“Give Me Everything!”

Hello again, Beastie friends! And wow, do I have a commission to share with you today… In fact, it’ll be today and another future post, because this little monster lady really does have it all!

Let’s meet her, shall we?

Bespoke Beastie by CrawCrafts Beasties

Hi there, Cindy Beastie!

This project is another one from the lockdown era, and that certainly seemed to be the time of the GME (“Give me everything”)! I started by sketching up a heap of ideas for Cindy, a fellow maker, fibre artist and blogger, which I hoped would celebrate her work, her interests and her personal style. And she decided to take the lot!

So, let’s start at the top… Cindy Beastie’s main outfit, shown above, is a short-sleeved shirt made from a cool hexagon-print fabric. I’m such a magpie when it comes to prints – just try and walk me past a display of fat quarter quilting cottons in a fabric store and see what happens – and I was delighted to have a chance to use this one at last! Give us a twirl there, Cindy Beastie.

Beastie hairstyle and t-shirt, reverse - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

Lovely! Perfect for summer, too. And oh, look at her hair!

Beastie Monster with hair and shirt - Handcrafted Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

Cindy Beastie’s human counterpart rocks a stylish short hairdo, with a bit of extra fullness in the top. This style works great on a human head, but it took a little work to transfer successfully onto a Beastie! The yarn I used initially lacked the texture I was going for, and looked a bit flat and sad. So I dived back into my yarn supplies and turned up this one for a second go-around – the richer colour and slight curl makes for a livelier, more luxuriant Beastie barnet.

Next, it was time to raid the jewellery box!

Miniature Knitted Monster with Golden Initial Necklace - CrawCrafts Beasties

Behold! A little gold chain necklace, with personalised initial tiles. And this piece actually took some making! I was sure I’d seen miniature golden letter beads in my local jewellery supply store, and that’s what I’d included in my design sketch. But when I went along to buy them, the owner said he hadn’t stocked them in more than a decade, and the internet didn’t have much in the way of viable solutions either. Buy a pack of 200 random letters in the hope I’ll get the three I need? I think not! Sometimes, if you want something done, it’s better to do it yourself. So I made multiple beads of each letter (to help with consistency and to allow for breakages) and selected the best three to attach to a slender golden chain for Cindy Beastie’s bespoke necklace.

After that, it was time to make sure Ms Beastie has plenty of monster-sized pastimes to keep her paws busy. Since her human counterpart enjoys both painting and knitting, equipment for both activities seemed like a safe bet.

Beastie-sized paintbrush, palette and knitting project - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

And so that she can grip all these goodies securely…

Magic magnetic Beastie paws - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

… She has magic magnet paws! That means she can paint…

Painting Beastie - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

… And knit…

Knitting Beastie - Bespoke handmade monster by CrawCrafts Beasties

… To her heart’s content!

And so that she can take her favourite things with her wherever she goes, I also made her a Beastie-sized backpack.

Beastie-sized backpack - CrawCrafts Beasties

Where ARE you going, Cindy Beastie?

Beastie with Backpack - Custom creations by CrawCrafts Beasties

“I think I’ll head out to the countryside for a day or two!”

Right enough, she loves the great outdoors. And look, we’re here already… She’s even got the campfire going!

Beastie campfire - Bespoke miniature accessories by CrawCrafts Beasties

This campfire is extra cosy, since every log and crackling flame is made from 100% needle-felted wool. And now that it’s heated up properly, how about we cook ourselves up a snack?

Miniature frying pan with bacon - Handcrafted Beastie and Accessories - CrawCrafts Beasties

Mmmmm, bacon!

Beastie Bacon Cookout - CrawCrafts Beasties

And it looks like I’m not the only one who’s enjoying those delicious cooking aromas… Who’s this, I wonder?

