Thursday, 1 December 2016

Lupey Loops at Maker Faire Adelaide 2016

The postcard in landscape orientation has text across the top: Adelaide Maker Faire. A family-friendly festival of invention and creativity. Sunday November 6, 2016, Tonsley. The photo image across the bottom two-thirds of the card is of a child being pulled along on a hover mat. Superimposed on the bottom left corner of the photograph is the logo of South Australian Makers.
The official 'Maker Faire ADL' postcard.
It's been almost a month since
Maker Faire Adelaide and you have been patiently waiting for news.

The official word is that Maker Faire Adelaide (#mfADL) is now the largest in the southern hemisphere!

No wonder it has taken me so long to recover!
It  was a fun and fantastic day.

At last, I am up and about again, ready to tell you about my very first crochet exhibition:

There's so much to tell, from the practicalities of participating in a large event while managing chronic illness, to setting up the exhibit, meeting people and having as much fun as possible.  This will probably take more than one blog entry so be prepared and consider yourself warned!


What is a Maker Faire?

If you want to know more about the Maker Faire in general and the 'maker movement', do check the links at the end of this post. There are annotated links about this year's Maker Faire ADL and also links within related posts on Lupey Loops. Official search hashtags are #mfadl, #makerfaire and #makeshowtell but I am sure there are other unofficial hashtags in use too.

A function room full of people mingling. Many have red T-shirts. The Maker Faire volunteers wear red T-shirts.
The "Maker Muster" on the eve of the event
the official launch of  the 2016 Maker Faire
a social opportunity for participants.
News of Maker Faire Adelaide's success travelled.
This year there were visitors from all over Australia and
as far and wide as New Zealand and Boston, USA.
Many were impressed that such a large event
could be run entirely by volunteers.
You can see me in this photo wearing a red t-shirt!
There were so many enjoyable things about Maker Faire, I cannot say which was the best or most fun. All of it was fun and it was totally worth it!

Team Preparations &
Complications of Chronic Illness

It was no mean feat. A body that suffers from 'mixed connective tissue disease at the lupus end of the spectrum' should not be undertaking such ambitious plans and the sensible answer to the invitation should have been, 'no, thank you,' but the visit to the 2015 Maker Faire captured my heart and mind and it thrilled me to meet so many other people with the same ethos of community spirit, creativity,  care for the environment and inclusiveness.

My fatigue and mobility issues do limit my activity levels. There is no denying that.  In order to function effectively every day of the week, I need to ration my energy. I miss my old life of being able to go out and do things (often spontaneously) without suffering for days afterwards. Nowadays, everything needs to be carefully planned.

The weeks preceding Maker Faire, were a tricky balance of last-minute preparations and trying to pace myself.  I had already decided to enjoy the event whole-heartedly–that means giving in to the temptation to express my exuberance absolutely without restraint–and to do that,  I had made contingency plans well in advance knowing from previous experience that I would be exhausted after such a big day.

There were home-cooked meals ready in the freezer so I wouldn't need to cook. Family members had agreed to take on extra responsibilities at home–both in the lead up to the event to give me more energy to prepare and also afterwards when I'd be too too tired–and friends agreed to help me in all sorts of ways in preparation and setting up on the day.

Maker Faire Adelaide was a great excuse to see my friends more often than we would in the course of our usual routines. It was a bit like Christmas in that way. We enjoyed having a project that we could work on together after being busy with our own separate lives. 

I had a small team around me on the day but that was just part of a larger team effort behind the scenes from family, friends (and friends and families of friends) and Maker Faire organisers. I am extremely grateful for all of the support and encouragement received which made it all possible.  If you had come to the Maker Faire ADL, this is who you would have met:

My friends and I are posing for a 'family portrait' style photograph in front of the Lupey Loops exhibit. Jodie is wearing a white, wide brimmed hat. The blue and orange blankets can be seen on the fence behind us.
My Lupey Loops Maker Faire team
–R: Cheryl, Craig (also on the St John First Aid Team for the event), Jodie, Miss E. (with last year's ears) & Greg.
There is a large opening in the roof behind us and the morning sun cam streaming in behind us to provide a gentle back-lighting for our photograph. Thanks to Master H. for taking our photo.

A view of an empty industrial building with concrete floors. The roof framework is exposed. A section of roof is open to the weather. A yellow shipping container stands in the centre of a fenced-off square. The entrance is in the distance. The light can be seen in contrast to the shadows of the inside of the building. A shallow pool of water has gathered underneath the open section of roof after recent rains.
The southern end of the Tonsley site when empty.
Our exhibit was opposite the western entrance,
close to where the 'wheelie bin' is in the distance.
Notice the open roof letting the sunlight (and the rain) in.
The square floorspace below the opening was fenced off
and stallholders were place around the outside as
part of 'Artisan Avenue' on the map.

The Day of the Maker Faire

We rose very early to meet at my place around dawn to pack the vehicle(s) and get to the Tonsley site with plenty of time to set up. 
The Maker Faire opening hours were 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

You may have met Cheryl on my blog before. She prefers knitting over crochet and I am the opposite but it is the perfect complement for helping each other when we occasionally dabble into the other one's craft of choice.

