Ready for Hiking - CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties Hiking to New Heights

Hi there everyone! I have to say, it’s not really hiking weather out there today… But I’m sure the new Beastie we’re about to meet would happily give it a try anyway. After all, I did kit her out with everything she could possibly need for a day of strolling in the hills!

So, say hello to Hiker Beastie!
Hiker Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesI created this Beastie as a very special birthday gift for an active lady who loves to spend time in the great outdoors. And since she lives in Scotland, I needed to make sure the weather never had a chance to rain on her parade (or hiking trail). That’s why she’s wearing a very fetching handknitted bobble hat…
Beastie Hiking Equipment 1 - Woolly Hat - CrawCrafts Beasties… A rain jacket with handy hood…
Beastie Hiking Jacket - CrawCrafts Beasties(Did you notice the teeny embroidered zips?)

… And a pair of go-anywhere hiking boots.
Beastie Hiking Boots - CrawCrafts BeastiesI stitched some felt treads to the soles of these boots to make them extra-grippy, and finished them with some embroidery thread laces. Now she’s fully equipped from head to toe!

Well, almost. If she’s away for the day, she’ll probably need a backpack too. Et voila!
Hiker Beastie Backpack - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis one is handstitched from 100% wool felt, and should hold everything she needs.

And when she’s not hiking…

… This Beastie has another hobby to keep her busy! We’ll need to lose the jacket for this part though.
A Different Outfit - Hiker Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesWhy, you ask? Well, this Beastie lady also enjoys a game of shinty – a Scottish variant of ball-and-stick games like hockey, or the hurling we play here in Ireland. From what I could tell when I was doing my research, it can be pretty full-on… So this outfit will give her much more freedom of movement as she tears around the pitch!

Oh, I should probably provide her with a shinty stick so she can join in properly.
Beastie with Shinty Stick - Hiking Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesShinty sticks have a distinctive wedge-shaped head that sets them apart from the sticks used in hockey, hurling and other related sports like cammag (from the Isle of Man), bando (Wales) and Knattleikr (played by the Vikings in Iceland). In my quest to get the shape right, I was lucky enough to find this video of modern-day craftsmen making human-sized versions. I love how hands-on the process is!

Here’s my Beastified version – and our woolly friend holding onto it tightly with her magic magnet paws!
Shinty Stick and Magnet Paws - CrawCrafts Beasties

And one more thing…

Up a mountain or on the shinty pitch, life is more fun when you have a companion to share it with – right? And as a final touch, this Beastie has a four-legged friend to keep her company on her adventures.
Hiker Beastie's Hiking Companion - CrawCrafts Beasties

This Beastie-sized pup is modelled on the pet pooch of our monster lady’s human counterpart, and is made from needle-felted merino and blue-faced Leicester wool.

Ready for walkies? I think so!
Ready for Hiking - CrawCrafts BeastiesThanks to Anne for requesting this very special Beastification for her sister-in-law’s birthday!

And we’ll be back on Tuesday… Yes, Tuesday! With real life kicking back in again, I’m returning to my regular once-a-week blogging regime. If you’ve got a taste for past Beasties as a result of my lockdown Flashback Fridays though, you’ll find lots more in the website Gallery, or by scrolling through the Commissions category of the BeastieBlog.

See you next week! Have a good one 🙂

Beastie Pugaliers - CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – Beastie Pets Retrospective

… Or, as first floated in Tuesday’s post, it’s a Pet-rospective! Beasties love their pets, and at the suggestion of regular reader Queen Bee, I thought it was high time we revisited some of those fuzzy companions from previous commissions.

Let’s start with the very first one – a woolly old English sheepdog I made way back in 2015!
Neurosurgeon Beastie Relaxes with her Beastdog, by CrawCrafts BeastiesMy very first Beastie dogs were knitted. You know me, I love to knit! But although the technique and yarn worked well enough here, I soon found it quite limiting. It’s hard to capture the huge range of dog body shapes, colours and fur textures with yarn!

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before I discovered the magic of needle felting… And all kinds of possibilities opened up.