Handmade Beastie with dog, campfire, frying pan and backpack - CrawCrafts Beasties

I guess you’ll have to rejoin us in a couple of weeks to find out a little more about this mysterious canine visitor to the campsite! See you then…

A Very Beastie Engagement… Part 2

Hello there everyone! Wow, we had such a great weekend at the Richmond Barracks May Fair… So many Beasties headed off to new homes, and it was incredibly nice to get out and meet people again. If you were there and you’re checking out the BeastieBlog for the first time, welcome! Be sure to say hello in the comments.

And now, on with the Beastifications! Last time around, we met this pretty monster lady…

… But of course, it takes two to make an engagement work! Let’s meet the lucky fella, shall we?

Green Beastie Guy with beard, hair and beanie hat - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

For this little monster guy, I took inspiration from the same engagement photo that I used as reference for his bride-to-be, and tried to capture the details of his outfit as closely as possible. So that started with his grey knitted beanie, and then I got to work on copying his outdoor jacket exactly.

Well, almost exactly. Wool, sheep and monster puns are not optional in the world of Beastie.

He also has a cosy handknitted scarf to complete his toasty outdoors ensemble.

And what about accessories? This Beastie’s human counterpart is a keen photographer, so a Kniton camera seemed like something he’d find useful.

Miniature Beastie camera made from felt with embroidered details - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

It’s been a while since I last made one of these, so I was quite impressed that I was able to find the templates and that they still worked!

Beastie camera features - Miniature felt camera by CrawCrafts Beasties

As before, this Beastie-sized camera has a removable strap and lens, and details in felt appliqué or embroidery.

I think these two lil’ woolly monsters are ready to set out on their life together!

Wedding Beasties together - Wedding Gift Commission by CrawCrafts Beasties

But wait a sec… Who’s this?

It’s Mini-Tony!

Beastie-sized dog - Needle-felting by CrawCrafts Beasties

Mini-Tony mimics his full-size counterpart in every detail – I was lucky enough to find a video of Bigger Tony running around in the park, which made it easier to get his lovely markings just right.

Walkies, anyone?

Bespoke Beastie couple with dog - Wedding Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

That’s it for this Beastification… But there are more to come! I’ll see you for another one in a couple of weeks. And if you happen to be in and around Greystones next weekend, please drop in and say hi at my upcoming market…

Greystones CNS Summer Fair 12th June 2022

See you soon!

A Very Beastie Engagement

Well hello there, Beastie friends! I think it’s high time we started going over some of last year’s commissions, don’t you? There are so many new monster faces to meet! As I mentioned last time, 2021 was a bit of a mad one, and I was so busy making that I kinda forgot to do the polite thing and introduce those Beasties to the world!

So, where to start? How about something a bit special – a wedding commission! This project was requested by a regular customer of mine on behalf of her mum, whose best friend’s daughter (are you keeping up with all these connections?!) was planning to tie the knot last September. As it turned out, the bride is a well-known Irish influencer and travel consultant – check out her work, highly recommended if you’re planning to visit Ireland or book a staycation here. This made finding reference pictures an absolute breeze!

However, it also raised a little problem with the Beastie’s wardrobe. With so many photos to choose from, how could I be sure I was choosing an outfit that would still mean something in a few years, when fashions will surely have changed?

Luckily for me, a charming proposal story saved the day! The bride’s family now live on the Aran Islands, and it was during a visit there that the would-be groom popped the question. A photo taken just afterwards inspired the Beastified ensemble – a classic look of skinny jeans, slightly cropped sweater and a houndstooth check coat.

But, um, what are those in her pocket? Well, on the day of the proposal, the couple stepped out for a walk. The bride-to-be, completely unaware of what was brewing, had filled her coat pockets with carrots to feed to any horses they might meet along the way. Hard to resist a fun detail like that!

For the jacket, I wanted to match the fabric of the human-sized version as closely as possible… But alas, Dublin’s fabric shops were unable to oblige. All the checks were too big, and would swamp a little Beastie frame! When you’re making miniature clothes, EVERYTHING needs to shrink down, including any patterns or motifs on the material you use. But I wasn’t worried… When life hands you lemons, hit the charity shops! And sure enough, I found a skirt which fitted the bill perfectly. Better still, I’d bet my sewing machine that it had never even been worn – what a win!