Maker Faire was the first major project we had worked on together and we discovered that we make an excellent working team. Cheryl was great to have at the exhibit because she could talk knitting with the visitors for whom crochet was a little out of their comfort zone. (It was also great because knitting is a lot out of my comfort zone!)

The exhibitor map shows the TAFE building on the left, the Flinders University Building on the Right and the open areas for the Maker Faire in the middle. Each section has been named (from left to right) Artisan Avenue, Creative Court, Maker Lane, Central Forest, Innovation Boulevard. Entrances to the site are marked at the top left and bottom right.
Exhibitor Map
The Tonsley site used to be an automotive manufacturing plant and it is huge.
Large sections are still being renovated. These have been fenced off and blocked out on the map.
Maker Faire ADL was able to spread out across 8 hectares plus the TAFE and Flinders University buildings.
Lupey Loops was exhibit number 21 in 'Artisan Avenue' (marked in orange).

The Lupey Loops exhibit was in a tricky spot because of the open roof behind us.  It allowed the morning sun to come streaming in on us which is not a good thing for someone with lupus.  Exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet (UV) radiation) triggers lupus symptoms including the dreaded fatigue. 

To further complicate matters, my lupus medication makes one's skin hypersensitive to sunlight as well.  It means that my skin will turn red and burn extremely quickly with only a small exposure to UV.  It gets blotchy, angry and itchy and really hurts!

The foreground shows a green crocheted blanket with black and white sheep on it pegged on the mesh fence. In front of it is a small clothing airer upon which are crocheted scarves. The scarves are pegged on with white pegs to stop them blowing away. In the distance are a blue and an orange polar fleece blanket pegged against the fence as a wind- and sun-break. Crocheted garments are hanging on coathangers which are hung on the mesh fence.
Protection against the elements
We placed the orange blanket behind the mesh fence to create shade.
Everything was pegged securely against the fresh Tonsley breezes.

I prepared by making sure I was wearing long sleeves and plenty of sunscreen but the sun was so bright I needed to wear a hat. On the back of the mesh fence, we placed a spare blanket to create some shade while we were setting up the exhibit.

The main problem was that I couldn't get out of the sun during set-up: I needed to be there, in that spot, to organise the display.  I couldn't come back later when the sun had moved because the Faire would have opened by then and we needed to have everything ready by 9:30 a.m.

A low level view from the front of the display table (the short end of a rectangular trestle table). A pink printed A4 landscape sign says "Lupey Loops Crochet. crochet tricot hairpin broomstick". Behind the sign is an off-white filet crochet blanket.  Above it Jodie is waving both hands, being silly, and smiling. She is wearing a wide brimmed white hat and green long-sleeved top with the blue lanyard of the exhibitors pass around her neck.
Hello there! Yes, I am happily waving at you!
Who's excited (and in the sun)?
I hadn't planned to use the orange blanket
but I am glad I did because I like the colourful effect.

The planners of the Faire knew that I needed a shady spot.While many parts of the Tonsley complex have shade at different times of day, one of the design features of the building is the abundance of natural light.   

The organisers had taken my needs into consideration and I appreciate their efforts very much: they had visited the site between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to see where the sun would be and they had specifically placed us on the western side of the open roof so that we would not have the afternoon sun on our backs like other members of 'Artisan Avenue'.  I think the sun took the organisers by surprise to be so high so early on a November morning in spite of their careful calculations. In hindsight, it was probably still the best place to put me.

Once the Maker Faire was underway, the sun moved across so that it was not shining directly on us but I was already feeling the effects of it just as the Maker Faire was about to open.

I could feel the fatigue setting in way too early in the day. My muscles were weakening and I was feeling shaky and needed to stay in my chair. I worried about how I was going to last the day if the body was already giving in by 10 a.m.!
Jodie is seated, smiling with an apple in her hand. Behind her are garments hanging on the fence. From left to right, red beaded crochet lace top and belt, purple lace stitch cardigan, green 'petal pullover' short sleeved crocheted top, 'Woodstock duster jacket' in blue, green, orange and purple crochet mesh.
Reach for an apple to recharge before opening time.
Nutrition and energy are essential for a big day of making.

In addition to a fresh serving of sushi for lunch,
my supplies included a couple of large salad sandwiches,
fruit, muesli bars, dark chocolate for comfort, and
jelly snakes in case of sugar emergency.
Remember the water bottles too!

Thanks also to Barry from the VVAASA Veteran's Shed
for a scrumptious BBQ egg sandwich for extra breakfast!

Despite the good intentions and care of the organisers, the initial sun exposure was a disappointment and a frustration to me. In many other ways the position was good - we were close to food, toilet facilities and accessible parking so I didn't need to wheel far, and we were in shade for most of the day. 'Artisan Avenue' was an appropriate 'address' too.

Meet the Neighbours

As we set up, we met our neighbours:
the STEMSEL Inventors' Club, Youth Space: Experiental Education through Making and Machine Age Art.

Across the way, we had the William Kibby VC Veteran's Shed's sausage sizzle hosted by the South Australian branch of the Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia (VVAASA). Barry was in charge, getting the barbie going early, making breakfasts for the exhibitors.  

