tunnel in the water gardens. It was great fun to see everyone trying to guess how many pom poms were used in the making of it. The winner of this guessing game turned out to be Emer Hogan, who had very painstakingly counted all of them in the morning, and she happily took home her prize of the paper mache poodle made by local artist Tom Campbell.
The wool corner was great fun with people of all ages getting stuck in with creating all sorts of interesting creatures, there were even grown men having a go at knitting (Karin Kempf can be very persuasive!). Amanda and Emer Hogan, Martina Carroll and Sarah and Johnny Geary had the garden fork pom pom making down to a fine art and children were happily bouncing their pom pom creatures around the place. Diane Payne and Margaret O’Brien gave brilliant knitting and crochet master classes for beginners and anyone who wanted to improve their skills. Margaret had also very generously donated the mountain of wool that went into making all these wonderful creations which is a lovely tribute to her ex guide dog Emmy who gave her so much joy for many years.
We were joined on the day by Heather Underwood with her beautiful spinning wheel which is a real crowd pleaser and proved very popular with the male audience who were amazed at the mechanics of it all. Gerda Merz also provided demonstrations on hand weaving using charity shop picture frames which went down well with any primary school teachers watching.
There were plenty of sticky fingers around the painting section with even little babies getting stuck in creating wonderful masterpieces using brushes, stamps hands and even tiny feet! Deirdre Baynes and Jane Horner were amazing at engaging these little minds and getting their creative juices flowing in such imaginative and colourful ways. Who knew that something as simple as old wallpaper and poster paints could be such a hit!
For the older and more adventurous children there was the chance to dye their own bags and bandanas. This proved very popular and was expertly managed by Mary Palmer and Margaret Walsh and their very engaging helpers Kim and Siobhan. It was great to see the joy on the faces when they finally revealed the finished pieces to all involved.
A big thank you also to Sara O’Hara and her daughter Vivien for helping out as much as they could, it was very much appreciated and I hope they had a lovely day celebrating Sara’s fathers’ birthday.
Mary Palmer also made all the beautiful pre-dyed bandanas and bags that we had on sale on the day which proved to be a brilliant hit with everyone. It was great to see all the different colours bobbing around on heads of all ages giving everyone a lovely keepsake to remind them of their time with the CTN. We also had crochet flowers and hats for sale which were lovingly made by Margaret O’Brien.  It has to be said that the dream team of Treasa O’Malley and Nuala English were superb in their sales skills and promoting the network in such a positive light.
The final tally still has to be confirmed but from initial calculations we raised close to €400 for the IGD on the day.
It was such a positive experience on the day and was a great way to bring our talents to the wider public helping to plant the creative seeds in our future members. I have to say that the network is a collection of an amazing group of artists and I was blown away by all the help I received from everyone in the background planning and on the day itself. Everyone got stuck in and the term many hands make light work was never so true than it was yesterday, especially when we tried to move the extremely large tables Blarney made for us on the day! This also showed in the clean –up afterwards and I thank everyone who was able to stay on that little bit extra, the day was long but the company made it easy.
Looking forward to doing it all again next year!
Emer Fenlon