Friday, 28 July 2017

Crochet at AVCon

Last weekend was the weekend for pop culture festivals.

San Diego, USA hosted the massive Comic-Con convention and, at the same time, Adelaide, Australia had its own annual AVCon festival.

AVCon stands for Adelaide's Anime & Video Games Festival.

This festival just keeps on growing. This year, it spread across three levels of the Adelaide Convention Centre. There is so much to see and do that I highly recommend a weekend pass to make the most of it.

It can be broken down into 4 basic areas: anime, games, cosplay and related fandoms. You can view, play, buy, meet, listen and learn.  Entertainment includes special guests, panel forums, a quiz night and even a rock concert.


It's full of all sorts of gaming except for the gambling type: traditional tabletop gaming, role playing like Dungeons and Dragons, war gaming and video games old and new.  The room with vintage home TV games and consoles took me right back and made me feel old but it was also great to rekindle those memories and relive the excitement that I remember from when those game products were first released. 

It's a place to meet and play with other like-minded gamers, on hand-held games, consoles and computers. Share the same machine or play across a LAN (local area network for multi-player games).  You can sign up to participate in tournaments too which are all free to enter.

Two Darth Vaders and a scary Storm Trooper
not far from the Tournament Registration desk

AVCon hosted the finals of various eSports tournaments. Did you know that my favourite AFL footy team, the Adelaide Crows, has  a professional eSports team?  The team is called 'Legacy' and competes in the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL).

This is what an Indie Games Room looks like.

If you like to create your own games, AVCon gives an opportunity for independent and emerging game designers to show off their talents. My special interest was the 'Indie Games Room' where one of my loved ones showcased the anti-gravity racing game 'Ballistic NG'.

The Ballistic NG setup complete with 3-dimensional paper models of the anti-gravity racers.
I can also spy one of the team members hiding!

The game is available as a free Steam download. Steam is an online gaming community and game distribution platform.  Anything sold or distributed on Steam needs to be approved and Ballistic NG was accepted. Yay!

The back wall of the Indie Games room where visitors can try out the new games.
Four people are playing and watching Ballistic NG.

If you would like to see samples of the games on show, have a look at The Indie Games Room's 2017 promotional trailer on YouTube.


AVCon artists, artisans and retailers come from across the country to sell their wares whether they be books, comics, T-shirts, props, costumes, figurines, games,
you name it!

Commercial merchandise was for sale in an Exhibitors Hall but AVCon also provides an avenue for people to sell their custom hand crafted goods as well.

Artists can enter their work in the AVCon Art Competition  and exhibition which has categories for traditional and digital art plus, this year, props!

The foyer of the Convention Centre became 'Artist Alley' where one could find all sorts of independently made products and meet their creators; e.g. badges, costumery, toys, artworks (originals and prints) etc. based around your favourite games, characters, TV shows or whatever your fandom might be.

The Convention Centre foyer was lined with art and craft stalls
on both sides to become Artist Alley

I went on the hunt for crochet and found three different stalls selling crochet of various types, subjects and quality.  Links are included at the end of this post. Starting from one end of Artist Alley to another, this is who I found.

Cassandra Alberto (left) is on Instagram and Etsy as
Crafted By Cheri
The Pokemon characters (bottom right) were designed by Cassandra herself. She doesn't use a pattern but trial and error.
The crochet is fine, tight, very even and properly priced for the workmanship.

Freelance Artist, Eclair Verite
She does millinery, costumery, beading and more.
Her backdrop is a 'Pixel Heart Rug' crocheted by her mother.
The granny squares depict 'Tetris' pieces arranged in a heart shape.
She had the same design in other colour combinations too; e.g. pastels etc.
Eclair is definitely multi-craftual with too many different items on her stall to discuss here. Her beaded work was very stylish.

Lauren Valladares & Emma, her assistant, from
Vallawares by Valladares
Lauren is the crocheter of unique amigurumi style toys and dolls.
She likes to experiment and come up with her own creations.
Her work is in DK weight yarn and over, including novelty yarns.
A former Adelaidean, now a Melburnian,
Lauren travelled across just for the weekend of AVCon.

