Beastie with Pugaliers and Custom Dye Hair - CrawCrafts Beasties

To DYE for… A Beastie Hairdressing Odyssey

Hello there Beastie friends! I hope you’ve been enjoying travelling around with Paddy and Plunkett these last few weeks – if you’ve missed out you can catch up with their latest antics here, here and here. Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you. All done? Great! Let’s greet a new Beastie, then… It’s been a while, hasn’t it? But this one is dye -ing to meet you too!

Hello there, monster lady!
Hannah's Birthday Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesThis Beastie girl was created as a very special birthday gift… And as you might have guessed from the title and subsequent puns, copying her human counterpart’s supercool hairdo was a really big part of this project! Let’s take a closer look at that colourful barnet, shall we?

Beastie Hair Dye Project - CrawCrafts Beasties

So, we’ve got rich, natural dark brown at the top, multi-tonal blues at the ends… And her hair is curly, too!

Getting this to work really did take a bit of pondering. You see, when humans dye their hair like this, it’s not too tricky. The ends are bleached, dyed in your colour of choice, and then you can enjoy watching the ever-changing tones as the dye gradually fades. Being wool, Beastie hair responds much less positively to the initial bleaching treatment, and that meant I had to start by turning the entire process on its head!

So, I selected a couple of yarns from my stash – one solid blue and one multicoloured hand-dye helped me capture the right array of hues – and set about colouring the “root” ends darker to get the effect I wanted. Since I was only dyeing a very small amount, some sums were involved to make sure I got the reduced quantities of ingredients in the correct proportions. This, and the mixing that followed, had me feeling very much like a mad monster-making scientist!

Then, using highly technical apparatus (consisting of wooden clothes pegs, chopsticks and a repurposed butter tub), I set about dip-dyeing my pre-cut yarn strands. I worked with a colour called Espresso Brown initially, but when two separate dyeing sessions left me with a shade that was more “milk chocolate”, I picked up a sachet of black dye and used it to mix my own custom blend. Phew – third time lucky! I finally had a colour I was happy with, and once everything dried out, I was able to crack on with my usual Beastie hairdressing.

Talk about a learning experience! But it was really cool to take control of my colour selections in this way, and I’d definitely do it again – especially when it comes to trying to match the human hair tones that commercial yarn companies seldom offer in their ranges.

But there’s more to this Beastie than her hairstyle, y’know! To complete her look, I dressed her in black leggings and a black hoodie…
Hair Dye Beastie with Hoodie - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd of course, the hood can be worn up or down. There are even holes for her ears to poke through!
Hoodie with Hood Up - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd… Wait a sec, don’t go!
Back view of Beastie Hoodie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Aha! She’s just fetching her four-legged friends to join the photoshoot. Hello, Beastie pups!
Beastie With Pugaliers - CrawCrafts BeastiesThese little scamps are Beastie pugaliers – just like the full-size ones that her new human friend has at home!

Beastie Pugaliers - CrawCrafts Beasties

When I saw photos of the family’s dogs, I noticed that they both had quite distinctive markings. So I used needle felting to make their Mini-Mes as close as possible to the full-size versions! Meet Beastie Lucy…
Beastie Lucy, the needle-felted Pugalier - CrawCrafts Beasties… And Beastie Sanjay!
Beastie Sanjay by CrawCrafts Beasties

And now that we’re all here… WALKIES!
Beastie with Pugaliers and Custom Dye Hair - CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you? Have you tackled something new recently? If you have, tell us all about it in the comments!

Aaaaand Paddy and Plunkett will be back next week, so be sure to join us then!

Sitting Beastie, Made for S Twist Wool - CrawCrafts Beasties

A Busy Beastie Month!

A Special Irish Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesI don’t know about you, but February has just zipped by for me and the Beasties!

A lot of this was down to the fact that I’ve been focussing on just being a Maker of Monsters this past month. I took the plunge, and booked time off from Other Work to take care of some Beastie business that’s been sitting on my to-do list for far too long. So, I’ve already shared my new improved workspace and spruced-up home on the internet… But what else have I been up to?

Well, for starters, I’ve been collaborating with a spinner! I met Diarmuid from S Twist Wool at one of my pre-Christmas markets, and I jumped at the chance to create a very special Beastie for him using his own range of yarns. Of course, Explorer Beastie was on hand to help me choose which wool to use for the project…
Explorer Beastie With S Twist Yarns - CrawCrafts Beasties… And now here’s the newest member of the Beastie family, hot off the needles!
S Twist Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesDiarmuid dyed the chunky 2-ply yarn in blue and purple especially for this Beastie, and I used S Twist’s sock yarn in Tiger for his lovely red hair, and Juniper for his traditional Aran-style sweater.
S Twist Beastie's Hair and Sweater - CrawCrafts BeastiesI was also able to use natural sheep’s fleece as stuffing instead of my usual polyfill! And since S Twist Beastie has been recruited to help out with the business, it seemed only fair to get him started with the spinning straight away… so I made him a Beastie-sized drop spindle!
A Beastie-Sized Drop Spindle - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd now he’s ready to get to work!
S Twist Beastie, Ready for Work! CrawCrafts BeastiesBut wait… There’s more to this Beastie than meets the eye!
S Twist Beastie PosesNo, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you! Beastie-volution has taken another leap forward… And this little monster has BONES! That means he can wave, dance a jig, or sit down to do his spinning!

And believe me, this extra flexibility is going to come in handy in his new job. Because Diarmuid sources his wool locally (it all comes from farms in Kilkenny and Tipperary), and prepares, spins and dyes it himself, there’s always plenty of work to do!

I’m really looking forward to seeing how S Twist Beastie gets on in his new career as a master spinner! They also have plans to attend several shows across Ireland and the UK over the coming months… If you get a chance, why not pop along and say hello? You can keep up with all the latest news from S Twist on Facebook or Twitter!

It’s always exciting to try out new methods and materials, so this collaboration couldn’t have come at a better time. And we’re not done yet with the Beastie R&D either!
Vintage Singer Sewing Machine - CrawCrafts BeastiesFebruary was the month where I finally broke the ice with my sewing machine, and now we’re working together on some exciting new projects. But they’re not quite ready yet, so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out what monster-making mayhem we have in the pipeline… In the meantime, there will be Beastie antics aplenty, starting with a special travel feature from Explorer Beastie on Friday. See you then!