Enter Mikelet, the miniature miniature schnauzer, who now hangs out with Tierney of tierneycreates and her hard-working blogging Beastie. Here he is just before he left Beastie Towers…
Mikelet, the Super-Miniature Schnauzer, by CrawCrafts Beasties… And he makes a special guest appearance in Tierney’s latest blog post, here. Also, thank you Tierney for listening to the interview I did for From the Maker to the Made and taking the time to write such a lovely review… Or rather, for getting tierneycreates Beastie to write it 😉

Mikelet turned out to be a real trendsetter – that’s like a red setter, only cooler – and I started to get a lot more people looking for Beastified versions of their beloved pets.

So, here’s a pair of pugaliers from last summer…Beastie Pugaliers - CrawCrafts Beasties…And a Pekingese from a little later that same year.Beastie Pekingese Close-up - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd of course, because I err more on the side of “cat lady”, I also started making Beastie kitties along the way. My first ones were special editions for my first time selling at the Dublin Cat Fair…
Cat Owner Beastie by CrawCrafts Beasties… But I soon started making them to order as well! This Beastie with a black cat was made as a partner for the one in the photo above…
Beastie plus Kitty! CrawCrafts Beasties… And then there’s this handsome fellow, created as a gift for a lady who owns a beautiful polydactyl cat called Paddy.
Paddy the Beastie Cat - CrawCrafts Beasties

And finally, who could forget the best-dressed Beastie pet of them all – Marge the pug!
Beastie Marge the Mini Pug - CrawCrafts BeastiesI still love those glasses.

So, did your favourite make the cut? Let me know in the comments if I missed anyone out!

We’ll be back on Tuesday with more monster antics – have a great weekend and we’ll see you then!

Woolly Wedding Gift II – The Groom Arrives!

Hey everybody! I hope the new week (and new month) are treating you well! It’s been another busy week here at Beastie Towers… So much so that last Tuesday’s post feels like a loooong time ago! But you might remember meeting this lovely Beastie lady…
Everything for a Bridal Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties… And getting a brief peek at the handsome monster man in her life, too!
The Happy Couple, Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis happy pair were created as a one-of-a-kind wedding gift, to be given to the groom on the big day itself! So perhaps we should take this opportunity to get to know him a little better.

Hey there, Mr Adam Beastie!
Mr Adam Beastie, A Wedding Gift Commission by CrawCrafts BeastiesAhhh, look at that winning smile!

In keeping with the “us as we are everyday” wardrobe brief, I kitted him out in knitted jeans and a bright green felt t-shirt. I think the zingy lime shade really makes the most of his lovely blue complexion!
Adam Beastie's Outfit - Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd what’s this? Do we have another guitar-playing Beastie in our midst? I think so!
Beastie Guitar - Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts BeastiesAs usual, I’ve tried to capture the essence of Human Adam’s favourite guitar in Beastified form! This process always takes a while – when I made my first Beastie guitar many years ago, I couldn’t have imagined the huge number of shapes the humble guitar could potentially take! Every Beastie guitar calls for a serious tweaking of existing templates – if not a complete redesign.

That said, the end result always makes me smile… And I’m grateful that I’ve never (yet) been asked to Beastify something really tricky, like a tuba or a trombone! Perhaps you’d like to play us something, Adam Beastie?
Adam Beastie Plays Guitar! CrawCrafts BeastiesAaaah, music to my ears! And it looks like I’m not the only one enjoying it…
Sweet Beastie Music - CrawCrafts BeastiesHis Beastie Bride certainly seems to be a fan too! Oh, and who’s this coming over to join them?
Who's This? A Beastie Family, by CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s Zoey, their fuzzy, faithful Beastiedog!
Beastie Zoey - Needle-felted Dog by CrawCrafts BeastiesBeastie Zoey was an essential part of this wedding gift, and I brought her to life through the magic of needle felting! She’s also wearing a felt collar personalised with her initial, so there’s no mistaking who she is.

