Getting Around to Knit!

Well lookee here! It’s Tuesday again, and in keeping with BeastieBlog tradition, I’ve some new Beasties for you to meet today – although I think a few of you might already have caught these two little lady monsters on social media over the weekend…
Beasties for the Olann And Girls, by CrawCrafts Beasties… But this is your chance to get a proper, close-up look at them! As you can see, they are both keen knitters – and even though they’re working on quite different projects, they like nothing better than meeting up and comparing knit notes!
Monster Knitting - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis pair have gone to live with a pair of fellow enthusiasts of all things yarny – Deirdre and Lora, from Irish craft magazine Olann And!

Lora and Deirdre - Image borrowed from www.olannand.ie
(Image borrowed from http://www.olannand.ie)

Deirdre thought it might be fun to have a pair of Beastie counterparts to share the work of writing and editing this quarterly magazine… So let’s meet her new monster friend first!
Deirdre Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesHer favourite colour is pink, so of course Deirdre Beastie had to be pink too… and she’s working away on a rather lovely bubblegum-coloured chunky knit there as well! Also, her cosy cowl is modelled on one of Deirdre’s own recent projects…
Deirdre Beastie's Stripey Cowl, by CrawCrafts Beasties… And a quick scan of some of Olann And’s recent podcasts helped me to design her sweet little polka-dot dress!
Deirdre Beastie's Dress, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAs for Lora… Well, she’s more into her blue. As you can probably tell!
Lora Beastie, by CrawCrafts BeastiesHer new Beastie friend is also sporting miniature versions of her trademark tortoiseshell glasses and Madonna piercing!
Lora Beastie's Glasses and Lip Piercing - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd Deirdre Beastie isn’t the only one to be wearing one of her latest knitted masterpieces! Check out Lora Beastie’s glorious cherry-red cardigan, inspired by one of human Lora’s recent makes…
Lora Beastie's Cardi - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut the best part of this project was watching Deirdre and Lora meet their Beasties for the first time… And fortunately, they caught it on camera! Here’s the link to Episode 10 of the Olann And Podcast, in case you missed it!

(For the sake of my non-crafty readers, I’ve set the video to start from the beginning of the Beastie segment. But I’d recommend my fellow knitters, sewists and crocheters to ping it back and watch the whole thing – you’ll find lots to enjoy and inspire you here!)

I can’t wait to see what yarny adventures await these two Beasties in their new homes! And be sure to tune back in next week to meet another new monster friend… In the meantime, why not check out Olann And’s latest issue? This time around, they’re featuring some awesome (and FREE!) patterns, sharing some locally-made goodies and dipping a toe into the world of embroidery – all on their spiffy new-look website!

Have a great week, everybody!

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!

99 Beastie's Icecream Cone, by CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties, Beans and Blogging

Beasties at the Ha'Penny Flea, Dublin - CrawCrafts Beasties
It’s been a busy couple of days in Beastie Towers… and beyond! On Saturday, we took part in our first market in aaaages, at the Ha’Penny Flea. Because Beasties don’t take up much room, we got a really good spot by the front door, so we were able to enjoy a little bit of the sunshine. The weather was behaving surprisingly well for a bank holiday weekend!

At the market, a couple of my newer Beasties (who haven’t really had a chance to make an appearance on the BeastieBlog before now) headed off to new homes. Ready to meet them?

First of all, one of my Summer Edition Barróg Beasties was snapped up by one of my regular customers! This is 99 Beastie, because summer wouldn’t be summer without dollops of snowy-white vanilla ice cream served with a chocolate flake on top…
Summer Barróg Beastie - "99", by CrawCrafts Beasties
And let’s just have a closer look at that ice cream cone, shall we? YUUUUUM!
99 Beastie's Icecream Cone, by CrawCrafts Beasties
By the way, if anyone knows why we call this type of ice cream a “99”, please enlighten me in the comments… so far, the only explanations I can come up with are a) that they used to cost a mere 99p back in the good old days, or b) that if you eat 99 of them in one sitting, you’re in real trouble.

Another Beastie who left with a new family on Saturday was Tea Lover Beastie!
Tea Lover Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
It is possible that they are more of a coffee-drinking household, but Tea Lover Beastie is more than happy to try new things!
That's one happy Beastie! Tea Lover Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Also making the journey to a new home today (thanks to the wonders of Etsy) is one of my little fleecy “Mame-Chan” beans!Mame-Chan, by CrawCrafts Beasties
She’s on her way to Alyssa, in the USA… thanks, Alyssa!

And finally, you may notice a little bit of extra activity on the BeastieBlog over the next three weeks. I’ve just started WordPress’s Blogging 101 course, in the hope of making my little corner of the internet a nicer place to be! Yesterday’s challenge was to introduce myself to the world and my new classmates, so I took the opportunity to refresh my About page. If you have a second, please go and check it out… I’d love any feedback you might have, even if it is “I liked it better the way it was”!

Thanks for reading!

Exciting News!

Pod - A New Online Home for the Beasties!
About a month ago I got an email from a company called Pod, asking if the Beasties and I would like to join their online crafty community and be featured on their website. Um, YES PLEASE!

The site launched on the 1st of July, and since my latest round of new Beasties need to remain secret for the moment, I thought I’d give you a sneak preview! I’m really proud to be involved in this, especially after I took a look at the work of the other artists and craftspeople they’ve included. They’ve put in a little bit about each of us…
Podster Profile Page

…That’s me third from the left in the top row. You would not BELIEVE the trouble I had trying to find a photo of myself in which I am not holding a pint of Guinness or pulling my very attractive monster face. And of course, the Beasties are there too!
Beasties on Pod
This first phase of the Pod website is all about introducing the makers and showing off their wares, but they’re planning to add more features in the near future. I’m really excited to see what they have in the pipeline!

In the meantime, why not go and have a look around?
www.poddub.com

More hot-off-the-knitting-needles Beasties next week, once they’ve arrived safely in their new homes!