Thursday, 15 December 2016

Hooks, Needles & Pins

A close-up photo of the enamel pin. A white dog with black markings over its eyes is wearing a yellow mardi-gras headdress and a blue ribbon with a medal on it. The background features coloured feathers in a festive mix of aqua, yellow, lime green, hot pink and tangerine with a blue sky background.
Ravellenic Games Pin

When I think of "Needles and Pins", I think of the 60s song by The Searchers  which was a hit again in the 70s when it was recorded by Smokie.  The song was written by Sonny Bono and Jack Nitzsche and it doesn't seem to matter who records it, it always sounds great because it has a catchy 'hook'.

Isn't it funny how all three words can be used in the same sentence with different meanings?

This blog entry is about one of those words - PINS! 

The yellow large envelope in which the pin was posted. The white label has black printing on it including a QR code at the top right where a stamp would normally be and a barcode on the bottom of the picture.
Such a modern age–the humble stamp has
given way to QR and bar codes.
I was very excited to receive my commemorative pin from the Ravellenic Games 2016, all the way from the USA.

These days, it is easy to take international travel and freight movement for granted but it still amazes me that a pin designed by Guin in Grand Rapids can make its way to little old Adelaide on the other side of the world.

I'm not sure whether I'm more excited about the pin or the post–I've never received anything from Michigan before!
Thank you, Guin!

A deep reddish brown cartoon fox wearing long green argyle socks on its front paws. A pile of yarn balls with two knitting needles sticking out of them is in front of the fox in purple, green and grey. The background are fair-isle inspired stripey patterns in deep reddish brown, green, grey and white.
A pretty postcard

I must also thank Guin Thompson for enclosing a pretty card of a "fox in sox" (hand-knitted socks) that I can only assume is one of Guin's designs from Perpetual Flights Studio. Pleasant surprises like that make a package extra special.

Woodland creatures are favourites in my household and the card currently adorns my office corner.

Another pleasant surprise was the size of the pin–much larger than anticipated. It measures 3 cm x 3.5 cm. It went straight onto my hook roll.

The top of a canvas hook roll with three pins lined up in a column along the right hand edge. Two extra long tricot hooks are protruding from the top because they are too long for the hook roll. They are home made of wooden dowel. The 12 mm hook has a brown furniture foot as a stopper and the 8 mm hook has a piece of 12 mm dowel in a thicker diameter as a stopper.
This canvas hook roll contains my tricot hooks.
You can see the two longest ones poking out (I made those myself, 12 mm and 8 mm).
My pins help to keep the top flap closed while reminding me of fun crochet times.

My tricot hook roll is my solution for cheap storage. Found in an art supplies shop, it originally came with a set of inexpensive paint brushes. The brushes and roll together were cheaper than any purpose-designed hook storage.

The hook roll is opened and laid in a diagonal fashion. Poking out the tops of the pockets are hooks made from wood, bamboo, anodised aluminium and non-stick aluminium. The cables are made of clear plastic with wooden knobs on the ends.
The tricot hook collection revealed.
Sizes range from 12 mm to 2.25 mm diameters and varying lengths.
There is a mixture of straight, cabled and double-ended hooks from which to choose.

My children are always painting and needing replacement brushes so the brushes did not go to waste. When I got home, the brushes went straight into the jar with other brushes and I reclaimed the fabric roll for my hooks!  The leftover plastic cylinder in which the roll was packed became perfect storage for knitting needles. Win : win : win!

A close up of the three pins lines up on my hook roll. Top: Ravellenics 2016; Centre: the Stitches & Craft Show; Bottom: Robot Sam from Maker Faire Adelaide
A closer look at the pins on my hook roll.
Ravellenic Games 2016
Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show
Sam of Maker Faire Adelaide.
Do you collect pins?

What do you do with them?

I used to collect music pins as a teenager and I would cover my jackets and coats with them.  I kept a few special ones but discarded the rest.

I wasn't going to collect any more after that until I received a complimentary pin from the Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show in 2015. Thus began the notion to collect souvenir pins from my crochet activities.

I passed up the opportunity to get a Ravellenic Games pin in 2012. My budget was too tight at the time to justify the spend but now I feel it would have been nice to have it as a record of my participation.

2016 made up for it with this year's Ravellenic Games pin plus a pin from Maker Faire Adelaide.

The dog on the Ravellenic Games pin is Bob, beloved pet of Ravelry founders Jess and Casey and official Ravelry mascot.

The Maker Faire Adelaide pin features the local mascot, Robot Sam.  

Who are your favourite musicians?

What do you like to listen to, while crocheting or crafting?

I prefer to listen to things while crocheting rather than watching tv so my eyes can concentrate on the work at hand.  I listen to all sorts of music depending on my mood.  I also enjoy podcasts on all sorts of topics including science, technology, media and current affairs as well as crochet and crafting podcasts. When working on super technical projects, I prefer silence and the birds in my garden.