Barry came across to have a look at our exhibit and exchange stories. He was most concerned about my energy levels and was insistent on making me breakfast! Even though I had already eaten a very hearty cooked breakfast of oats, blueberries and yoghurt an hour earlier (I was already 'as full as a goog'*), Barry was offering sausage, bacon, onion etc., not my usual breakfast fare. I graciously accepted an egg sandwich and he was happy to have done his duty of keeping everyone well fed!

Loren is sitting at a table. On the table is a 'dremel' machine that she was using to manufacture brooches. To the left of the machine are fragments and parts of the brooches. On the right are finished brooches in the shape of cats' heads. There is a white sign in front of the machine which says "Kitty's Emporium".
Loren (Kitty's Emporium)
from Youth Space:
Experiential Education through Making.

It was a very friendly atmosphere as exhibitors and volunteers enjoyed the camaraderie of putting together the big event called Maker Faire Adelaide.

Miss E. chose to wear her fluffy ears from last year's Mini Maker Faire and our immediate neighbour, Loren, affiliated with Youth Space, was the maker of those same ears. She was selling them under the name of Kitty's Emporium.  The girls remembered each other from the previous Maker Faire and enjoyed becoming reacquainted.

This year, Loren had more ears for sale and kitty-shaped brooches. Loren designed the brooches herself and demonstrated the manufacturing process which involved laser cutting materials and machining the parts.

Lamps are made using old metal plumbing pipe, regulator gauges, brass fittings, parts of coloured glass bottles, and the incandescent lights have various shapes like long tubes or standard globes.
Unique lamps created by Rob of Machine Age Art.
Loren's associate, Rob Sanders of Machine Age Art also likes to manufacture useful items from other people's discarded bits and pieces.

At Maker Faire Adelaide he was displaying steampunk-styled lamps. They are all modern, working lamps, freshly made but using old materials.  I love his creative thinking which repurposes oddments and turns them into works of art–true statement pieces for your home.

The Lupey Loops Exhibit

A wide view of the Lupey Loops exhibit. Stemsel Club is to the left and Youth Space is on the right. The Lupey Loops exhibit has items pinned to the back wall (which is a mesh fence covered with fabric). The left side is a row of chairs facing the centre of the space. The right side is bordered by a rectangular trestle table with display items facing the centre space in the middle.  There is a lot of space within the exhibit area for people to enter and to give a wheelchair room to move.
The Lupey Loops Crochet Exhibit
Rather than sit behind a counter, I designed the exhibit so that people could be welcomed in
with spare chairs for people to sit and crochet or knit.
This set-up gave me easy access with plenty of room to manoeuvre my chair without knocking anything over!

The style of the Lupey Loops exhibit could be described as 'backyard'! 

Crochet and the Lupey Loops blog are my hobbies, not businesses. If I could make a living doing things that I love, I would surely be doing it, as we all would.  If I could make an independent living of doing anything, I surely would! Unfortunately, my health problems make paid employment impossible.

Thus the budget for my Maker Faire exhibit was 'next to nothing' or 'as little as possible.'  It called for some creative thinking to use whatever we had handy to display the crochet and share information. We called in favours from friends and family for donations of anything useful.

Miss E. is standing on the left hand side. She is wearing fluffy 'cat ears' on her head, a black jacket with camouflage patterned sleeves and blue jeans. She is standing in front of the main display which has samples of stitches, garments, tools and some display books pinned and hung. The yellow sign says "Tricot, Tunisian crochet, afghan stitch, shepherd's knitting, Scottish knitting, idiot stitch, railway knitting". The pink sign says "Broomstick crochet, jiffy lace, peacock lace" The pink/purple and blue signs each say "Lupey Loops,, crochet, tricot, hairpin, broomstick".
Miss E. with samples of tricot stitches on display.
The yellow and purple strips show different types of tricot stitches.
The yellow has textured stitches and the purple has lace.
The white sample shows increasing and decreasing with broomstick crochet.
My printer died in the days leading up to the Maker Faire.
I had no energy to go shopping for a new one at short notice so many of our signs were hand-written.

To save set-up time on the day, I found a couple of polar fleece blankets in solid colours that I could use as backdrops and pinned all the samples with their tags onto it ahead of time.   When the day came, it was a simple matter of unrolling the blue blanket and pegging it to the fence.
All done!

This is all part of the skill of 'pacing oneself'. Anyone who has ever lived with chronic fatigue or other physical limitation will have been told, "You need to pace yourself," but it is easier said than done. It takes practice and planning.

I know the obvious question, "Why not use a crocheted blanket?"
I had none big enough in a solid colour and I needed something that would hold fine pins.
The signs were also attached using glass-headed sewing pins.

You could also ask why I was not wearing a crocheted hat or anything crocheted. (I did wear a machine-knit wrap-cardi.)  I decided to display the crocheted garments separately (instead of wearing them) so if anyone wanted a closer look, they could examine the garments easily (and I wouldn't need to perform a strip show–gasp!)

