My name is Fiona O’Driscoll and I love to knit. My creations celebrate the natural world, the warmth of childhood and the wonderful variation of colours and textures available to me. I always use freshly washed natural fleeces from a local organic farm to stuff the knitted animals as the environment and sustainability are very important to us all.
I live in Leitrim in the hidden heartlands of Ireland . I am surrounded by natural bogland and woods and my garden is regularly visited by wild animals. The badgers, hedgehogs, mice, pine martins, foxes, shrews, rabbits,hares and many birds that pass through give me inspiration for the animals I create. As I create each piece by hand they have their own unique personality and I am always changing my range to keep collectors interested and to stay fresh.
I sell my work directly, just contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org. My work is perfect for posting, unbreakable, light and no best before date! I also supply a few wonderful shops, Strokestown Park, http://www.strokestownpark.ie/, Beech hill garden centre in Cork and the Leitrim Design House https://leitrimdesignhouse.ie/ in Carrick on Shannon . I enjoy craft fairs too and sometimes share a stand with my very talented brother Niall Miller of Fuinseog Woodland Crafts.
What could be more lovely than a pair of handknit fingerless gloves, in the colour of your choice and with a fair isle design of your favourite thing? With a long cuff to keep your wrists warm and giving freedom to your thumb and fingers so you can use your phone or scratch your nose. Here are some examples of ones I have made, with bats, bees, acorns, dogs, hearts, foxes or no pattern, just your favourite colours. I make them to order in 2 adult sizes (€20)and also in a child size(€15). Post is usually €2
Broc Nollaig, new for Christmas 2019, creating a new tradition of a Christmas Badger. These little fellows join the Christmas hedgehog and look great hanging from a tree or from a car mirror. They are light and easy to post and very soft as they are stuffed with lamb fleece. Some have Santa hats and some are glittery but all are very cute
This is the organic farm where the wool I use to stuff my creations comes from. It is a beautiful family farm on the banks of the river Shannon in Leitrim. Sometimes they have to hand rear a lamb or two and I enjoyed meeting this one yesterday. Spending time with this family and seeing their love and respect for nature is always inspiring.
I was lucky enough to be involved in a project last Autumn called inthemaking. This was run by Leitrim Design House and through workshops, photo shoots and a videoing session in my home it gave me the push I needed to create this website and to be more confident in my work. Here is the short film by Padraig Cunningham of Pure Design Studios.
Over the last wee while I’ve been working on a joint project with my brother and I think between us we have created something special. Niall (Fuinnseog Woodland Crafts) turned a hub from spalted beech and attached 8 spokes of carved ash. I hung some bees and ladybirds to create a mobile and as you can see in the video it moves very nicely
Each collectible is individually created and therefore slightly different to all the others. I use a variety of wool, cotton and acryllics and love to browse in craft shops finding new textures and above all colours.
I stuff my creations with pure organic sheep fleece that comes from Aughamore Organic Farm in Leitrim. This beautiful stuffing gives a weight and firmness to the animals that no synthetic filling comes close to.
The songbirds are knit on the round using 4 needles so require no sewing. They are very satisfying as they find their own shape so naturally.
I like to include the Irish or Gaelic words for the animals on the labels. Hopefully this brings back happy memories of school days to people who grew up here and also shares the beauty of our native language