The coat has carefully pattern-matched pockets (perfect for filling with carrots) and supporting wire in the collar so it sits open neatly.

And underneath…

… A little hand-knitted sweater! In the past year I’ve switched up my sweater design with new methods for casting on and casting off, plus the addition of a few strategic short rows to create a better neckline shape. This one also features slightly puffed sleeves – it was a delicate balance to make sure they weren’t too big for the jacket sleeves!

She’s also got a handy felt handbag, to carry any extra essentials.

And as we all know, Beastie bags usually have something hidden inside…

BRRRRRRRIIIIIINNNNNNG! BRRRRRRRIIIIIINNNNNNG!

“Oh, sorry! Is that me? It is! Hold on a sec…”

Well, if a person (or Beastie) makes their living online, they HAVE to have a phone, don’t they?

This new-style Beast-iPhone has a reflective screen and (you might juuuuust be able to see in the photo on the right) a double-lens camera for those handy snaps when you’re out and about. It’s also got a magnet inside so the Beastie can really hold it!

I had so much fun with this commission! But, I hear you ask, where’s the other half of this happy Beastie couple? Don’t worry, we’ll meet him next time… And there may be another important addition to this party too. Stay tuned!

Sleepy Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Monster Maker M.I.A.

Ooopsie!

In a change to the advertised programming here on the BeastieBlog, there will not be a new Beastie post this week… Or, unfortunately, for a couple more weeks, either. Between a growing heap of commissions, the reopening of knitting classes, a looming tax return deadline and a few new projects that have been bubbling away on the back burner, I’ve been finding myself spread a little thinly these past few weeks.

Explorer Beastie has too, apparently.

So, we’re going to take a short late summer break, get back on top of things, and return replenished with stories to share in the autumn!

Take care and see you then!

Helen and the Beasties x

Woof! Or, Another Visit to the Beastie Pet Shop

Hello everyone! I’ve another creature feature for you this week – and I’m surprised at how long it’s taken me to share this special Beastie pet with you! She’s a real cutie.

Hey there, Mini-Penelope!

Mini Penelope - Teeny needle-felted dog by CrawCrafts Beasties

This sweet little French bulldog pup was created to complete a Beastie family which I made a few years ago. Here’s the original trio…

Who's This? A Beastie Family, by CrawCrafts Beasties

They landed in their new home just in time to help their new human friends celebrate their wedding. However, that was ALLLLLL the way back in 2018! And with the arrival of Penelope (a cheeky lil’ French bulldog puppy) during last year’s lockdown, this family portrait needed an update!

So, I grabbed my needle-felting kit, and spent a good bit of time getting to know Penelope a little better. You can too! She and her sister Zoey have their own Instagram account.

And now here’s her Mini-Me!

* Waves magic Beastification wand *

Beastie-Sized French Bulldog - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

And turn and smile for the camera, please.

Penelope the Frenh bulldog - CrawCrafts Beasties

Very nice.

Oh sorry, what’s that? You want to play Fetch?

Miniature Fetch - CrawCrafts Beasties

Maybe the pens and pencils might be a bit big for you, don’t you think?

Beastie Bulldog - CrawCrafts Beasties

Oh. She looks disappointed. Hey, you can still climb on them! Endless hours of fun.

Exploring my work table - Beastie Bulldog Commission by CrawCrafts Beasties

Who’s a good girl?

Good pup - CrawCrafts Beasties

Thanks to Kristen for requesting this fun addition to her little family of woolly monsters!

And be sure to join us again next week, when we’ll be catching up with Paddy and Plunkett. I wonder where they’ve been for the last couple of weeks? See you then!

Meow!

Hey there everyone! And THERE’S a post title that could probably use a little explanation… Have I perhaps switched up in the last week, and moved on to making just cats and cat accessories?