A side view of Jodie facing into the photograph. She is wearing a white hat and green long-sleeved cardigan. Jodie is crocheting a rainbow coloured scarf in broomstick lace. The camera is behind and above her head, catching the action from over her shoulder. The work is being displayed on the video monitor on the right hand side of the photo.
Positioning the camera for demonstrations.
I'm working on a broomstick crochet rainbow scarf.
A finished version was also on display.
My goodness! I seem to be wearing my 'concentration face'.
You can also see my nose and skin are getting red and blotchy from the sun
despite sunscreen and hat.

Our friends loaned us their video camera, tripod and monitor so that everyone was able to see my hands from a crocheter's point of view whenever I was demonstrating a crochet technique.

A lot of my best work has been given away as gifts. Photos of these items were displayed on the monitor as a slide show when my hands were taking a break.

Whenever someone had a question, I could easily change from slide show to video camera thanks to some clever planning by Craig (my honorary 'Technology Manager.')

Take All the Things

The Maker Faire provided a table and two chairs. The table was covered with crocheted items for people to view and handle. I worked on the premise of bring more than you need just in case. I wanted to be prepared to answer any question that might arise and have as many different examples of hooks, yarns and projects as possible.

A closer view of the tabletop. The items in this photograph are listed in the photo caption in the main blog entry. The main shapes in the photograph are the dark rectangular monitor on the left. a brown wooden bowl with yarn and hooks sticking out is in front of the monitor. There is a white filet crochet blanket on the table like a tablecloth. The red box houses the 'Fab Four Amigurumi' - four little dolls dressed in black suits with grey guitars. The Union Jack is their stage backdrop. There is a white sign above but the text is indistinct in this photo. The text names the project, the crocheter (Jodie) and the designer (Monica Rodriguez Fuertes) and the magazine (Crochet Today) in which the pattern was published. An orange sign says "crocheted hats for sale" in handwritten letters. In front of it is a wooden tray with hats in it. A pink/purple sign is attached to the tray, facing the front of the exhibit. The sign says "Lupey Loops Crochet"etc. and gives the blog URL
A table full of crochet.
On the table: video monitor;  bowl of yarn with hooks for anyone to use; a vase full of broomstick needles; a jug containing examples of different sized thread and topped with a crocheted jug cover; 'Fab Four Amigurumi'; jar of lollies to share, topped with a crocheted Christmas-themed jar cover;  Miss E.'s handwritten orange sign: "Crocheted Hats for Sale" with the hats laid out in a handmade wooden tray;
a visitors' book; sample squares of tricot stitches; hairpin crochet forks and loom; crocheted backpack showing an example of 'split stitch'; a filet crochet blanket with zig-zag edging; the 'Rambling' doily showing examples of filet crochet and spiderweb lace; alpaca hood because it is undyed, handspun and feels divine!
Underneath the table
: a blue crate containing examples of yarns of different weights, fibres and qualities and my notebook of 'cheat sheets' in case of forgetting in the moment how to create a particular tricot stitch.

Sadly, there are still unenlightened people who think crochet is only good for edgings, tablecloths and handkerchiefs!  My goal was to show the world the variety of items that can be made with crochet and the myriad materials that can be used

A metal sewing machine bobbin containing stainless steel thread. The plies of extremely fine stainless steel wire can be seen in the twist. The grey thread is as fine as a heavy duty sewing thread.
Conductive Thread
22 metres / 72 feet of stainless steel thread
ready to put into a sewing machine.
As for materials, I was helped on my quest for a special product by fellow exhibitors Deirdre and Maeve from Roboclub. Roboclub is all about getting people interested in 'STEAM' subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) with 'hands-on' activities that are fun and incorporate 'open source electronics' and robotics. 

Maeve was participating in a robot competition and Deirdre had some stainless steel 'conductive thread'.  I enjoyed getting to know them as we also discovered a shared love of yarncrafting and bunnies!

I had been wanting to get my hands on stainless steel thread for a long time to have a play with it but it is difficult to source in Australia and very expensive.  Deirdre kindly supplied me with a bobbin of approximately 22 metres suitable for use in a sewing machine.  Her exhibit was offering workshops that used conductive thread to 'sew a circuit' and to combine electronic components with textiles.

There were so many 'hands-on' learning activities for all ages at Maker Faire Adelaide.

The garden area within the Main Assembly Building of the Tonsley precinct. People are sitting on dark benches and blue benches. The roof structure has exposed framework. Parts of it are open to allow fresh air and  light into the space. There are live trees and plants but also metal sculptures in the shapes of winter trees that have lost their leaves.
'Central Forest', Tonsley precinct
This is the view from 'Creative Court': lots of natural light and air but still undercover.
Unfortunately I didn't manage to get any further before I needed to return to 'Artisan Avenue'.
Apologies to friends who were further north in
'Maker Lane', 'Innovation Boulevard' and the Flinders University Building.

Take a Break

I made a point of taking a lunch break to recharge, have a look around and quickly catch up with some other exhibitors.  Sadly I didn't get to catch up with everyone on my list because I ran out of time (and energy) to get to those who were at the opposite end of the Maker Faire. Please excuse me for not being able to see every inch of the 8 hectare site!

It is such a fascinating event. There is always something to see, even when sitting in one spot. I was enjoying my sushi when Jaidyn Edwards of Edwards Robotics came past with his home-made robot.

