Springtime Beastie Fun! CrawCrafts Beasties

Beastie Weekend Reads, Part 1

Well hello there, BeastieBuddies!

I did promise you a double dose of blogging this week, so here I am!

When I was celebrating welcoming my 500th victim follower into the fold a couple of weeks back, I really did underestimate the number of awesome bloggers I keep up with (or at least try to) on a regular basis. I started that post with the noble intention of namechecking all of my favourites. Can you believe my naivety? Halfway through, I realised that if I were to give them all their dues, I would be tapping away at the computer all day. And by the end of the list, no-one would still be reading anyway. So, in the name of delivering the best possible shout-outs, I’m dividing up my reading list into nice, bite-sized chunks, which I’ll be feeding to you every now and again on Fridays. I’m hoping you’ll find a spare minute over the weekend to dip in, and maybe stumble on a new must-read!

So, without further ado, here are my first three…

Knitting the Stash
Knitting the Stash - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts Beasties
If you’re in any way craftily inclined, you’ll find so much to love on Melissa’s blog… Although her enthusiasm for all things woolly and yarny is really quite infectious, so even if you don’t know your knit from your purl, you might find yourself getting sucked in! What makes Melissa different from so many other craft bloggers out there is that she takes a look beyond her own works in progress, and taps into the growing community of people involved in producing the wool she knits and spins. This takes in everything from visiting farms (and getting involved in the sheep shearing!) to meeting indie dyers and pattern designers. One of my favourite recent posts was her interview with Kara Syvertsen of Second Cycle Yarn Co… It was so inspiring to learn how one woman is making a living (and saving heaps of usable high-quality fibre from ending up in landfill) by turning unwanted clothing back into beautifully presented skeins of yarn! Melissa has also been a huge supporter of me and the Beasties, so we’re happy to be able to return the favour at last!

And as if that wasn’t enough, Melissa is also responsible for producing one of my favourite podcasts. I have to admit that I’m usually more of a “reader” than a “watcher”, but I always try to make time for Knitting the Stash. The episodes are a good length (usually around the half-hour mark), and Melissa is a fun, interesting person to hang out with! Here’s the latest episode, if you’d like to meet her for yourself!

Handmade Habit
Handmade Habit - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts BeastiesI love checking in with Shirley’s blog. I think it has a lot to do with the way she writes – her calm, warm voice just puts you at ease, and it’s like you’re meeting a good friend for coffee and a catchup. Shirley is another person who is all about handmade, and her posts are mostly about what she’s got on the go at the moment – she knits, weaves and is a super-talented illustrator. She also loves to read around her interests, and I’ve so enjoyed sharing in her library finds (or special orders)… Especially when she comes across something with a crafty theme! Lately, I’ve been avidly following her first foray into working with reclaimed yarn (the journey starts here, if you’re interested) and I also really enjoyed this post about why working slowly isn’t such a bad thing… Perfect reading for a chilled-out Saturday morning!

Daze + Weekes
Daze and Weekes - Beastie Reads - CrawCrafts BeastiesHistory was one of my least favourite subjects in school. For three years, we sifted through an apparently random selection of dry topics, in no particular order, and the classroom was always stupidly hot. I never regretted my decision to drop it at the very first opportunity – until I got hopelessly hooked on Daze + Weekes. This is history as it should be told, with high drama, tongue-in-cheek humour and frequent Game of Thrones references. It also helps that the subject matter is fascinating – there’s a strong focus on the interesting women of history here, and it really makes for great reading. I think Joan, Minx of Wales gets my vote for favourite recent feature, or if you will insist on remaining in the present day, why not join Weekes at that most hateful of modern inconveniences, The Group Interview? She will also, very considerately, provide the soundtrack for your weekend lounging – on her sister site, weekesmusic.com, you’ll find the first two luscious, dreamy tracks from her upcoming album, AND a link to a curated mixtape playlist on Spotify. That should keep you all out of mischief until my next post on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend, everybody!
Boozy Barfly Beasties - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Out and About With Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

The Big Five-Oh-Oh!

Hey there everybody! And this is an extra-special post for me today, because over the weekend the BeastieBlog got its 500th follower!

So of course, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all of you… Especially those of you who take the time to come and hang out with me and the Beasties here every week. We thrive on your likes and comments, so please keep ’em coming!

I thought this might be a fun time to do a bit of a retrospective… So join me as I look back over some of my favourite Beastie-making moments, and introduce you to a few of the awesome blogging folks I’ve met along the way!