Music Pins

An enamel pin on gold metal. A stylised white 3 storey building, framed by white and gold angel wings, has red and gold flames leaping from the top. Above the flames is a white scroll with gold lettering saying "CROWDED HOUSE"
Crowded House pin (circa 1986)


Crowded House

I was fortunate to see Crowded House, when they were still a three-piece band, in an intimate venue within walking distance from my home. Even back then, it was obvious the ensemble was destined for greatness.

This year, Crowded House were inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association's (ARIA) Hall of Fame.

It is Crowded House's 30th Anniversary which was celebrated with a big concert and fireworks on the steps of the Sydney Opera House last month. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) broadcast the concert nationally.  For those watching, it felt like the whole of Australia was having a giant sing-along.

The members of Crowded House haven't lost any of their stage presence or audience skills. It is a joy to see professional artists at work.

It wouldn't surprise me if the ABC released a recording of the concert on DVD. At the moment it can be viewed online on ABC iView (streaming service) until 27 December 2016.

The Who badge is a black rectangle (portrait orientation), almost square, with white writing: "The Who" in lower case letters, with "The" above "Who". The right hand leg of the lower case 'h' in 'The' becomes the tall stem of the lower case 'h' in 'who'. A vertical arrow pointing up is leading from the 'o' of 'who'.  Underneath the band name, in capital letters "MAXIMUM R&B".  Below "The Who" badge is a badge for "The Human League".  Printed on silver hologrammatic metal, there is a black strip across the top with yellow capital letters "THE HUMAN LEAGUE" ("THE" is on the top line and "HUMAN LEAGUE" the next). Below the strip is a line drawing of hands ripping open a shirt to reveal a red heart which is in the shape of a face.
The Who
(age unknown)
The Human League (1982)
The Who

I have no idea of the age of my The Who pin. I picked it up at a bazaar when I was a teenager and it was second-hand back then. It has "Made in England" engraved in the back.

I love the energy of The Who. I used to listen to them regularly on my daily commute. I can't believe that The Who are still touring!

If you can tell me the vintage of this pin, I would love to know.

The Human League

In eighties I was fascinated by the developments in electronic keyboards and synthesisers. Mini-mixers and sequencers were coming onto the scene, allowing musicians to fill out home recordings with sound loops, overdubbing and track-bouncing.

I loved trying to replicate the pop songs on the radio with my electronic keyboard and longed to have the ability to record my own multi-track arrangements.  Pioneering and experimental artists like Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream and Gary Numan challenged and excited me but The Human League and Depeche Mode were able to produce mainstream pop music with such limited computing capacity by today's standards.  The same friends that suspected I was 'weird' for listening to all sorts of strange sounds suddenly found themselves bopping away to the same artists in the pop charts or in films.

I hear new electronic music today and the styles of electronic sounds from the 80s are back in fashion with a new generation of musicians and a new audience. One can still hear the influences of artists like The Human League, Ultravox, Brian Eno, Thomas Dolby, Herbie Hancock et al. in the new music of today and when I hear the old songs, they still sound as fresh as if they were released just yesterday.  A testament to that fact is that these artists are still touring and pleasing audiences as I type!

So there's a glimpse of my pin collection!  

I would love to see pictures of any craft-related pins that you have.  
Do tell or leave a link to a picture in the comments box below.


Guin Thompson, artist / designer, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA:
Maker Faire Adelaide (South Australian Makers):

Music Links

Crowded House

Web site:

"Crowded House Live at Sydney Opera House", video streaming, ABC iView, 29 Nov–27 Dec, 2016: 

Depeche Mode  Web site:

Thomas Dolby  Web site: 

Brian Eno  Web site:

Herbie Hancock  Web site: 
The Human League  Web site: 

Jean-Michel Jarre  Web site: 

Kraftwerk  Web site:  

"Needles and Pins"

  • The Searchers 1964

  • Smokie 1977

"Stumblin' In"

While searching for "Needles and Pins" I stumbled across this hit song from 1978 by Smokie's lead singer Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro. It has always been a favourite of mine for the simple melody and easy singing.  This particular video shows both artists in their prime and it's so cute. I love watching music videos of live performances because that is where true professionalism will shine. Enjoy!

Gary Numan  Web site:

Tangerine Dream  Web site:

Ultravox  Web site: 

The Who  Web site:

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Ravellenic Games Review 2016", 9 December 2016:

"Lupey Loops at Maker Faire Adelaide 2016", 2 December 2016:

"Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show", 9 May 2015:


  1. I love your pins, a great thing to collect that does not take up much space. I love visiting you here my friend.

    1. How kind of you to say so, Meredith. The feeling is mutual. I enjoy visiting you on your blog too and reading your stories. :-)