Funny you should ask, actually, because it turns out that the Beasties I featured in last week’s post and the post from the week before are both very much “cat people”. Some of you might even have picked up on that fact already…

Beastie in Cat Hat - CrawCrafts Beasties

So it only seems right and proper that these Beasties should get a feline friend of their own.

Beastie with Felted Kitty, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Awwww, look how friendly she is! See if she’ll climb up on this pincushion so we can get a closer look.

Kitty Closeup - CrawCrafts Beasties

Sweet! But wait… Do I hear more meowing? Does that mean…

More Beastie cats! CrawCrafts Beasties

Yes, our first cat has brought along some friends!

And it looks like they ALL want cuddles.

Beastie kitty cuddles - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

Each Beastie Kitty is modelled after a regular-size cat owned by one of the two sisters I Beastified for this recent BIG project. I used 100% wool roving on a wire frame for their bodies, and various shades of green beads to give their eyes that brilliant feline glow.

And just look how fearless they are! None of them had any problems stepping up onto my giant human hand to investigate.

Needle-felted Beastie Kitty by CrawCrafts Beasties

This is Soy, who belongs to the elder sister, while Zeus…

Another Beastie-sized Cat - CrawCrafts Beasties

… And Prince…

Black Beastie Cat - CrawCrafts Beasties

… Are both looked after by the younger sister.

As you can probably tell, photographing a Beastie black cat is just as impossible as photographing one of the regular-sized ones!

Well, now that we’ve met everybody, it’s time to round them up…

Beastie with custom-made needle-felted cats - CrawCrafts Beasties

… So they can head off to their new home!

Thanks again to Miri for this awesome project… And the Beastie Pet Extravaganza doesn’t end here! Recently I’ve had lots of people asking if I can extend the Beastification of their friends and family members to include their beloved pets, so we’re going to meet some more of those miniature critters next time.

See you then!

Bubble Tea and Dungarees!

Hello everyone! As promised in last week’s post, I’ve a new Beastie for you to meet today… And she has so many cool accessories! Hey there, Miss Beastie!

It's New Beastie Time! Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

I have to say, I really love this outfit. This Beastie is taking her stye cues from her human counterpart’s actual wardrobe, so including a stripey top and dungaree overalls was all part of the design brief.

Beastie Dungarees - CrawCrafts Beasties

I also personalised them by embroidering one of the littlest Totoros (a creature from the animé My Neighbour Totoro) on the front pocket!

Mini Totoro Embroidery! Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

This Beastie also has multi-toned dark brown wool hair, magic magnet paws (so she can really hold onto things) and the usual winsome Beastie smile.

Smile, hair and magic magnetic paws - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

And now, for some special personal touches… This Beastie’s new friend has a favourite hat, and I was asked if maybe I could have a go at copying it. Here’s the original (lifted from this website):

Smoko Oliver Animated Cat Hat

And here’s the Beastified version (slightly adjusted for shorter, broader woolly monster heads)!

A Cat Hat... For a Beastie! CrawCrafts Beasties

Our model seems pretty happy with it, anyway!

Beastie Girl in Cat Hat - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

Now, what else does she need? How about a sketch book and pen, perhaps?

Beastie-sized sketch book and pen - CrawCrafts Beasties

Perfect! And with her magic magnetic paws, she can really hold them too!

And finally, maybe some refreshments are in order. Our human girl LOVES bubble tea (also called boba tea), so it only seemed right to send her new Beastie friend off with a cup of her own to enjoy on the journey. It’s even her favourite flavour – lychee. Yum!

Beastie Bubble Tea - CrawCrafts Beasties

This Beastie-sized boba drink is brewed from 100% wool roving, and is served in a hand-stitched clear cup with a felt straw.

Now, is that everything?

Beastie with all her accessories - Commissions by CrawCrafts Beasties

I think so!

Thanks to Miri for this fun Beastie project… Oh, and did I mention that this monster girl has a sister? No? Well, she does… And she’ll be dropping in to join us next week! See you then!

Monster Online Sale!

Hello there everyone! Well, I’ve got some news for you all this week… We’re having a Beastie sale!

Yes, you read that correctly!