Anissa's crocheted squid
made by Lauren Valladares
Very soft and, dare I say,

While chatting to Lauren, we were joined by one of her regular customers, Anissa who was wearing a black crocheted squid in her hair and it looked fantastic.

That black squid was also crocheted by Lauren and purchased in a previous year. It has been the perfect fashion accessory but now Anissa feels that she needs a new one.

Anissa was also an AVCon Invader (part of the volunteer team) and I met her later in the day as she welcomed visitors to the Console Free Play room in the Games Hall.

This is how you style a squid!
I love how the tendrils entwine around her hair.


I hear that there are some very serious and competitive cosplay conventions around. I believe the international ones like Oz Comic-Con have lots of very strict rules for professional and experienced cosplayers but Adelaide's AVCon maintains a fun and inclusive atmosphere.

This character was a winner and
crowd favourite in the Cosplay Parade
with an impressive costume
completely hand made from scratch.
This year, I watched the Cosplay Parade. There were many amazing costumes from serious cosplayers but there was an open invitation for anyone with a costume, either home-made or store-bought to have their time in the spotlight on the catwalk.  It was so much fun to see people braving the stage to show off their costumes and their adopted personas.

I always try to attend at least one panel forum at events like AVCon and this year, I stuck with the cosplay theme and attended "Beginners Guide to Cosplay".  You never know what handy hint you might glean from such things and even though I am not a cosplayer, a lot of the shared knowledge can apply to crochet and knitting as well as sewing and costumery.

While these guys did not win a prize, they certainly deserve some sort of merit award for their efforts.
The girl on the left hand side took 3 years to construct the two-headed dragon

all by herself!


My one personal disappointment from the day is that I did not get a chance to sit back at one of the many anime screenings which were being run right through the day in four different theatres.  I was looking forward to ending the day relaxing with a movie but I couldn't last that long. The fatigue was starting to hit me so I needed to race home before I fell in a heap!

My only criticisms are logistical ones. As a concession holder, one was unable to purchase concession tickets in the pre-sales but needed to purchase at the door on arrival which involved standing in queues. 

Cosplayers who had registered to participate in the parade had a marshalling area where they could change in and out of their costumery.  I discovered that members of the public who did not wish to wear their costumes in transit were using the disability access toilets as changerooms which meant that it was difficult to find a free toilet when I needed one. 

Had these cosplayers asked the AVCon staff, they would have been welcome to use the marshalling area but this was not publicised.

In the end, I could wait no more and I needed to wheel to the other side of the building before I could find a vacant accessible toilet!  The organisers have been made aware of this. 

Otherwise it was a full and fun day. Please remind me next time to get a Weekend Pass instead of a Single Day! 

Have you ever been to a pop culture convention?
Do you like to cosplay?
How about video games?

P.S.  AVCon is a great place to run into friends.  

On arrival, I was greeted by a volunteer and who should it be, stationed at that door, but Loren (a.k.a. Kitty Emporium), our 'neighbour' from Maker Faire!  What a small world.

Later in the day, I caught up with Craig (old friend and one of my Maker Faire support team members) who was on duty at AVCon's St. John First Aid station. We couldn't help but remark on the 'authenticity' of his paramedic 'costume'. 


Adelaide Convention Centre:

Adelaide Football Club, "Crows strike eSports agreement", online article, 17 May 2017: 

Avcon: Adelaide's Anime & Video Games Festival:

Ballistic NG:

Comic-Con International: San Diego;

Crafted by Cheri, Cheri // Cassandra Alberto:

Eclair Verite, Freelance Artist; design, anime, realism, millinery, costumery, beading and more: 

The Indie Games Room:

Legacy eSports:

Oz Comic-Con:


Vallawares by Valladares, Lauren Valladares (Creative Director):

Walker, Alex, "Why The Adelaide Crows Bought An Esports Team", online article, Kotaku, Australia, 6 July 2017:   

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Lupey Loops at Maker Faire Adelaide 2016", 1 December 2016:


  1. How fun! I always wondered what went on at one of these events and now I know. My son enjoys gaming so we'll check out Steam. Love that crochet featured at the event - that black squid as head wear is wonderful!

