Catching Up With Felix

Well hello there, Beastie friends! Wow, it’s been a moment, hasn’t it? So far this year my alter-ego Knit With Helen has been hogging the spotlight a bit, and that’s left precious little time for monster-making activities! But with the weather starting to warm up here in Dublin, my mind has returned to Beastie-er things, and I thought it was high time I started catching you all up on some of what I’ve been doing since we last spoke.

And to kick us off, I wanted to share one of my favourite moments from last year’s Christmas market season.

Let’s set the scene – a weekend in mid-December, with the coldest weather we had had all year. Snow was falling, and there were patches of ice on the ground… So of course, I was doing my first outdoor market for about 5 years! Luckily, I had a roof over my head. But even heaps of layers of warm clothes, a hot water bottle and frequent cups of tea couldn’t keep the chill at bay, and by late afternoon on the second day I was completely frozen and had long since forgotten what it was like to have feeling in my toes.

But then, we had a visitor! Does anybody remember Felix?

Felix Nature Walk - CrawCrafts Beasties

Felix was adopted at one of the last markets I went to before Covid hit. But he’s been very busy since he headed off to his new home… As I found out when he showed up at my market stall with his human family! And what’s that you’ve got there, Felix?

Felix Beastie with his amazing photo scrapbook - CrawCrafts Beasties

It turns out that Felix’s friend has been documenting all his many, many adventures in an amazing scrapbook! So of course, I absolutely HAD to drop everything and see what he had been up to. Here, take a look yourself!

Apologies for the wobbly camera work… My hands were very cold!

While I was having fun looking through Felix’s photos, the star of the show was chatting to the other Beasties on the stall. And guess what?

Felix meets Buddy - CrawCrafts Beasties

He made a friend!

This is Buddy, and Ireland, you’d better look out! Because Felix and Buddy are now hitting the road together. So far, they’ve fearlessly scaled mountains…

Felix and Buddy, Beastie Mountaineers

… Taken a trip to the arcade…

Felix and Buddy play Minecraft

… Enjoyed wholesome hearty bowls of soup big enough for a Beastie to take a bath in…

Felix and Buddy enjoying a hearty dinner

… And occasionally indulged in some less healthy snacking as well.

Felix and Buddy love chips!

Mmmm, delicious! I wonder where they’ll pop up next?

And before I wrap up this post, I owe a massive THANK YOU to Brendan for sending the latest photos of the Beasties out and about, and to Felix and Liam for brightening up a very cold market day. You guys are the best!

Felix and his human best friend, plus the awesome Fun with Felix scrapbook!
Old Wall, New Market Season Beasties - CrawCrafts Beasties

The Calm Before Market Season

Hello everybody! There’s heavy weather forecast for Dublin later today, so as I write I’m looking out the window and enjoying the bright sky and autumn colours before the storm sets in! And it seems doubly apt, because with market season on the way, right now is the calm before THAT particular storm kicks off too.

So, I thought it would be the perfect moment to share some sunny snaps I took on a bright, crisp Saturday a couple of weeks ago, when I let a few Beasties off the leash in the gardens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art!

First of all, I had to get them there. And that wasn’t easy, with every other tree presenting them with a tantalising climbing challenge and colourful photo opportunity!
Cosy Scarf Beastie in the Tree - CrawCrafts BeastiesAlthough it turns out that urban scenery appeals to them too.Aran Beastie at the Camac River - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd interestingly, Aran Beastie has stumbled upon The River That Google Maps Forgot! This is the River Camac, whose name took some pretty intense searching to find… Possibly because it has been sent underground in several places along its course to avoid various roads, canals and other man-made features, and then it trickles unobtrusively into the Liffey at the end of its journey. Around here, though, its rushing waters made a pleasant soundtrack to our wanderings.

Now, onwards! We’re almost there.

