Friday, August 30, 2013

Flowery Dinosaur!

Alas, the Brontosaurus never existed. My heart was broken when they dropped that bomb on us last year. It was as upsetting as when Pluto was no longer deemed to be a planet. The Brontosaurus was always my favourite dinosaur and I was determined to make him live on in KNITTED form. Here at Crafty Students, we like to make dinosaurs, you can see more here and here

Pete was going away to the USofA, I had no money to get him a present so I knitted him this wonderful creation. He named it Brídasaur. She has travelled far and wide in her short life, from California to New York and even to Canada. Such an adventurous spirit! Now she has settled down to life in London.

I knitted her right before all my essays were due and I was, as always, procrastinating. That's why she's covered in roses. I didn't want to swiftly return to my laptop and face the reality of my exceptionally non-existent word count. As such, I decided to embellish her with roses in order to expend more time. Flower power is a worthy excuse for procrastination. Amen. 

The pattern I used was from Jean Greenhowe's toy collection. Here's a link to her website where you can find this and more of her patterns. They're all very cute!

Here is Pete with Brídasaur nestling under his jacket. Good home for flowery dinosaur.

Have a wonderful weekend! To those of you going to Electric Picnic, go wild and have fun.

Bríd x

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Little Knitted Bear

Oh my goodness! Who is this little fellow nestling in the pocket of my dressing gown? Isn't he rather adorable?

I have so many oddments of wool. Lots of random balls of different colours and styles. Trying to figure out how I should use them up has been an ambition of mine for a while. I've been very busy this year with my Masters so I wanted to work on easy projects that didn't involve endless counting of stitches and complicated techniques. This versatile pattern ticked all the boxes. It's for "Anything Animals". A doll, a bear or a rabbit can be made following the basic structure of this pattern. Fabulous eh? 

It's a very easy pattern. Perfect for those who like to knit while chatting to friends or indulging in a spot of internet tv. I decided not to make arms for him because I thought he looked cuter without them. I have a bit pile of "Anything Animals" at home waiting to be sewed up. I am planning on sewing a looped ribbon on the top so they can be hung from a door handle, nail or even a Christmas tree when that time of year rolls around!

Bríd x

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Comforting Curry

Natalie and I are currently writing our Masters dissertations. This involves consistently being indoors, typing furiously, stressing constantly, drinking far too much coffee, over-indulgence in "comfort" food (carbs and cheese numb the pain), missing all the fun things that summer has to offer, feeling guilty when you do venture away from the desk... All in all, quite a joyous experience right?
I decided to cook a curry for Nat and I as a nice, healthy treat to cheer us up as we are currently missing Notting Hill Carnival and some beautiful sunshine. Sigh! I've written out the recipe below so that you too may enjoy some curry. I learned the art from my old roommate who is a very proficient curry-maker!

  • 1 Red Onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (either crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • A few Bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tablespoon of olive oil
  • One cup of couscous
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot, add the onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add half the tumeric, chilli and cumin and continue to fry until the onions and garlic assume a light brown colour. 
  2. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and cook until the mixture resembles a "ragu" style sauce.
  3. Add the chickpeas, pepper, bay leaves and remaining spices and cook for approximately 15 minutes but you can judge for yourself if they are done sooner.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until it has reduced. Boil the kettle and put the couscous in a bowl. Pour the water onto the couscous and cover with a plate. Leave for about 3-5 mins.
  5. Season the curry with salt and pepper.
  6. Put the couscous and curry onto a plate and you're ready to go!
This basic recipe can be adapted to encompass whatever meat or vegetables you would like to curry. The onions, tomatoes, garlic and spices are the core components of any curry!


Bríd x

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More Preview of Handcrafts Available at The Dublin Flea Sunday 25th August

BELOW: Delish Hand made bunting. We are SO feeling this "Keep Calm and Sew On". Email if you want a string of this fabric bunting so we know how much to bring. Anywhere between 10 and 15 Euro depending on length.

