Finn McSpool Storms Kilkenny Castle - T. Painter/CrawCrafts Beasties

Friday Social #7 – What’s Goin’ On? Beastie Family Update

Well, as you all know, I’ve been taking a bit of a break from the computer these past couple of weeks… But luckily for me, other members of the Beastie family have been busily snapping and blogging away in my absence! So today, I wanted to say a big “thank you” to those hard-workin’ folks, and to make sure everybody gets a chance to share in these monster adventures.

First up, a familiar monster face…

Finn McSpool Storms Kilkenny Castle - T. Painter/CrawCrafts Beasties
Image borrowed from tammiepainter.com

Yes, Mr Finn McSpool is back, and is sharing the first of his Irish adventures! Check out Tammie’s blog to see what mischief he got up to in Kilkenny Castle!

Also, those of you who follow Tammie already will know that she released her latest novel, “The Bonds of Osteria” at the end of last month. And fortunately, she had a heap of Beasties on hand to help her with her marketing efforts… This is my favourite promo shot!

Beasties Promoting "The Bonds of Osteria" - T Painter/CrawCrafts Beasties
Also borrowed from tammiepainter.com!

If that made you chuckle too, you’ll find more in this post… And don’t forget to check out the Books section of Tammie’s site for more info on the Osteria Chronicles, where you can buy your copies, and all ongoing special offers.

Next up… A sneak preview of a new Beastie!

tierneycreates Beastie, A Personalised Knitted Monster by CrawCrafts Beasties
One of my own photos, for once!

Meet tierneycreates Beastie, a brand-new addition to our ever-expanding global tribe of little knitted monsters!

I’ll be formally introducing you all to this Beastie lady on Tuesday, but I was so overwhelmed by Tierney‘s welcome-to-your-new-home post on her blog (not to mention the comments from her own loyal band of readers) that I couldn’t NOT share it with you! So please take a sec to jump over and read “I’m A Monster!!!“, and its hilarious followup “Beastie Outing: Trip to the Library“… In which an overzealous knitted monster demonstrates how NOT to use a barcode scanner.

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Tierney’s site tagline is “A fusion of textiles and smiles”, and it definitely delivered on both those counts for me this week!

So, that little lot should provide you with some fun weekend reading! We’ll be back on Tuesday to see what tierneycreates Beastie has in that shoulder bag of hers… Then Explorer Beastie will be presenting the first of many, many posts about Germany next Friday!

See you then!

Oooh! New Beasties!

All-Irish Beastie

For some time now, I’ve been wanting to make a range of Irish Beasties. Of course, my Beasties are already pretty Irish – they are born here, after all. But it always surprises me how little of the yarn we get in this country actually comes from here. And when you have a whole world of beautiful fibres to choose from – South American alpaca, merino wool from Down Under – it’s very easy to take what you have at home for granted.

Fortunately, I recently got a couple of timely wake-up calls. A while ago, some of my knitting friends and I started taking “Knit Days” – we’d hop on a train, or form a convoy of cars, and travel to another town or city to enjoy a crafty day out, usually fuelled by copious quantities of tea and cake. One of these Knit Days took us to the village of Graignamanagh in Co. Kilkenny, which is the home of Cushendale Woollen Mills. This family-owned mill has been producing yarn and finished woollen goods since the mid-1800s, and we were lucky enough to get a full tour during our visit. Since then, I’ve been looking out for a project that would allow me to use some of their products… even more so after I helped my friend with the annual stocktake at her wool shop, and I couldn’t stop admiring the beautiful colours of the Cushendale yarns. I realised that they reminded me of the countryside out in Roscommon, which is where my boyfriend comes from, and somewhere I never get tired of visiting…

Lake, RoscommonRoad, RoscommonForest, RoscommonAbandoned Car, RoscommonPeat Bog, Roscommon

Gate, RoscommonBlackthorn Blossom, RoscommonMoss, RoscommonPeat Bog on a Cloudy Day

So, I picked out the four colours which I thought best summed up the peat-bog palette, and got knitting! Having completed my first full All-Irish Beastie, I had to give him an accessory… something really IRISH. I could have gone the obvious route – shamrock, leprechaun outfit – but I wanted something a little different, that still reflected everyday life in this part of the world. So he got…
Irish Beastie full lengthIrish Beastie Tea Mug

A BIG MUG OF TEA!

Bet you didn’t see that coming… but, no matter who you consult, we Irish always make the top 3  in the world tea-drinking charts.

Our only challengers for the title are Morocco and Turkey, where people must be making cuppas 24-7 to hold us off the top spot. Truly “Irish” tea is made in a teapot, then put back on the range to stew into a viscous tar-like substance, before being thinned out with liberal doses of milk and sugar. But most of us settle for throwing a bag of Lyons or Barrys into a mug and just stirring it around a bit!

More All-Irish Beasties will be landing soon! Let me know in the comments if there are any you’d particularly like to see!