    1. Isn't it just? (That squid headwear.) I love Anissa's colour scheme too. You ought to go with your son one day. I took my daughter and it was a nice activity to share. Why don't you visit the AVCon website? I am expecting to see lots of photos and interviews from the event and you can see all of the activities on offer (too many to mention in one blog post).

      What games does your son like to play? Does he tinker with designing his own games?

      This year I have noticed that schools, both primary and secondary, have added coding to their curricula; e.g., 'Game Development' as a specific subject. Schools are trying to engage more students in science and technology so this is an attractive way for students to establish computer programming skills at a young age.

      Are there similar trends in your school district, Tamara?

  2. A fun and full day sounds wonderful. We have Comiccon in town this weekend. But we are going on a surprise adventure on Sunday, Paw PAtrol Live with Little Buddy, hope he likes it.

    1. Hi Meredith, nice to see you this morning - I was reading through your latest blog posts last night before bed (but didn't comment because my phone makes naughty spelling mistakes) so it's cool to see your comment here now on the following morning.

      How interesting that you are having Comic-Con this week too. It truly is the season then, isn't it?

      Paw Patrol sounds extremely exciting for LB! Will the characters be life sized or puppets?

      My kids went to see the 'Tweenies' but my youngest was a bit scared of the 'larger than life' size of the performers. She was expecting them to be small like the TV screen!

      We moved to a balcony seat further away from the stage and that felt safer for my child.

      I recommend preparing little ones before their first show so they know what to expect.

      I am picturing LB with a super happy excited face at the thought of him and his favourite Paw Patrol. Have fun!

  3. What a fascinating and fun event! I learned many new things. :)

    Thank you for your interesting and important comment today! I hope you didn't meet word verification in my comments section! There shouldn't be, but I have read that even if this setting is turned off, some commenters may be asked to enter a code before posting... and the blog owner doesn't necessarily know anything about it.

    I have heard (but haven't verified) that OPERA browser wouldn't support reCAPTCHA.

    1. I thought I had the reCaptcha switched off on my blog but discovered that, when I try to comment on my blog without being 'logged in', my blog asked me to complete one of those reCaptcha surveys! I apologise to all readers who encountered this barrier to participation and I will endeavour to remove it (again).

  4. I just learning about cosplay last month. See? Old dog - new knowledge....and all that. The convention looks amazing and such fun seeing all the costumes.

    1. How cool, Mary-Anne! How did you come to be learning about cosplay?

      There was a great little series made in Australia by the ABC called "How to be a fan with Hex". (Hex is the avatar/nickname of video gamer Stephanie Bendixsen who hosted a national program about videogaming.)

      The series takes a look at the different 'fandoms' and subcultures by examining a different interest each week. The first episode was all about cosplay and is publicly available to Australian audiences on ABC's 'iview' which is an online streaming service.

      I am not sure whether people outside of Australia can view it but I will place the URL here anyway (the episode is planned to be available until August 2019):

      It gives good insights into the world of cosplayers as Stephanie gets involved and participates in her first cosplay event.

      A search of YouTube for the series returned an "Interview with Hex at Brisnova 2015" (Madman channel) where she talks about her first cosplay experience. I hope you can see these and enjoy them.

      I like looking at the construction of the costumes and the materials that they use in order to consider whether they can be applied to our yarncrafting and realised ways in which our yarncrafting knowledge can apply to cosplayers such as "Why do wigs seem to tangle themselves in storage no matter how carefully I brushed through them and put them away?"

      Our knowledge of fibre behaviour tells us that if the wig is kept where the temperature and humidity are changeable, the fibres may twist and possibly tangle. If you or anyone else knows more, please feel free to correct or augment that.

      I love how we can learn so much from other crafts. I don't think I will ever be bored!

      Mary-Anne, are you becoming actively involved in cosplay or just an interested onlooker? Have fun!

    2. P.S. I almost forgot! Hex also did an episode on Arts and Crafts which features some crochet and knitting: