Thursday, March 03, 2011

Of Irish Moss and Old Lace

At first glance this might be mistaken for a fallen a Vanda orchid, or maybe florets of lacy Hydrangea Hortensia. These lovely petals are actually seaweed. This week a mysterious parcel arrived from Ireland. In it were a carton of dried Irish moss (Carrageen), and a bundle of Dillisk.

About a month ago when I met with Irish siren, Lucy Foley, we had the most inspired conversation over coffee and yarn. Beautiful colors and textures of music, the dance of lyrical poetry, chartreuse seaweed, iridescent kelp, nautical berries, knobs, and lace that drift their way into Irish crochet.

We sat down to design long flowing sleeves that reach the floor and drape like Dillisk washing ashore. Her upcoming performance is only in a few months. Are we ready? Soon after that, she left  — bound for Limerick.

Meanwhile in my kitchen... I could smell the Northwestern coast of Ireland as I soaked these wizened bundles in cold water — so salty and sweet. A tidal pool of rose madder, lavender, and cream branches untangled and bloomed like a mermaid’s forgotten corsage. Silky purple Dillisk unfurled, softly flowing like ribbon over the back of my hand — it’s translucent fingers running over mine.

I love Lucy’s music. As I listen to her song “It’s a Tangle” I clearly recall Lucy saying “Don't make me look like Queen of the Faeries, now...” I think she meant Kate Bush, not Maeve.

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