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May Kit - Irish Harp

This is a whopper of a kit!!


Large 8 inch size. 7 different stitches. Almost 30 metres of thread.

If you were ever thinking of giving the Needle Nerd subscription a go, this is a great one to start with!


We're revisiting Mountmellick style embroidery this May. Mountmellick embroidery is named after the town it originated from in Co. Laois. It was developed by Johanna Carter around 1825, who was inspired by the flora of the area. Traditional Mountmellick work depicts dog roses, oak, fern, blackberries and shamrocks.

Mountmellick is traditionally a whitework technique (white threads on white fabric) that uses knotted and padded stitches to create beautifully textured embroidery. But we've added a be alice twist to this one - Green on Green!

The threads are perlé or pearl cottons. They come in a few different sizes and we're using size 5 and size 8. Tgey're thicker that your usual stranded cotton embroidery treads - made up if two thick strands twisted together. You don't separate these threads the way you would other embroidery floss.

The stitches we're learning in this kit are some staples of Mountmellick embroidery - back, split, herringbone, coral knot, french knot, blanket, and of course Mountmellick stitch. If you've tried out my previous Mountmellick kit you will already be familiar with most of these. But I hope one or two will be new to some of you!


The Irish Harp is not just a popular Mountmellick motif, but the symbol of Ireland itself! It's on our currency, our passport, our official documents - just about everywhere you look. The history of the Harp as an Irish symbol goes back a surprisingly long way. The harp symbol is based on a harp design known as a Brian Boru Harp. Brian Boru is known as the last High King of Ireland and was known as a fine harp player. He was also a strong supporter and patron of the arts in Ireland.

But make sure you've got the harp facing the correct way! The official Irish Harp symbol always features a left-facing harp. Whereas the Guinness version of the symbol features a right-facing harp. This fact arose because when the state went to register the Harp as the national trademark, they found that Guinness had beaten them to it! Guinness registered the right-facing Harp back in 1862. This left the state only able to register left-facing harps as the symbol of Ireland.

Subscribe now to be sure you get this kit on 1st May! You can find out all the info here.

If you've missed out on the subscription deadline (30th April 2024), you can also order this kit in the shop while stocks last.

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