Oh, it looks like she’d like to get to know YOU a little better!
Beastie Zoey Smiles - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut of course, her heart belongs to her adopted mum!
Doggies are a Beast's Best Friend - CrawCrafts BeastiesLooks like doggies really ARE a Beast’s best friend!

And now that everyone’s here, it’s time for…
Walkies! Wedding Gift Beasties by CrawCrafts Beasties…WALKIES!

Thanks again to Kristen for requesting this super-special wedding gift, and trusting me to Beastify her family! It’s been a lot of fun, and got me trying out some new skills to boot!

Oh, and in case you missed Saturday’s post, I blitzed the final 3 calendar pages of 2018 at the end of last week, and uploaded them all together as a single handy package.
Calendar October to December - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs usual, they’re totally free… So don’t forget to grab your copy from our online store! And October’s page is a bit special, because it’s another colour-it-yourself drawing. We’d love to see your finished masterpieces, so tag ’em on Instagram or Twitter with #beastiegallery so I can enjoy them!

To inspire you, here’s one Weekes did earlier!

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And now I’m off to set a good example, and colour mine in too! I’ll be back next week with some autumnal pictures from Dublin’s parks, so be sure to join us then!

Have a super week!

Beastie-Sized Dog, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties For OLIVE The Family!

Hey there everybody, and happy Friday to you all! Now, earlier in the week I promised you new Beasties… So, new Beasties you shall have. And not just a couple, either… There’s a whole family of them waiting to meet you!

This project started when I met Lino from Olivieri’s Fine Italian Foods at a market just before Christmas. We got chatting, and I mentioned that as well as the gang of little knitted monsters hanging out on my stall that day, I also do requests. Fast forward a few months, and I’m sure you can imagine how delighted I was when he got back in touch and asked me to Beastify his entire family AND their faithful pooch!

I should probably introduce you to the man himself – or at least his Beastie counterpart!
Lino Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesI used a wool and alpaca yarn for his hair, and dressed him in a smart blue felt t-shirt and grey shorts.
Lino Beastie's Outfit - CrawCrafts Beasties

And what’s that in his paw?
Beastie-Sized Olive Oil Bottle - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s a Beastie-sized bottle of olive oil! Lino has been running his family’s olive grove and farm in southern Italy since 2010, and he brings the oil he produces there back to Ireland to supply specialist food stores and restaurants across the country. His oils were even listed as being among the best available in Ireland in this article in The Irish Times last year! Definitely an achievement worthy of being celebrated in felt and teeny sewing, I’m sure you’ll agree. I made sure to include his company logo on the bottle’s label – accept no substitutes!

But hey, where’s the rest of the family?

Let’s meet the girls first, starting with… Florence Beastie!
Florence Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis sweet little monster lady seems to have a real way with animals… In many of the photos her dad sent me, there was usually a four-legged friend in there somewhere too. At his suggestion, I went hunting for a dress fabric with an animal print… And wow, that’s a tricky thing to find! Many of the fabrics I liked had an oversized design that would be totally lost on a Beastie-sized outfit. In the end, I found three designs that fit the bill, and this was the pick of the bunch – cute without being babyish, and the little pink birds sit nicely alongside her candy-coloured complexion.

I also had fun styling her hair!
Beastie Hairdressing - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd let’s take a proper look at that dress, too.
Florence Beastie's Dress - CrawCrafts BeastiesI changed my dress pattern up a bit for this project – I opted for a circle skirt instead of pleats, and I really like the neater line it gives. The dress closes with my new favourite hook-and-eye fastener, too!