Inside the gate, we found a rustic stone wall that was crying out for some Beastie action!
Cosy Scarf Beastie and Gift Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd a faded alcove at the entrance to the formal gardens made an excellent spot for a group photo.
Old Wall, New Market Season Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut when I turned the Beasties loose in the hedges, they really started to have fun!
Hedge Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesThey also enjoyed walking down the tree-lined avenues, and marvelling at how tall their shadows looked in the sunshine!
Autumn Sun - CrawCrafts BeastiesAutumn Sunshine Before Market Season - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs the sun started to set, it was time to think about heading for home. But wait a sec, isn’t there someone missing?


Fortunately, Gift Beastie’s lovely bright pink complexion was easy to spot among the green grass and fallen leaves.
Gift Beastie Leaf - CrawCrafts Beasties“I just stopped to look at this leaf… Check out that yellow! You should get some wool this colour for next year.”

And with that, all the Beasties piled into my bag and let me carry them home. Thanks, lads.

Back at Beastie Towers, I was able to put these pics to good use… As market season promotional shots! I sent them off to the nice folks at the Dublin Flea Christmas Market, and my profile on their site went live this morning! See which photos made the cut here.

And don’t forget to join us again next week, when I’ll be confirming my final lineup for Market Season 2018!

See you then!


Beasties at Hallowe'en - CrawCrafts Beasties

Happy Hallowe’en!

Ah, it’s that time of year again! The clocks have gone back, and although I’m already bemoaning the early disappearance of the daylight that I need to do teeny sewing, I’m really enjoying the cooler days and rich autumn colours! While any weather is crafting weather in my book, there’s something extra special about snuggling up with some needles and yarn on a dark, chilly evening. And also, Hallowe’en has always been my favourite festival of the year – I wonder why?
Dracula Beastie's Library - CrawCrafts Beasties
If you follow the Beasties’ antics on social media (you’ll find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), you’ll know that I’ve been revisiting some of my spookiest Beastie creations for my weekly Flashback Friday feature this past month! If you don’t, well, here’s your chance to play catchup!
Who sewed this guy together? CrawCrafts BeastiesI’d hate for anyone to miss out on Frankenstein’s Monster Beastie, for starters! I have to admit that I kind of love the bolts in his neck and the random lines of stitching holding his sweet green face together.
Same Beastie, Different Background! CrawCrafts Beasties
Then there’s the ethereal wispiness of Ghostie Beastie. I really like the floaty effect of the layers of net – I’ll have to remember to steal this trick for my costume next year!

Some of the very first Hallowe’en Beasties I made had simple seasonal accessories – but that’s fine too, right? Here’s a (very) rough sketch of an idea for a Jack O’Lantern Beastie from an early knitting notebook!
Jack O'Lantern Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd yes, I still make these!
Skull Beastie and Jack O'Lantern Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Skulls make great Hallowe’en accessories, too!

And of course, there’s nothing better than getting all dressed up and going trick or treating with good friends!
Beasties at Hallowe'en - CrawCrafts Beasties(Black cat optional)
Gizmo the Gatecrasher - CrawCrafts Beasties
Hallowe’en isn’t just All Hallows Eve, though. It’s also the gateway to the busiest, Beastiest time of the year! This time around, I’m hoping to get to even more markets than usual in the runup to the festive season, and I’ve taken on more commissions too – Beastie Towers is flippin’ hectic just now! So please excuse me if I’m a little less chatty than usual in my regular online hangouts – I’m going to try to keep up with you all as much as possible, and of course there will still be weekly blog posts and occasional social media-ing. I promise normal service will resume when the madness is over!

And hey, if you’re local, why not rock up and say hello in person? I’ve added a new page to the website today, which I’ll be keeping updated with all my upcoming market events. Hopefully I’ll catch up with a few of you there!

And on that note, I probably should get back to the Beastiemaking. But chances are I’ll be celebrating in traditional style (consuming a variety of squash-based foodstuffs, washing them down with a pumpkin ale, then maybe SPARKLERS) come nightfall! What have you all got planned? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Hallowe’en, everybody!