Jaidyn Edwards is walking towards the left of the picture. Following behind is a white cylindrical robot with a rounded top. There are wheels underneath. There are windows in its top presumably for the camera. Jaidyn is wearing a white t-shirt and blue shorts with black shoes. The T-shirt says Edwards Electronics. Black straps of a backpack are over his shoulders. He is holding a remote control unit in his hands as he looks back towards his robot.
Jaidyn Edwards & Robot
I didn't know it at the time but the robot was recording everything it saw as it moved along and Jaidyn posted a video of the Maker Faire through the robot's eyes on YouTube here:

Jaidyn was an exhibitor at last year's Mini Maker Faire but discovered that he was so busy with his own exhibit that he didn't have time to see all that he would have liked to see.  All the more reason to keep coming back!  This year he shared his robot make as a visitor.

It made me smile to see these two coming along. It gave me a giggle because I kept thinking of the funny statement: "We all make mistakes," said the Dalek, climbing off the dustbin!

Jaidyn's robot reminded Greg of the robotic ashtrays in the movie "Malcolm" (1986).

A chalk drawing of Robot Sam, the Maker Faire mascot on the floor of the venue. Sam has a hexagonal head like a bolt on a screw, a cylindrical body (blue) a red torso, bracket legs which hold a pencil horizontally. A ball of yarn is wound around the pencil. The southern cross constellation is on Sam's front to signify that Maker Faire Adelaide is in the Southern Hemisphere.
Robot Sam
Maker Faire Adelaide's mascot.
(Pavement drawing by Valli Morphett)

Meet the People

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all sorts of people, exhibitors and visitors alike.

If you would like to 'Meet the Makers', there is a Maker Directory on Maker Faire Adelaide's web site.  There were too many lovely people to mention them all, and the day was so busy that I didn't manage (or think) to get photographs of them all either!

Greetings also to the following exhibitors:
  • Florence Wee of Beads 'n Stitch who makes prize-winning, handcrafted Lampwork beads and jewellery. Her work can be found in Marion's Gallery M (which is where you can also find my crochet).  I've done beaded crochet before but have had trouble finding 'just the right bead' so I am very excited to know that Florence is so close by to me.  Next time I have a special beaded project, I will know who to call.  Her work is exquisite.
  • Florence Wee with her blue ribbon:
    "Maker of Merit" issued by Maker Faire Adelaide
    and examples of her work.
  • Valli Morphett who had an avid audience while creating chalk art decorations. I am sure she has inspired some budding artists with her chalk drawing of the Maker Faire mascot, Sam. 
  • Kylie Willison of A Bag and a Hat and Hackerspace who conducted a 'Dye Your Own Scarf with Natural Dyes' workshop. I heard lovely reports about Kylie's friendliness, patience and generosity from participants who visited my exhibit afterwards and they were so happy with their scarves. Congratulations to Kylie on her Maker Faire Merit Awards in recognition of her efforts.
  • Reg Pye, 3D Printer Developer, who generously shared a disc of information to help my school-ager who will be working with 3D printers in Technical Studies (STEM) next year.
  • Jodie Shoobridge with my apologies: I am so disappointed that I didn't get to the Priscilla's Steampunk Emporium exhibit this year because I love the things Jodie makes and was looking forward to having a chat. Photos of her work are on my blog entry for last year's Mini Maker Faire and in her Etsy shop.
  • Helen Blake who exhibited on the other side of  'Artisan Avenue' with crochet and knitting. She was showing off the crocheted 'crocodile stitch' which is the one special technique that I did not have on hand.  Crocodile stitch was quite the talking point because many visitors hadn't seen it before. Helen was also selling little dolls, toys, bags and hats but her specialty is making adorable little clothes for premature babies. Helen also shares her work at Gallery M and on Facebook.

    Our exhibits complemented each other very well because Maker Faire Adelaide is a curated event. Every exhibitor had something unique and different to share.  I love that Maker Faire helps us to expose uncommon or specialist techniques to the yarncrafting public.
A collage of two photographs where Jodie is chatting with visitors.
Meeting, greeting, chatting, listening, learning.
Rosalie is posing for the camera. She is wearing light grey pants with an apricot tank top which is covered by a natural coloured crocheted halter-neck top.  The bodice section comprises circular motifs (4 large in a diamond arrangement) and shell stitches radiating down towards the hem. The hem finishes in a central point with ruffled shell patterns along it.
Rosalie sporting a crocheted top.
This was a store-bought top.
Many people were surprised to
learn that crocheted items like this
cannot be machine-made.
Someone, somewhere, made Rosalie's
top by hand.  This prompted an
interesting discussion about ethical fashion.

The day went very quickly with a constant stream of visitors stopping by.   It was interesting for me to discover people's interests and I went home with a good idea about 'the state of crochet in South Australia'.  There is definitely a growing interest in handcrafts in general. There are also some specific needs that are not being met.  My mind is now buzzing with potential activities for 2017 to fill the gaps!

It was very exciting to see more younger people taking an interest. When I started crocheting over 10 years ago, many older friends were concerned that some of the skills might be lost. I can now reassure you that there is enough passion in South Australia to keep crochet alive and well.

