Hi, welcome to String Revolution. I'm Léan, I live in Dublin with my husband and two little boys, and I am a dangerous stringy subversive.
My job is to radiate my creative truth, and to help you radiate yours. I create, without exception, every day. I write here when I have something to say.

(learn more about me).

Farewell, 2011!

Earrings (made with glass beads by beadanna on Flickr), by Léan, December 2011

I’ve had a quite extraordinary year. It feels like I started sprinting in mid-February, and didn’t stop until … well, probably until my grandmother died at the end of September. The pace picked up again in October, with a novel-writing binge followed by a marketing blitz followed by a present-making extravaganza, and whatever notions I might have had about using the time between Christmas and New Year to do some much-needed catching up and planning, they were trumped by a forceful lethargy that I am attributing only partly to the sinusy headcold that has had me in its snotty grip all week.

No matter!

Have some pretty pictures of some of my handmade presents this year.

Up at the top there, you see the earrings I made for my mother (left) and a cousin (right). Get me with my arty shot setup, and so forth. The large glass beads are by Anna Felton, who sells at the Dublin Food Co-op: each one is unique, and I think they’re utterly gorgeous. See more of her work on Flickr – I know she’s in the process of developing an online shop, but I don’t think it’s up yet.

Quilted leaves, pictured with their templates, by Léan, December 2011

For my mother-in-law, I made a set of quilted leaves, using the same technique as for the little wall hanging I made in 2010. Here they all are, mixed in with the cardboard templates I used. I made eleven altogether, each one a faithful portrait of an actual leaf collected last year by the mother-in-law, the children, and me. We’ll decide together, at our leisure, how to arrange and mount them.

Cowl, Yarn Harlot's _Pretty Thing_, knitted by Léan, December 2011

For my mother, I dashed off a cowl by the estimable Yarn Harlot, called Pretty Thing. Very satisfactory: definitely pretty, and unquestionably a thing. Additionally, lots of fun to knit, and designed with the sort of skill and care that makes me glow happily inside. I knitted it in Araucania Botany Lace from This Is Knit, which I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show in November. Not the absolute rightest yarn for the pattern, arguably, as it tends to swallow the stitch detail – but so soft! [Ravelled here]

Silk tie, handmade and hand-embroidered with the Italian word

For my father, I took some raw silk that I’d bought in … oh, probably the early 1990s, from Shree on Grafton Street (anyone?), and made a tie – which I forgot to photograph until we were all gathered in my parents’ candlelit kitchen, hence the terrible shot. I embroidered on it the Italian word “Sprezzatura”, meaning something along the lines of “nonchalant brilliance”, about which my father has just written a paper (he being an academic and all).

Speaking of forgetting to take photographs, not pictured are a hasty hat, knitted for my brother in unspeakably smooshy Debbie Bliss Paloma from This Is Knit (the shop itself, this time); and a beaded choker with matching earrings, which I made for my sister in a workshop at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

This won’t seem like much to some of you, but I’m frankly quite impressed at how many presents I managed to finish this year. It beats the last couple of years by a long, long way.

Meanwhile, I have major big plans for 2012, both on this blog and elsewhere. Join the Revolutionary Horde (yes, it’s a mailing list, but where’s the fun in that?) if you want the low-down. Form’s up there in the right-hand sidebar; I’ll always treat your contact details with respect and care.

And finally…

Happy new year, my lovely readers! Thank you so much for being here, and I hope 2012 brings you an endless succession of good things. I hug you!

1 comment to Farewell, 2011!

  • Katherine Farmar

    probably the early 1990s, from Shree on Grafton Street

    Oh my God. Shree! Shree was my favourite shop in the world in the early 1990s. I loved it so much! Such wonderful affordable Indian skirts and dresses, and miscellaneous bits and pieces too; and since it closed, there have been no other shops like it. Wow. I had completely forgotten about Shree until you mentioned it, and now it’s all come back!

    Happy New Year, and may your 2012 be better than your 2011!

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