Stitch in time
“That’s the great thing about being an online business, we are able to pass a decent chunk on to the craftsperson instead of to the retailers,” says Clarke. She is also happy her company has “only a tiny carbon footprint”.
Music is still a hugely important part of Clarke’s life, and she performs with Tieranniesaur, the Choice-nominated band of her old Chicks bandmate Annie Tierney. Another ex- Chick, Isabel Reyes Feeney, is busy designing textiles for Si+Lu’s spring/summer collection.
Sitting in their sun-drenched garden, the couple are clearly delighted to be launching the range. “It’s been a real labour of love, down to the very last detail,” says O’Connor. When you order from Si+Lu the clothes come carefully wrapped in red and white striped boxes inspired by the original packaging used by Switzer’s of Dublin in the 1950s, which O’Connor came across through his work as curator with the Little Museum of Dublin.
“We just wanted to create something authentically Irish and sustainable that feeds the local economy and uses all the incredible skills and materials available in this country,” says Clarke.
For more, see siandlu.com
Joan Molloy, knitter
I’m 77 and a knitter for Si+Lu. Lucy sends bags of wool by courier to my home near New Ross, Co Wexford. I enjoy working for Lucy; her designs are unique and I think she’ll do very well.
I’ve been knitting for people for 67 years. My mother taught me when I was eight, and when I was 10 I went to school wearing a jumper I’d made, and the parents of girls in the school started to ask me to make things. I remember one nun asking me to make knitted stockings for her mother. That was the start of it all.
I’ve worked for lots of companies over the years . . . Blarney Woolen Mills and A Touch of Irish. Twenty years ago I had 350 people knitting for me; now I have around 25. After I got married it was a way of holding down a job when other people had to give up work because of the marriage bar.
I am addicting to knitting now. I don’t drink or smoke, so I have to do something. I knit late into the night; it takes my mind of things that might be bothering me. Knitting is good for your health, although when I had a heart operation four years ago, I brought my knitting to the Mater Hospital and it was taken off me.
I live alone since my husband died 11 years ago and have a home help that comes in to do the housework. She does the heavy work; I do the light work, sitting knitting and looking at her.
Knitting never gets boring. I love seeing how things turn out. The only thing I can’t do is a pom-pom so I get one of my daughters to do those, they just fall asunder on me.
I’ll always be knitting. I’ve told them when I die to put needles and a ball of wool on the coffin.