Beasties on TV - R Moore/CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie TV!

Hey there everyone! And wow, what an exciting week it’s been… Yesterday morning, bright and early, we arrived at the door of Virgin Media TV studios to appear on their breakfast show, Ireland AM! They wanted someone to talk about how knitting has really taken off again during the Covid-19 lockdowns… And you know, I do love to chat about all things knitting!

Plus, as we are all aware, the Beasties are incorrigible attention hounds.

So, soon after arrival, they fitted me up with a microphone. Then I helped to set up a table display of tasty yarn and surprisingly well-behaved Beasties.
Beasties on TV - R Moore/CrawCrafts BeastiesRoslyn from the Ireland AM crew had the presence of mind to take a few photos of the setup, thankfully… I completely forgot! She also took this picture, which some of you might have already seen on social media.
Me on Ireland AM - R Moore/CrawCrafts BeastiesThen, what seemed like microseconds later, we were live! My Dad very kindly photographed the TV at home while the segment was on and sent me these stills… Here I am, teaching the hosts Karen and Tommy how to knit!
Teaching Knitting on live TV! B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThey both picked it up incredibly quickly, I was super impressed!

I also brought along a few samples of easy projects that I recommend for beginners, like these little fingerless mitts.Fingerless Mitts for Beginners - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties(These are very easy, by the way… And so much quicker than knitting a scarf!)

Here we are finishing up. I was so proud of my new pupils… And of the Beasties. Honestly, I’ve never seen them so quiet.
Knitting on TV - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe knitting revival – you heard it here first, folks!
Beasties behaving for the TV cameras - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIf you’d like to see the complete piece, it’s currently up on the Virgin Media Player, here:
https://www.virginmediatelevision.ie/player/show/809/185364/0/

You can access the show from this link for the next 29 days. Some friends of mine in Europe have already watched it without a hitch, but if it’s not available in your country, please let me know! I might be able to send it to you a different way.

Also…

Commissions are officially open again as of today! So if you’ve an idea for a little woolly monster of your own, now is the time to get in touch!

We’ll be back next week with the second part of Explorer Beastie’s countryside adventure – sorry for bumping you this week, E.B.!

Plunkett Discovers Some Greenery in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy St Patrick’s Day, Everyone!

Hey there Beastie friends! Yes, it’s that time again… Can you believe that it’s St Patrick’s Day already?

This year, it’s going to be a pretty quiet Paddy’s Day in Dublin. But the Beasties have had me look out some old photos of past festivities, to give you all a feel for what would normally be going on in the city. Aren’t they thoughtful?

First of all, the big St Patrick’s Day parade! Many years ago, I lived in an apartment that overlooked part of the parade route… And that meant we got a privileged view of the performers in the closing stages of their journey from the other side of the river Liffey.

In my first year of Beastie-making, a little green monster joined me to watch the fun!
St Patrick's Day ParadeYou can see more pictures from this parade in the original post, here.

And if parades aren’t really your thing, how about a quiet stroll around St Patrick’s Park instead?
Explorer Beastie at the Fountain - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis pretty city centre park is the perfect place for a springtime stroll… And you can admire St Patrick’s Cathedral as you wander! It’s right next door.
Explorer Beastie Goes for a Closer Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesOf course, a St Patrick’s Day party is probably on the cards for a lot of people. Paddy Beastie will certainly be celebrating…
Paddy Samples some Buckfast - CrawCrafts Beasties(Please enjoy your Paddy’s Day drinkies responsibly)

And look, Plunkett has found some nice seasonal shamrocks for us all to enjoy!
Plunkett's Moss Photo - Sligo Staycation - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesYou’re also all invited to the annual monster celebration at Beastie Towers – remember last year’s festivities?

That party started out fairly sedately…
St Patrick's Day Beastie Takeover - CrawCrafts Beasties… But went off the rails shortly afterwards.
Beastie Party - CrawCrafts BeastiesSo, will you be raising a glass to St Patrick today too? Be sure to share your party plans with us in the comments!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Techie Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Adventuring in Lockdown

Hello there Beastie friends! And welcome to February… Spring is now juuuust around the corner, right? And with days lengthening and daffodils and snowdrops starting to poke their way through the earth, is it possible that the lockdown is thawing out a bit too?

Paddy certainly thinks so.
“Camera, car keys, a box of travel sweeties – I think the humans are going somewhere!”

But Plunkett isn’t so sure. He suggests they check the news before they start making travel plans.Going Somewhere? Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Ah. Oh dear.

“Sorry, Paddy. Lockdown continues… It looks like we’re staying home for the time being.”
But Paddy, as we know, is an optimistic creature. And lockdown or no lockdown, he’s still happy to tuck into the humans’ travel sweets. Except…

“Gaaaah! Plunkett! WHAT ARE THESE? They don’t look like sweeties!”
Isn’t it lucky that tech-savvy Plunkett is on hand?
“It’s a memory stick, Paddy.”
“Huh?”
“Come on, I’ll show you. It’ll help us put in the time until lunch.”

He selects a nice bright green one, to match his lovely mossy complexion, and…

“Pop it in the side of the computer here… We’re on our way! Look at all those photos.”

“So, where would you like to go, Paddy?”
“Oooh… How about those ones there?”
“Carlingford? Good choice!”

He’s right! It looks beautiful there.
Carlingford Lough - Lockdown Travel - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesLet’s swing in for a closer look.
Carlingford Lough - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI don’t know about you, but this is EXACTLY the kind of view I needed to see today! And the boys’ tour isn’t finished yet… Now they’re off to Carlingford town.

“Oh cool, a castle!”
King John's Castle - Lockdown Adventures - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Yes, Paddy! Carlingford Castle was built by King John of England, and has been here on the shores of the Lough since the 12th century.”

And it’s not the only castle in town, either.
Castles in Carlingford - Lockdown Adventures - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThere’s a medieval church too. Plunkett is in raptures over all that lovely stonework.
Medieval Church in Carlingford - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“I’ll just zoom in here, for a closer look…”
“Do you see any leprechauns, Plunkett?”
“Noooo… Why would I?”
“Carlingford is the leprechaun capital of Ireland, of course!”

It really is, you know. Paddy pulled up this website to prove it! And if you want to capture your very own leprechaun, you can join the annual Leprechaun Hunt. It takes place in the Cooley Mountains, up behind the town.
Cooley Mountains - B Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI can think of worse places to spend a day looking for the “little people”! The Mourne mountains are also nearby.
Mourne Mountains - Lockdown Adventures - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“And there are some incredible beaches, too.”
Beach at Carlingford - B Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“I’d love to go there sometime, Plunkett!”
“Well, with a little technical wizardry…”
Boys on the Beach - Lockdown Travel - CrawCrafts Beasties“… We can!”
“Cool! Hey, if we travel like this, just imagine the places we could go!”

Good thinking, Paddy. So, is there anywhere you’d like Paddy and Plunkett to virtually visit over the coming months? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Makeshift Gate - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties

Countryside Christmas

Hello there Beastie friends! I hope you’re all staying safe and keeping well in these strange times. I thought I’d do something a little different today, and share a behind-the-scenes story… My Christmas in the countryside!

I usually head north of the border to spend the festive season with my family in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, Coronavirus laughed in the face of my holiday plans. But luckily, Boyfriend’s family stepped in and “adopted” me for a couple of days, and Christmas Eve saw us both scooting westwards on the train to the peace and quiet of County Roscommon.

It was so nice to leave the city behind for a couple of days, and I made sure to head out for a walk every day to enjoy the sights and sounds of the countryside! Care to join me?

Now, we are in Ireland here, so it rained A LOT. Can you tell?
Rainy Ireland - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd while some shadowy thickets retained a feeling of chilly mystery when the clouds parted…
Thicket - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties… In some places the winter sun broke through the trees and made the empty fields glow.
Willows - Countryside Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties

Gotta love those quiet roads and wide open skies.Countryside Christmas Wander - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd there are wonders right at your feet in the undergrowth, too.
Earthstars - CrawCrafts BeastiesThese alien-looking marvels are fungi called earthstars. They pop up in the same place every year, so I always make sure to check in on them when I’m in the neighbourhood.

Then as the sun slipped below the horizon, I headed for home… Just as the moon started to rise over the fields.
The Moon & the Fields - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut where was Explorer Beastie while all this was going on? Ummm…
Sleepy Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, I suppose the holidays are a time to rest up and recharge your batteries.

So, did the pandemic throw a spanner in the works of your usual end-of-year activities? And did you end up doing something different but equally fun? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

New Year? Snow Way!

It’s the first BeastieBlog of 2021… Happy new year, everybody! And although this first week of January didn’t bring a whole lot of good news on the pandemic front, in some parts of the island of Ireland it did bring something a little unusual – SNOW!

And some of it fell in the back garden of a pair of familiar Beastie friends.
Paddy Spots the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy was up nice and early, so he spotted it first. And of course, the very next thing he did was…

Paddy Wakes Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

… To go and wake up Plunkett.

Poor Plunkett. He was having a lovely dream about igneous rock formations.
Plunkett Wakes Up - Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“What IS it, Paddy?”
“SNOW! It’s been snowing, Plunkett! Get up get up get up!”

View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look at that!”

It really is rather lovely. And every window revealed a fresh, snow-dusted view.
Snow at Beastie Towers - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut just looking at the snow was never going to be enough for Paddy. I think it’s time to head outside and play in it, don’t you?

Paddy Builds a Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt looks like he already has a project in mind, too. Look at him go!

“Ta-daaaaah!”
Paddy's Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“It’s a SnowBeastie, Plunkett! What do you think?”
“I think it’s not quite finished yet… Hang on a sec!”

And with a few finishing touches from Plunkett…
The Finished Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesMuch better! It’s almost as cute as you are, boys.
“Almost!”

But even little woolly monsters start to feel the cold eventually. With their SnowBeastie finished, the lads decided it was time to head back indoors…
Warming up by the Stove - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… And get toasty again by the stove!

So, how have you all been spending the first few days of 2021? Did you get any snow? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Also…

Don’t forget that a new year means a new Beastie Calendar! This link will take you to the listing in our store… Download once, print off as many copies as you like, and be monstrously organised all year!
Beastie Calendar 2021 - Cover - CrawCrafts Beasties

New Year, New Calendar!

Hurrah! 2020 has been a heckuva year, but we’re down to the last couple of days now AT LAST! So might it maybe be a good time to start looking to the future? I thought so, and that’s why I sat down today to comb through my Beastie photo archives and put together an all-new Beastie Calendar for 2021!

Beastie Calendar 2021 - Cover - CrawCrafts Beasties

Hello, new year!

Because I didn’t make a new calendar last year (some pretty good foresight there, I thought) I had two years of Beastie pics to use. Hopefully you’ll like my selection! I’ve also changed the fonts and layout a bit…
… While still preserving the useful key features (a Monday-Sunday week and note space at the bottom) that help keep me on track.

A year’s worth of monster mayhem will set you back a mere ONE Euro, and you can download your calendar instantly from the order confirmation page on the website, or pick it up in your email. Then print off as many copies as you like… I’ve already got one set aside for home, one for the studio and one to keep track of my knitting classes!

You can grab your copy of the 2021 downloadable calendar in the Beasties’ online store, here… And don’t forget to tell us all about the events you’re most looking forward to in the comments!

Paddy and Plunkett in Winter - CrawCrafts Beasties

We wish you a Merry Beastmas…

… And a monster new year!

Explorer Beastie at Christmas - CrawCrafts Beasties

Wow, it’s been a bit of a crazy one, hasn’t it? I’m sure many of us will be glad to file away our (barely-used) 2020 calendars, and get stuck into a fresh shiny year!

Here’s wishing you all a very happy holiday season, whatever you’re doing and wherever you end up spending the final week of 2020. And if you need a festive chuckle…
Paddy's Idea - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties… Paddy is, as ever, happy to oblige. Revisit his attempt to obtain gainful seasonal employment from a certain jolly Beastie in a red suit here!

Santa Beastie - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts Beasties

Merry Beastmas, everyone!

Header - CrawCrafts Beasties Beastie HQ

It’s that time again…

Oh, it’s snuck up on me (and possibly all of you as well) a bit this year! But with the evenings getting darker, trees suddenly looking bare and the odd set of fairy lights appearing in windows around town, there’s no denying it – the end of the year is fast approaching. And that means…
Paddy's Idea - Beastmas 2018 - CrawCrafts BeastiesNo, I’m not quite ready to say it yet either! So I’ll just hint that I’m going to be very busy for the next couple of weeks, and leave it at that for the moment.

And my full schedule means that unfortunately the BeastieBlog will be going into hibernation until things quieten down a bit on the monster-making front. Don’t worry, we’ll be back before the end of the year to wave goodbye to 2020! So, stay safe out there and we’ll rejoin you in a few weeks.

In the meantime, please resist the urge to party too hard…

Plunkett Falls For Buckfast - CrawCrafts Beasties

…Lose yourselves in the news…
Beastified Irish Times - Beastie Accessories by CrawCrafts Beasties… Or overindulge in high-calorie foods.But you may wish to take your mind off the Beastie-shaped gap in your life by perusing the shelves of our online store. That we can heartily endorse! 😉

See you soon!

Explorer Beastie at the Canal - CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties in the Great Outdoors

Hello there everyone! You know, after writing up Paddy and Plunkett’s garden adventure in last week’s post, I started thinking about how being outdoors is one thing that the pandemic hasn’t really been able to affect that much. In fact, if anything, we’re all outside a lot more than we might have been in a more normal year!