BELOW: Cork pinboards, my brother has fashioned these out of vintage frames. A new lease of life for those frames, let me tell you. Up-cycling at its most perfect.

 BELOW: Another one of my brothers creations! Vintage postage stamps + vintage picture frame. He's used a decoupaging technique here. Such a great idea, a total one off thing. We love it.

Drop an email to if you'd like to reserve something. xxx


Little Kitten Finger Puppet!

My friend Aoife, a talented animator and artist (whose work you can see here) made me this adorable little finger puppet. He is so tiny that he sleeps in a matchbox! Isn't he sweet?
Aoife didn't use a pattern to make this little fellow, but there are quite a few patterns for cat finger puppets online if you'd like to give them a try. Here's a knitted one and a crocheted one.

I'm sorry this post is so brief, I'm writing my LLM dissertation at the moment and must get back to it. No more procrasti-blogging can be tolerated!

Bríd x

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Dear Readers,

Hello! Now, I know its only Tuesday. But Tuesday is nearly over, so Wednesday is coming. And what does any self respecting person do mid week only make their weekend plans! We've blogged before (here and here) about The Flea - a wonderful mash up of craft, vintage and general bargains, to be found once a month in The Co-Op Newmarket. The Flea is on THIS SUNDAY 11am - 5pm and we recommend you hit it up because CraftyStudents will have a stall again! 

This time will be a little different, as my Mum (Glynis) and her great friend Maria (two craft and vintage mad ladies) will be running the stall. They've been really busy sourcing some UNBELIEVABLE vintage bargains for you guys and whipping up some 1970s inspired bunting. We've scooped a preview, check out the photos below! 

Stuff always goes fast at the Flea so get down early. Alternatively comment below or drop me an email at if you want to reserve something early and we'll see what we can do for you. 

You might need to wrestle this 1970s FISHY detail Pimms set out of our hands. WE LOVE IT SO MUCH. How will we ever say goodbye. :-( sigh! 

We are loving The Flea's promo poster for this month (below).

Catch you all there!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Calling all Guerrillas

Despite the paramilitaristic connotations, it seems that people love to stick the word guerrilla in front of things these days. It is certainly doing wonders for the image of the crafting world. Guerrilla knitting, or yarn bombing, involves wool as creative intervention // decoration in cities, towns, anywhere outdoors or public I guess. You can check out one of myself and Clare's first attempts in this previous post.

This post is a call to arms, to take up your needle(s) and whip up a little something to contribute to an incredible space being created in the centre of Dublin's fair city. The project, called Granby Park, initiated by a group of designers, architects, planners and general creative thinkers and doers called Upstart Collective, has been in the works for two years now. This summer Upstart will transform a vacant site on Dominick Street, just off Parnell Street, into a pop-up park, creating a public pocket of space for play from August 23rd (this Thursday!!) till September 22nd. For those four weeks there will be free arts events and workshops, a pop-up cinema, art installations and a pop-up cafe for the public to enjoy. I have been involved as a volunteer for a grand total of one week and the (slightly stressful) buzz in the office is already over-exciting me. Thankfully I'm mostly sitting down when I'm in there.

Wool obviously plays an integral role in any temporary cultural haven, and that's where you come in. This is lazy crafting at it's best; no stitching, mistakes don't matter much, and you can use up the ends of those mad-coloured wools under your bed. Knit or crochet a patch or twenty, and you can send them into Upstart or, if you happen to know me, give them to me ( and I can deliver them. 

Here's a bit from Zita Spring, Upstart member and owner of the Dublin wool shop Spring Wools, about the plan to cover Granby Park's railings in woolen creations, along with guidelines, and photos of some of the submissions so far:

"We think that wrapping Granby Park in a handcrafted, collaborative and colourful installation fits beautifully with the spirit of the park, and that’s why we’re pleased to volunteer our time and talents to Granby Park, and hope that you will too."