Let’s start at the very beginning… with this photo that is, now that I look at it, not good AT ALL. This is Schnocks, the very first Beastie!
Schnocks, the very first Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesWow, haven’t they changed? Unsurprisingly, this first post of mine got no likes… at least not until Noémie from Focal Heart took it upon herself to scroll back through ALL my old posts last year to find him! Noémie has since invited 3 Beasties to come and live with her, and has been good enough to share photos of their adventures with me. Why not check out the first one here?

Although Schnocks was created in around 2010-11, it was a couple of years before I thought of adding to the Beastie family… Or encouraging them to head out and invade other peoples’ homes! All that changed after my first market, though.
Craft Fair Stall - CrawCrafts BeastiesUrrrgh, again with the terrible photography! Isn’t it lucky that I was trying to rehome Beasties that weekend, rather than photographs? That said, I was pretty surprised that I had to put up this sign on my table halfway through Sunday afternoon…
Sold OutAnd thus, a Maker of Monsters was born! From there, it was a short leap to taking on my first commission…
Justin Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties… And by now, I’d picked up two of my longest-standing followers, who I still try to keep up with. Knitters will find lots to love on Funky Air Bear‘s site, and Mrs P‘s tales of daily life in the Cottage on the Green always crack me up.

OK, let’s skip forward a bit, and see if we can find some better pictures, shall we?

Check it out! Explorer Beastie’s first away trip!
Ampelmann and Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesLook at him there, hanging out with Ampelmann in Berlin! And by the time he’d taken the first of many trips to Co. Roscommon, in the western midlands of Ireland…
Explorer Beastie with Mountain… We’d picked up another BeastieBlog lifer, The Snail of Happiness. Jan’s blog is a beacon of contentment and good sense in a world that sometimes seems to be going off the deep end, so it’s one I heartily recommend you check out!

Inspired by the scenery of the Roscommon countryside, I decided it was high time I made some Beasties with a more Irish twist. And so, Barróg Beasties were born – any excuse to grab a bit of locally-made yarn in some glorious rich hues, and get cracking on some new accessories! Here’s the first one, clutching a lovely mug of hot milky tea.
All-Irish BeastieBarróg Beasties (the name is the Irish word for “hug”) have gone on to become some of the most popular Beasties out there… Especially the ones with pints of Guinness or little Aran sweaters! Oh, and it’s around this time that LucyAnn and Tricia joined the party – they’re both great crafters, and I love sharing the adventures of their dachsunds as they explore Tricia’s beautiful garden.

Of course, there are two Barróg Beasties who have really made a name for themselves since their first adventure back in 2015. Yep, that’d be Paddy and Plunkett! Here’s a picture (a decent one) of their debut away trip to the mossy forests of Co. Fermanagh!
Paddy & Plunkett by CrawCrafts Beasties/Heather CrawfordBy now, we’d been joined by Jem Arrowsmith Knits and Tajana from Tatie’s World, and I’ve so enjoyed following their crafty journeys over the last couple of years!

2015 was the year that commissions really took off for me, and that resulted in some pretty elaborate monster creations… Anybody remember these?
Dog Lover Beastie with her Dog by CrawCrafts Beasties

Fireman Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Harry Potter Beastie Recaptures The Monster Book of Monsters! (CrawCrafts Beasties)That year, I also found some great new blogs through WordPress’s Blogging 101 course – including one of my favourite travel blogs, Travel Magnolia. Maggie finds herself in some truly fascinating places, and somehow she always finds the best foodie spots to share wherever she goes!

More recently, the BeastieBlog seems to have grown in all kinds of directions as I share more of my own adventures and experiments alongside what the Beasties are up to. Explorer Beastie at the Etsy Offices - CrawCrafts BeastiesMeeting Other Crafters - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s also been fun to see more people getting in touch with pictures of their own Beasties’ adventures – like Tammie Painter, whose Beastie friend Finn McSpool always seems to be up to some sort of mischief! It’s a wonder she ever gets a chance to pursue her writing and artwork at all when he’s around…
Of course, she’s not the only one – thanks to all of you who have sent in pictures of your Beasties at work or play… They always make me smile!
Beasties Abroad - Various Contributors/CrawCrafts BeastiesAaaand that’s probably enough gushing from me for one day! I hope you enjoyed this whistle-stop tour of Beastie history – it’s actually been fun for me to look back through the archives as well. It’s also made me realise that, although there are a good few people who have been with me since the early days, I’ve encountered a whole LOAD of interesting and inspiring bloggers in the last few months. So I’m saving my “who I’m reading now” list for a future post, coming up in a couple of weeks!

In the meantime, be sure to join us next Tuesday for a bit of a catchup with Paddy and Plunkett. See you then!