You see, some of the Beasties I have here in Beastie Towers have developed a serious case of lockdown cabin fever. They want (or perhaps more correctly, NEED) to stretch their little stripey legs and see more of the world. Normally I’d be taking them out to markets through the year, and that would quiet their yearning for adventure for a while. But with no big market days in sight just yet, this seemed like the best possible substitute.

Here are some of the lil’ woolly monsters who are eager to break out and explore pastures new!

And if you fancy a quick Beastie fix, and since we’re now halfway through the year, our printable Beastie 2021 calendar is now FREE!

Beastie Calendar Sale - CrawCrafts Beasties

But you’d better be quick!

The sale is running from now until this coming Saturday – that’s the 19th of June – and it will end at 6pm Irish time.

After that, I’ll be making some changes to Beastie HQ… The most significant being that there will no longer be an online store on the Beasties’ website. Over the past year, the number of Beasties finding new homes through the website has remained the same, but the amount of commission requests I’ve been getting has leapt up… And those commissions are becoming ever more complex, too! So it makes sense for me to focus on that side of things, at least for the moment.

For anyone who appreciates the simplicity of an Aran or Cookie Beastie though, don’t despair! I’m still happy to make these perennial favourites… Just drop me a line. You’ll even be able to add a more personal touch by selecting your preferred colour scheme and winsome monster smile style!

And finally…

Website updates always bring the potential for disaster interesting and unforeseen developments, so I’ll be skipping next week’s post to weed out any potential gremlins in the works. You can still keep up with the Beasties and their antics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in the meantime, though… And we’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

Help me, Superhero Max Beastie!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a new Beastie!
Superhero Max Beastie - A Commission by CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd not just any new Beastie – this one is a SUPERHERO!

Last year during lockdown, a customer contacted me to ask if I’d be able to make a Christmas gift for her daughter. This girl LOVES superheroes, and even has a secret alter-ego herself… When danger looms, she transforms into Superhero Max! Not content with merely fighting crime, Superhero Max is also a dab hand at fixing electrical boxes – you know, those anonymous grey or green metal cases you see on pretty much every street.

Well, with material like that to work with, how could I refuse?

First of all, I thought I’d better provide this little monster lady with some tools. She’ll need those if she’s going to fix anything!
Tools of the Trade - Superhero Max Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesNormally I’d pop magnets inside these so the Beastie can hold them securely… But since her human counterpart is still quite young, I went for elastic loops on the handles instead, just to be on the safe side.
Utility Belt + Tools - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs you can see, they still fit snugly into her utility belt, ready for action.

She also has a cream-coloured super-suit, based on Superhero Max’s own favourite outfit. And this one comes complete with a special custom-designed hand-embroidered logo!
Superhero Max Logo - CrawCrafts Beasties

But of course, it’s oh-so-important that her identity remains a secret. Don’t worry, Miss Beastie! I’ve got you covered.
Superhero Max in Disguise - CrawCrafts BeastiesWith a red felt mask and starry cape (inspired by her human counterpart’s passion for outer space), she’ll be able to head out completely incognito.

But wait a sec… Doesn’t every SuperBeastie need a super-sidekick?

Yes, absolutely!
Superhero Max and Hop - CrawCrafts BeastiesJust as Superhero Max never goes anywhere without her trusted bunny friend Hop, this Beastie has a cuddly rabbit companion to join her on her adventures, too. He even has the same uniform, including a removable mini cape!
Hop Closeups - Superhero Max Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesI also had fun adding in special bunny details, like a fluffy white tail and carrot-inspired sidekick logo.

Well, I think that’s all the angles covered! Just as well, because it looks like someone is ready for takeoff.
Superhero Max Beastie Takes Off - CrawCrafts BeastiesUp, up and… AWAAAAAY!
Superhero Max Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesYikes, she’s flown right out of the teeny photo studio! Um, can I ask everyone to please keep an eye out and report any low-flying Beasties in your neighbourhood directly to Beastie HQ? Thanks and see you next week!

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.!