When Peggy Harding was 13, she knitted two identical chocolate brown Aran cardigans for the First Communion of her twin brothers.
At Limerick Federation’s recent AGM, Peggy won top prize in the knitted cardigan section of the Make and Model competition. In total, there were 17 entries across three categories.
“The style and skill in each category was breathtaking, so the judges gave each entry a highly commended prize. Most entries were modelled by the designers themselves.
"The fuller figure was amply catered for, a fact appreciated by the audience,” says a spokesperson.
Peggy is Oola Guild secretary and had Theresa Downey — also in Oola ICA — model her moss green cardigan.
“I wouldn’t wear it — I have round shoulders and it wouldn’t suit me. Theresa’s tall, has a lovely figure and dresses well. She has modelled for me before — she modelled an Easter bonnet I made.”
Peggy saw the pattern for the cardigan in Lena’s Sewing & Knitting Centre, Limerick.
“I saw the cardigan on the model. It’s quite an intricate pattern. I thought it would be a challenge,” says Peggy.
“I did it in Tivoli Aran wool. I’d already done it in linen and cotton but thought that looked a bit coarse. I won because of the finish — and the buttons.
"I used natural wood-coloured buttons rather than the usual leather ones. Some entries had multicoloured buttons — they were beautiful but perhaps too much. I thought the stitch would show up well in moss green.”
Peggy completed the cardigan over four to five weeks and has since sold it to a Mayo woman. Now she’s knitting one again, this time for someone who commissioned it in white linen and cotton. Peggy’s top knitting tip is to always use the wool stated in the pattern. “Otherwise, it won’t work out.”
Competition winners: Dress category — Agnes Collins, Castleconnell Guild, first prize; Ann Madigan, Drombanna Guild, second prize; Helen Lane, Murroe Boher ICA and Kildimo Guild’s Kitty McMahon were highly commended.
Crochet — Martyna Martin, Glin Guild, first prize; Kathleen Griffin, Kildimo Guild, highly commended.
Knitted cardigan — Peggy Harding, Oola Guild, first prize; Ann Sheehan, Grange Guild, second prize; Kathleen Hanrahan, Feenagh Guild, third prize; Mary O’Grady, Castleconnell ICA and Drombanna Guild’s Ann Piggott, highly commended.
Federation president Mary Moloney distributed prizes, congratulated winners and thanked all who participated. She especially thanked Guiney’s of William St, Limerick, who sponsored the prize for the day dress section.