Rosalie was one of my visitors who has a love of all things crochet as demonstrated by her clothing choice!  She very kindly let me take her photograph as I and other crochet-lovers expressed our admiration with excited conversation. We had a great time. Thank you, Rosalie!

A closer view of the Fab Four Amigurumi in their red stage box. The sign above says "Fab Four Mop Tops". To the left of the red box one can see broomstick needles sticking up from a vase. To the right one can see the green crocheted jar cover which has a Father Christmas applique on top. Further right is the orange handwritten sign "Crochet hats for sale"
The 'Fab Four Amigurumi' was a popular attention-grabber.
Designed by Monica Rodriquez Fuertes, I originally made them for a fund-raiser but it didn't eventuate due to
circumstances beyond my control. Then there was a mishap with the guitars and they needed mending.
The Maker Faire was a great motivator to get the last of the guitars repaired.
Now I want to create a new stage out of sturdier materials before putting the Fab Four to work fundraising again.

It was such a joy to see the delight brought to people's faces by the  'Fab Four Amigurumi'.
The word must have gone around because people would arrive with camera in hand for the express purpose of taking a happy snap of the little crocheted band. Photo taken, off they went again!

I wonder where these photos will end up and whether they will appear online elsewhere. I would love to know!  If you see any photos elsewhere, please share the news here!

The enamel pin depicting the mascot of Maker Faire Adelaie, Sam Robot who is holding a paintbrush with red paint above his head with his right hand and a spanner in his left.
My Robot Sam pin
is a souvenir of
Maker Faire ADL 2016.

Interestingly, the Fab Four were a great ice-breaker, especially with male visitors. 

It was great to have some men on the Lupey Loops team and to meet some male crocheters and knitters.  The knitting and crochet scene seems to be so female-dominated in this country and the notion of these crafts being 'women's work' is still prevalent in Australia.

These are crafts for everyone and I'm pretty sure that in years gone by, men were the ones who knitted their own fishermen's jumpers etc. and handled lines (ropes and cords) and knots etc. as part of that male tradition.  I remember in second grade I was in awe of a boy in my class who, at the age of 7 could already knit a sock for himself so I wasn't brought up to see it as an only-female or only-male pursuit.

Even if the men on my team knew nothing about yarncrafting, just having them around was handy to give male visitors another male to talk to, if that makes people feel more comfortable:

It was especially interesting to meet one couple where the wife approached me to ask about something in the display. The husband waited quietly a few paces behind her. As the discussion developed, the wife admitted that she didn't know much at all about the crafts and it was, in fact, her husband that was interested; at which point I noticed he was attentively looking over her shoulder at everything.  I felt a bit sad that he felt so shy about being a knitter and crocheter that his wife had to be a scout for him but I was also happy to know that he didn't let certain attitudes prevent him from enjoying his craft.  It sounded like he was quite an accomplished knitter too.  How cool is that?

Maker Faire is all about including everyone.

A row of exhibits with people walking up and down. The photo was taken very early in the day.
Lupey Loops' side of  'Artisan Avenue.'
A large square open area is behind us. Beyond that, on the other side of the square, are more 'Artisan Avenue' exhibits.
We were lucky to have such a spacious venue. It meant that it wasn't too crowded and noisy, even with thousands in attendance, and it was easy to converse and hear each other;
perfect for sharing, explaining, listening and learning.

We were opposite the sausage sizzle and close to the food trucks which could be a good or a bad thing!

My exhibitor pass is made of cardboard. Printed on it are the words "Adelaide Maker Faire 2016" with a picture of Sam Robot. In black texta is the name "Jodie" and a smiley face.
Exhibitor Pass

I enjoyed meeting so many people and hearing their stories so much. It felt good to be able to impart some knowledge, solve some problems and learn some things for myself too. Even visitors who had no interest in crochet would come into the exhibit and describe their experiences with crochet, knitting, macrame and other crafts, and what they meant to them. Everybody has a yarncrafting story it seems.  I love the universal connections that craft can bring like this.  The more I crochet, the more impressed I am with its ability to do good in the world.

Maker Faire Adelaide 2016 was a huge success physically, socially, and intellectually.  I hadn't even begun to decide upon whether to apply for Maker Faire 2017 when everyone asked, "So we'll see you next year?"

I suppose you will!

The white landscape postcard has writing in red saying "We are all makers" except for the word 'all' which is emphasised in dark blue. The Maker Faire Global logo appear in the bottom right corner. The main message is embellished with light blue flourished rules, stars and love hearts, and red stars and love hearts.

A massive THANK YOU to everyone who supported me to be at Maker Faire Adelaide 2016

special thanks to all the lovely people 
who came to say hello!

* Definitions

As full as a goog: well-fed, sated. (It can also mean 'extremely drunk' but not in my case!)

goog: a 'googy-egg' which is a normal 'egg'. In my experience, it refers to a boiled egg in its shell. The term possibly derives from the Scottish word, goggie, a child's word for an egg, from Gaelic gogaidh.