* * * *
Use any leftover yarn you have (the more colourful the better) to knit or crochet a patch measuring approx. 14cm x 50cm (5.5 inches x 20 inches).
Include as many different colours, stripes or designs as you like in your patch. And submit as many different patches as you can!

If using DK yarn: With 4mm knitting needles, cast on 30 stitches. continue in your preferred knitting stitch until your knitting measures 50cm/20 inches in length. Cast off.

If using Aran yarn: With 5mm knitting needles cast on 26 stitches. Continue in your preferred knitting stitch until your knitting measures 50cm/20 inches in length. Cast off.

If using chunky yarn: With 6mm knitting needles cast on 19 stitches. Continue in your preferred knitting stitch until your knitting measures 50cm/20 inches in length. Cast off.

* * * *  
Please send or drop in any knit or crochet patches to Upstart Collective, Ashley House, 182-184 Parnell St, Dublin 1 (or give to a steward in the park once the park is open). We'll be accepting submissions until 22 September, but we'd like to receive plenty of submissions before the park's opening date of 22 August 2013. 

* * * *

to learn more about Upstart: 

to follow the progress of the park:

to learn more about vacant sites in Dublin:

...and ways to use them creatively:
the journal: vacant spaces could be used for the arts

Godspeed Crafters!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Meet Gregory the Octopus! He was originally meant to be a surprise 18th birthday present for my friend Cormac, however after knitting all 8 legs I managed to get distracted from ever finishing him. 

Cormac hounded me for the next few years to find out what I had been making for him, but I insisted it was still a surprise in the pipelines. After years of frustrated guessing for Cormac, the disembodied octopus legs finally emerged from underneath my bed, and I finished him off in time for his 21st birthday.

Brid originally knitted the hat as a present for our friend Stefan, however accidentally followed a pattern for a baby's hat. After she threw the tiny hat aside in craft-rage, I realised it fitted this little guy's head perfectly!

Gregory even tried to make friends with Cormac's perpetually grumpy cat Rosa!

She was not impressed.

The pattern was really easy to follow, and came from a book of toy patterns by Jean Greenhowe. Here's a link to the book on her website:

She also hosts some free patterns on there, some of them are really adorable. Well worth a look!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Skinny, Minty, Yummy Thin Mints

Thin Mints are a particularly delectable type of chocolatey, minty cookie that I found myself hooked on last summer while I was in New York.  They’re also remarkably easy to make at home and were a nice little way to stave off the late summer boredom I’ve been experiencing in my unemployed state.

190g flour
95g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
200g butter
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsps mint extract (rather than essence)
  • Mix together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugar to the butter and beat together.  
  • Add the milk, vanilla, and mint and mix together.  
  • Slowly add the contents of the dry ingredients bowl while beating continuously.  
  • Resist the urge to eat the chocolatey, minty mess you’ve created - oh, go on then, have a taste.
  • Once all the ingredients are well combined, you can use your hands to roll the dough into a ball and then roll into a log shape.  
  • Wrap the dough in baking paper and put in the fridge for two hours. This gives you a couple of hours to read up on the news, do some knitting, wait patiently for your friends to finish work, or, if you happen to be as bored as I was this particular day, whip up a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies.
  • Once the dough’s been chilled, take it out and slice it into biscuits. 
  • Place them on a baking tray, taking care to leave enough space between each biscuit (they puff up quite a bit) and bake for 10-15 minutes at 170 degrees (C). 
  • Once they’ve cooled you can top them off with some melted mint chocolate for a little extra gluttonous goodness.

Happy baking!

Emma x

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Let's Chalk About it

So I have a good bit of chalk left over from a recent project, and on my first day off in awhile last week I took some of it for a walk. I've read about people collecting favourite quotes and chalking them around the place, so that's another option, but I preferred to go for more colloquial/conversational bits, just whatever occurred to me as I went. I think the lovely thing about chalk on pavements is that it will be seen by some passersby and then be washed away by the next heavy shower (and Dublin has had a lot of them recently), so you can go back and write something different the next time. Sketches would be nice too!