And the Beasties love a bit of outdoorsy time too! It’s a great way to catch up with friends…
Beastie Fall Knitwear Collection - CrawCrafts Beasties… Or enjoy a picnic together.
Burger Beastie and Friends - CrawCrafts BeastiesYum!

So for today’s post, I thought I’d revisit some of the Beasties’ favourite outdoors places… Care to come along?

As you all probably already know, we live in Dublin – and pretty close to the city centre. For us, “outdoors” usually means “the park”, and luckily we have plenty to choose from around here. Earlier in the year, when everyone in Ireland was confined to within 2km of home, we discovered the springtime joys of the National War Memorial Gardens.
Cookie Beastie in our local Park - CrawCrafts Beasties

We’ve also got the Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in Europe, on our doorstep. It’s so big that there are herds of deer living there!Deer in the Phoenix Park, Dublin - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd if that wasn’t enough, we’re also within walking distance of the National Botanic Gardens…
Gardener Beastie, meet Explorer Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties…The city centre parks of St Stephen’s Green and Iveagh Gardens…
A quiet path in Iveagh Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties… And spooky St Kevin’s Park, as featured in our pre-Hallowe’en post a couple of weeks back!
No Vampires near the Gravestones - CrawCrafts Beasties

But our wanderings don’t always involve the city’s green spaces. One of my favourite walks is along the banks of the Grand Canal – it’s a joy even in the depths of winter.

Explorer Beastie at the Canal - CrawCrafts BeastiesPlus you never know who you might bump into along the way.
Swan and Gulls on the Grand Canal - CrawCrafts BeastiesDublin is also packed full of interesting old buildings to admire. The city is especially well-known for its Georgian-era architecture – a style that was popular for just over a century, beginning in the early 1710s.
Georgian Doors in Dublin - CrawCrafts Beasties

Of course, there are other places to visit that have nothing to do with architecture. I wonder if that’s really tea in Tae Beastie’s mug?

Tae Beastie at the Guinness Storehouse - CrawCrafts Beasties

The touristy visitor-attraction part of the Guinness brewery may be closed, but don’t worry! They’re still making beer… And filling the air with the delicious smell of toasted barley on roasting days.

And sometimes it’s just nice to stroll, and admire the crazy jumble of old and new that is the streets of Dublin.
City Streets - Outdoors in Dublin - CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you? Have you been seeing what’s on your doorstep with fresh eyes these past couple of months? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Paddy and Plunkett – The Hunt for Red October

Hello Beastie friends! I hope you all had a spooktacular Hallowe’en! We’ve been busily stitching away here in Beastie Towers, so it’s lucky for you that Paddy and Plunkett have been in touch… Otherwise you would have been treated to a series of pictures of me at my craft table today. After their recent adventures in the most northerly parts of Northern Ireland, the lads tell me that they have been taking advantage of the latest lockdown and having a quiet October at home.

Unfortunately, they have also been spending quite a lot of time on the internet, and they are now suffering from the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out).
Paddy has FOMO - October - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Awww, Plunkett! Look at all the fun they’re having down in Dublin! I want to go out and collect colourful leaves in the park with Autumn Beastie!”

Like a lot of humans, Paddy is feeling the pinch of these antisocial times. But isn’t it lucky that Plunkett has an answer for everything?

“I know where we can find some colourful leaves. Come on, Paddy!”
Not So Colourful Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Taaa-DAAAAAAH!”

Paddy is unimpressed.

“Huh. Bit green, aren’t they?”

“Only for the moment, Paddy. For this to work, we’ll need to climb the tree where these came from…”
October Leaves - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… And wait for a bit. That’s it, straight ahead.”

Let’s get climbing! And look, it seems that Plunkett is not wrong…
Reddening Leaves - Red October - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… As the leaves had turned vibrant red before he’d even finished climbing up to where Paddy was sitting among the branches!

“How’s that for Autumn colour, Paddy? I think our work here is done!”
Climbing Down the Tree - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd with that, Plunkett started to clamber back down to ground level.

It’s a pretty spectacular display of colour though, isn’t it?
Red October Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd now Paddy can scoop up giant pawfuls of red leaves, and give Autumn Beasties everywhere a run for their money. Nice hat, Paddy!
Paddy and Plunkett and the Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI still haven’t figured out why Beasties love Autumn leaves so much, but hey, at least they’re happy!

And I know we’re into a new month now, but did you have a colourful October? Be sure to share your many-hued Fall (or Spring) stories with us in the comments!