Meanwhile, Beastie Florence’s sister Sophia Beastie is sporting an outfit that shows her love of dance! This was a first for me…
Sophia Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties…Voilà! One Beastie-sized leotard!
Beastie Leotard - CrawCrafts BeastiesPerfect for a day at the studio, or her next big stage performance! She looks happy, anyway.
Beastie Smile -  CrawCrafts Beasties

And let’s not forget their brother, Lucca Beastie!
Lucca Beastie Closeup - CrawCrafts BeastiesHe’s looking sharp in a tailored button-down shirt and boxy-framed glasses.
Lucca Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd after seeing a set of headphones in one of my reference photos, I thought I’d better Beastify those too!
Beastie-Sized Headphones - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd, last but not least, meet Lino Beastie’s partner Lynn Beastie!Lynn Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is another new dress design – a sweet sundress inspired by one of the reference photos I used. It’s cut on the bias with a cute A-line shape, has a halterneck (well, as much as I could manage given that Beasties don’t have necks) and fastens with a ribbon at each shoulder.
Beastie Sundress by CrawCrafts BeastiesThen a pair of snazzy sunglasses completes her look!
Beastie Sunglasses - CrawCrafts BeastiesOh, and who’s this?
Lego the Beastie Dog - CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, I did mention there was a dog! Hey there, Beastie Lego!
Beastie-Sized Dog, by CrawCrafts BeastiesHeehee! I think he likes you.
Lego the Dog's Closeup - CrawCrafts BeastiesNow, let’s get everyone together in the Teeny Photo Studio for a group shot!
All the Family Together - CrawCrafts BeastiesLovely!

But this isn’t the end of the story for this monster family! Stop back in on Tuesday to find out where these Beasties are going, and why they have special feet…
Special Sticky Beastie Feet - CrawCrafts Beasties… See you then!

Beastie Besties - tierneycreates Beastie and Dog by CrawCrafts Beasties

A New Addition to the Beastie Family!

Hello everybody! Wow, can you believe we’re nearly at the end of June already? It’s really flown in… But I figure we have just enough time to squeeze in another new Beastie post before we fully jump into July! So, allow me to formally introduce my latest Beastie commission – tierneycreates Beastie!
tierneycreates Beastie Face Closeup - CrawCrafts Beasties, Beastie HQSome of you may have met her already – she’s been very active on Tierney’s blog from the moment she arrived in her new home! But this project had me trying my hand at some new/long-neglected techniques which I’d like to share with you… And besides, it’s pretty much traditional to give every Beastie commission their 15 minutes of fame on the BeastieBlog! Now, on with the show!

Let’s start with the outfits, shall we? This little monster lady has a choice of two ensembles – a hand-stitched felt t-shirt in a burgundy shade that goes beautifully with her delicate orange complexion, and a cosy handknit Aran sweater for cooler days and possible return trips to her Irish homeland.
Beastie Aran Sweater and T Shirt, handmade by CrawCrafts BeastiesBeautifully modelled, tierneycreates Beastie!
tierneycreates Beastie Outfits, handmade by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd like many of my recent commission pieces, she’s rocking an excellent pair of Beastie-size specs! Those are removable, by the way.
Beastie Miniature Glasses, by CrawCrafts BeastiesMy Mum also suggested that I start using props in my accessory photos to give you all an idea of their actual size. She’s full of good ideas!

Next, let’s talk hair. Oh, this hair! You see, I went a bit over the top trying to copy Human Tierney’s very awesome skinny dreads. Early in the Beastification process, I decided that the chunky wool I planned to use was entirely the wrong texture. But I figured that if I needle-felted it, it would become dread-ier… And I’d have an excuse to do some needle felting. Double win! Unfortunately, post-needle-felting, my crazy eyes detected too much fuzziness and uneveness in the strands. “I know! I’ll wet felt them to even them out!”

And once I’d started down that road, I couldn’t very well turn back. Cue several cycles of felting, waiting for the pieces to dry, attaching them and then realising I’d need more. Fortunately, we had a minor heatwave as my deadline approached, or I would have had to send tierneycreates Beastie out the door with wet hair!

That said, all this practice has really honed my wet felting technique… Something I plan to make use of in future projects! Oh, and here’s how those dreads turned out…
tierneycreates Beastie Dreads and Hat - Beastie HQAlso pictured is tierneycreates Beastie’s hand-knitted slouchy beanie hat, inspired by one Human Tierney recently made for herself, but with one slight difference – strategically-placed earholes to help hold it in place on her head!