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Tricot with a Double-ended Hook", 22 October 2016:
Tricot is one of the techniques I demonstrated at Maker Faire Adelaide

"Maker Faire ADL 2016", 30 October 2016:
Announcement of my participation as a Maker Faire exhibitor in 2016.

"What a Busy Month!", 5 September 2016:
My invitation to exhibit at Maker Faire Adelaide arrived.

"Adelaide Mini Maker Faire 2015", 17 December 2015:
Descriptions of  the Tonsley site and the discoveries of the Mini Maker Faire in 2015 This is where the seed was sown to become a crochet exhibitor.

"Love a Good Yarn at the Migration Museum", 10 August 2015:
Cheryl and I visit a historical yarncrafting exhibition together and discover an antique tricot sampler.

"Out of the Crochet Comfort Zone", 9 July 2015:
Reflecting upon the chronic disease dilemma of mind vs. body and goal-setting, including that of exhibiting at a Maker Faire.

"Hooks, Needles & Nurses", 23 July 2015:
Get to know Cheryl as we have fun making scarves including my striped tricot scarf. 

"Adelaide Maker Faire–Call for Makers 2016", June 2015: 
Who can participate in Maker Faire Adelaide.

Media & More Links related to Maker Faire ADL

7News Adelaide, news item [video, 0'30"] on Twitter, 7 November 2016: 
Commercial TV News Report

Adelaide Robot Combat, "ARC at the Adelaide Maker Faire!" YouTube video, FrydDog, [4'15"], 9 November 2016:
A very quick (and blurry) 'whiz-through' of the Maker Faire site to give an idea of its size with better video quality of robot combat. 

Bilka, Tanya, "2016 Maker Faire", news article, Australian Science & Mathematics School:
School Newsletter article highlighting the activities of students at the Maker Faire.

Blake, Helen, Hooked On Yarn, "The Blake Objets D'art" (Facebook):

Edwards, Jaidyn, "Maker Faire Adelaide 2016", YouTube video [10'19"]:
Jaidyn Edwards of Edwards Robotics takes us on a tour of some of the electronic delights to be found plus a view of the event from the eyes of his robot.

Fab Lab Adelaide, web site:

"Fab Lab Adelaide is a volunteer run, digital fabrication workshop and home to a diverse community of people with a passion for making things, and who want to share that passion with others."

Gallery M, Marion Cultural Centre:
Find the works of Florence Wee, Helen Blake and mine for sale at Gallery M.

Government of South Australia, "Tonsley takes home four more awards", 5 November 2016:
The repurposing of the old Tonsley automotive main assembly building (MAB) is receiving worldwide attention in the areas of planning, design, architecture, sustainability and more; e.g., it is the first Australian urban renewal project to be granted 6-Star Green Star Communities certification award.

Government of South Australia, "Maker Faire Adelaide 2016", Tonsley, web site:
The Tonsley Innovation Precinct's publicity about the Maker Faire. 

Kiik Start, "Maker Faire Adelaide: How Organisers Make Their Event Stand Out", Kiik Start blog, 18 September 2016:
This article discusses the Maker Faire from an event management perspective by interviewing the Chairperson of SA Makers, Alison Kershaw.

Machine Age Art, Rob Sanders (email):
Tinkerer and creator of unique lamps and other gadgets.

Maker Faire Adelaide (South Australian Makers):
The official web site and online accounts of Maker Faire Adelaide.

Masiiwa, Zviko, Maker Faire Adelaide Dalek, video Twitter status, 6 November 2016:
See an Australian Dalek in action. 

Mohammadi, Goli, "Adelaide, Australia to Host the Largest Maker Faire in Southern Hemisphere", Make: magazine, 3 Nov 2016:
Article in Make: magazine.  

Morphett, Valli, chalk artist, (Instagram @vmorphett):

Piper, Stephanie, "Adelaide Makerfaire 2016", YouTube video [2'14"], 6 November 2016:

Play & Go Adelaide, "Maker Faire Adelaide", 17 October 2016:
This web site shares news about family-friendly activities around Adelaide. 

Priscilla's Steampunk Emporium (Etsy):
View and purchase Jodie Shoobridge's unique jewellery and homewares.

Pye, Reg, 3D Printer Developer:
Reg's web site gives the background to the 3D printed locomotive that was on display at the 2016 Maker Faire Adelaide.

Roboclub–Engineering for Everyone:
" brings science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM), to people of all ages in a fun and challenging way through programs that are integrated with the RoboClub Open Source Framework."

South Australian Makers, web site:
The organisers of Maker Faire Adelaide.

South Australian Museum, "Make the Most of Maker Faire Adelaide", Inspiring South Australia: making science visible, web site:
A sponsor of Maker Faire Adelaide, Inspiring South Australia is about "connecting the community with science and improving science literacy."

South Australian Museum, "Maker Faire Adelaide", Inspiring South Australia: making science visible, web site:
A sponsor of Maker Faire Adelaide, Inspiring South Australia is about "connecting the community with science and improving science literacy."

Spence, Andrew, "Biggest Maker Faire in southern hemisphere to be held in Adelaide", The Lead,  2 November 2016:
Publicity about Maker Faire Adelaide on a web site charged with promoting the economic interests of South Australia and 'Brand South Australia'. 