Then, to complete the top-to-toe ensemble – check out those natty little Beastie boots!
Beastie Boots, Handmade by CrawCrafts BeastiesThe yellow stitching is modeled on my own beloved DM boots, but I chose a nice sky blue for the Beastified version to add a pop of colour!

Phew! Are you still with me? Because that’s not all.

This Beastie needs a bag!
Quilting Inspired Beastie Bag by CrawCrafts BeastiesHuman Tierney is a very talented quilter, and I wanted to reflect this in one of her accessories. So I selected some fabrics, cut teeny-tiny squares and pieced them together to create a miniature quilted panel, which I then stitched onto the exterior of a felt bag made to my usual pattern. This is the first quilting I’ve done in about 20 years – although the less said about my teenage efforts (which remain in my parents’ attic to this day) the better! And now tierneycreates Beastie can carry around her trusty laptop and library card in style!

So, that’s everything, right?
tierneycreates Beastie Accessories by CrawCrafts BeastiesNot quite! I think we forgot somebody…
Mikelet, the Super-Miniature Schnauzer, by CrawCrafts Beasties They’re a schnauzer household chez tierneycreates, so it only seemed right that this Beastie should have her own canine companion! And because the humans in the home already have a miniature schnauzer called Mike, this miniature miniature schnauzer has been named “Mikelet”!

Ready for walkies, Mikelet?
Beastie Walkies - Handmade Commission Work by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd of course, there’s always time for a cuddle!
Beastie Besties - tierneycreates Beastie and Dog by CrawCrafts BeastiesYou can see where tierneycreates Beastie and Mikelet went on their walk in Tierney’s latest Beastie-based post… And don’t forget to join us again on Friday when I’ll be sharing a Beastie adventure of my own!

See you then!

A Busy Beastie… And Her Best Friend!

Hello everybody, and welcome to the first proper BeastieBlog post of 2018! I hope you all got a bit of a break over the holidays – I know I certainly took advantage of the end-of-year lull to catch up on some sleep! But it’s great to be back, and right now is actually one of my favourite times of year. Yes, really! Because NOW I can finally start sharing my Christmas commissions with you all!

It was tricky to choose which of my latest Beasties I’d introduce you to first… But in the end, the honour has gone to this little monster lady!
Translator Beastie, with her Accessories - CrawCrafts Beasties
At a time of year when many of us are resolving to make changes in our lives or try new things, I thought that this multitalented Beastie might provide a little inspiration. She was created as a special companion for a lady who works as a translator, so she speaks a couple of languages…
Translator Beastie's French and German Dictionaries - CrawCrafts Beasties
…And she’s also interested in art history, so she never leaves home without a handy sketchpad and pen! You just don’t know when inspiration will strike.
Beastie-Size Sketchbook and Pen - CrawCrafts Beasties
Of course, she’d never get anything done if she had to carry all this stuff around in her paws. So I made her a cool satchel-style bag to put everything into!
Beastie Satchel Bag, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Perfect! She certainly looks happy… But what’s that I hear?
A Contented Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
Aha! Beastie’s best friend… A sweet little felt pooch to keep her company while she works.
A Canine Companion for our Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
Because this Beastie was going to live in Germany, I modelled her four-legged friend on traditional German breeds, like the German pinscher and Jagterrier. Hello there, pup!
Beastie Dog Closeup - CrawCrafts Beasties
I think it might be time for walkies… What do you reckon?
Beastie Walkies! CrawCrafts Beasties
And of course, there’s always time for hugs and treats!
Hugs From Beastiedog - CrawCrafts Beasties
This year certainly is off to a good start! How about you – any big plans for 2018? Let us know in the comments… and if one of your new year’s resolutions is to be more organised, don’t forget to download your FREE Beastie calendar pages from the store!
Calendar Page January - Paddy and Plunkett - Printable - CrawCrafts BeastiesJanuary is there now, and February will be added shortly!

We’ll be back next week, when I’ll be sharing snaps of my biggest ever custom order! See you then!