Walsh, Dave, "Miss this and you will kick yourself", Weekend Notes, web site:
Great photographs and description of what to expect at Maker Faire Adelaide.

Wee, Florence, Beads 'n Stitch, Hallett Cove, South Australia, email: or
Find Florence's work at Gallery M, Marion; Glenelg Art Gallery, Glenelg; and Bamfurlong Fine Craft, Hahndorf, South Australia.

Willison, Kylie, A Bag And A Hat, web site:
Handmade, naturally dyed, bags and hats by Kylie Willison.


More Photos of Tonsley and Maker Faire

lanavsmith (Instagram):
The garden spaces around Funk Cafe.

vk5fj (Twipple) / @vk5fj (Twitter):
Caption: "A steady stream of folks." This photo gives a good idea of the size of the Tonsley space - lots of room to move. Web page source:


  1. Great photos (especially the photos I did not take :)

    1. Haha! Master H. did a great job. Tell him I said so! ;-)

  2. It was our pleasure to help out. I can't wait for our next joint project!

    1. I'm glad it was fun to be involved. I can't wait either! My mind is buzzing with ideas... Maker Faire and the people I meet through SA Makers always inspire me. So many ideas, can I find enough energy and time to bring them to fruition?

  3. What a great post. I felt like I was there with you! Your ideas for your display were great! We had a maker faire here earlier this year, but there were very few knitters/crocheters/spinners etc. There was a place to sit and knit, or sit and spin but not much displayed. Next year I am hoping to get some knitters/crocheters/spinners to get something more together because there were lots of interested people in what we were doing.

    1. Thank you for the positive feedback. I am never sure how an epic post like this is going to be received but I like to keep most of the account of an event in one place. In which month is your local Maker Faire scheduled?

      Organising a better display a great idea, Mary-Ann! A community project like that is something fun to look forward to and focus your energies. It's good for your spiritual health. Go for it!

  4. Catching up with this at last! It sounds a lot of work but well and truly worth the effort. "Goodonyamate!"

    1. Thank you, Cat! It was a huge achievement for me. It has taken years of hard work to get to a level of fitness where such an event could even be considered.

      I was thinking that after doing it once, the experience will make it easier to do next time. The only problem is that I have come up with more big ideas and ways to improve this year's effort and they take more work again! Oh well, it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble! hehehe

  5. Glad to hear it was a big success. Did you have anyone sit and crochet with you?

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Tammy. Maker Faire Adelaide was a big success with 107 exhibitors and just over 5,000 visitors.

      The Maker Faire was so big that most people wanted to have a quick look and keep moving on to see the rest of the Faire. For those visitors, I prepared some cards with my email and blog addresses. Many people picked up cards so they could follow up with me later.

      Of the visitors that stopped at Lupey Loops for a longer time, a few settled in to play with hook and yarn but most wanted to talk about crochet.

      Next year I might try to better promote a 'crafting corner' so people can factor it into their day. One visitor who had specifically come to seek crochet information, stopped to play and said it was the highlight of her day so it all depends on what you are planning to get out of your visit to "Maker Faire".

      As self-designated "Jodie-looker-afterer", Cheryl stayed with me, swapping between knitting, crocheting and chatting to people. She brought along a tricot book so that she could get my help to interpret the pattern. You might see the book on my lap in one of the photos.

      There's nothing we can't work out together.

  6. What an amazing write up Jodie. It must have taken you ages!! I loved reading about it and seeing all the photos. What a fantastic event!

    1. Oh, it DID take me ages, Tamara! The longest part was organising the photos and also waiting to see if any other photos had been posted online by other people. We had a number of people take our photos and especially the photos of the Fab Four Amigurumi or 'Fab Four Mop Tops' as they were labelled. There was one photo taken of me with some young friends which looked particularly lovely on the camera's viewfinder but I am yet to come across it and it hasn't been sent to me yet.

      Big events like Maker Faire take some recovery time plus the time following up enquiries etc. I'm sure there are plenty more stories and photos to be shared in the future, perhaps after Christmas when people get more time. A couple of people involved in the Maker Faire have a Texan connection so you never know, you might even find a photo from our Maker Faire in your circles.

      I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it. It truly was a fantastic event.

    2. Hi Tamara, guess what! That photo did turn up - on this year's Maker Faire Adelaide home page. You will find it in the scrolling photo ticker across the bottom of the page:

  7. What an incredible event! I love your thorough reporting of the other exhibitions, like i was there. You are a true inspiration to have manage to put yourself out there despite all your challenges. What a great community you are apart of to have so many people helping out and considerate of your needs. The live video of you crocheting the rainbow scarf is a clever addition and as a maker I would appreciate to watch closely your technique.

    1. Hi Zena,

      Welcome to Lupey Loops and thank you for taking time to look around. I'd like to especially thank you for your constructive feedback - it's nice to know when one is on the right track.

      When I cannot get to an event, I love to see thorough reports and photos to get an idea of what it might be like. That motivates me to do the same for others. It is my way of 'giving back'. I am lucky to have some truly wonderful friends and family and a lovely online community too. Again, I say welcome and thank you for your kind words. :-)