Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Fun at the Beanies to Berets Exhibition and Sale (Part 1)

There were so many amazing handmade hats at the Port Noarlunga Arts Centre's 'Beanies to Berets' Exhibition that I kept going back to have another look
(and touch and try on).   

It was a super place to find a piece of wearable art to call your very own.  There were beanies and berets to please everyone, from the most conservative to the artistic and crazy-coloured! 

Crocheted by Sharyn Brady


Whether you prefer crocheted, knitted, felted, handspun or woven beanies, or perhaps a glorious blend of techniques, each beanie or beret was a unique creation.

Even within each type of craft one could find specialist techniques such as tricot, beading, cables, double-strands, fair isle, appliqué etc.

Sally Baird offered a
beautiful collection of
knitted fair isle designs
Sixteen different artists contributed to the exhibition; their names are listed in the first blog entry about this exhibition published on 25 June 2017.

Today, please enjoy the photos.  If you happened to visit this exhibition or if you purchased one of these hats,
do tell!

  • What kinds of hats do you like best?   
  • What qualities do you look for in a good hat?
  • Do you have a favourite hat?
    It could be one that you own or one featured here.

 Spoilt for choice: every wall covered with hats.
 There were more to be found in rattan boxes
positioned around the gallery space.
Knitted by textile artist,
Kaye Oliver

There are so many hats to show you, it will need to be done in instalments!

Felted hat by
Sandy Soul,
'Soul Spinner'
textile artist
from the
Adelaide Hills

Appliquéd flowers,
crocheted hat by Helen Herde.

Weaving and crochet combined
create this soft hat by Sandy Soul.

Lots of choice.
One of my relatives
liked the hat in the
middle of the back row here.
This beret by Helen Herde looks like it is made
using a slip stitch crochet technique.
She tells me it was done by

working into the backs of the stitches.
Helen likes to experiment to come up
with new effects.

A joy to behold
a wall full of
colourful & creative designs.
Hats designed by Helen Herde and Kaye Oliver were prolific at this inaugural exhibition. That's because Helen and Kaye were joint coordinators. Kaye is a textile artist who specialises in felt while Helen has had a career in visual art, specialising in sculpture and ceramic design.

Helen says, "I have always had an interest in knitting and crochet so being asked to put this exhibition together gave me an opportunity to indulge."  

This exhibition was so successful that Helen and Kaye have been asked to organise another one next year. They are hoping it will become an annual event so, beanie lovers, there's another date for your calendar! 

I love how one can often apply ideas from one craft to another. As a ceramic designer, Helen explained how her experiments with double crochet stitches gave her "a more structured form to play with, so instead of clay we have pot forms in fibre for the head!" I love this perspective (which was new to me but makes total sense).

I thought I had taken notes of the designers of these beauties during the exhibition but do you think I can find my notes now?
I'm sorry that I cannot tell you all the creators of these designs.
The blue hat on the right was created by weaver, Wilma Bakja-Van Velze.
The pink woven creation in the middle is by Jennifer Jager.

Made of red yarn
with flecks of blue,
a 'berry stitch' pattern
creates a wonderful
bobbly' texture.
(Made by Helen Herde)
This hat crocheted by Sharyn Brady
uses colours which are synonymous
with Australian Indigenous culture
because they feature on the
Australian Aboriginal flag.
The yellow, black and red symbolise
the sun, people and land accordingly.

I love the glowing colours
of this stripy hat made of
handspun wool.

I'm not sure whether this
beanie was created with a
ready-made 'tweed effect' yarn
or whether the designer
created the same effect by
working two threads together.
It looks like a light-coloured
thick strand was combined with
a thinner, darker strand.
There were spinners and weavers
contributing to Beanies to Berets
so perhaps this was handspun.
What are your thoughts?

The colours in this beanie
interested me.
The top and stripe are made
with two colours worked together.
In the photo, the combined effect
almost looks like gold but,
if you look closer, you will see
it is a combination of
cream and brown.

The long cap was crafted by Helen Petersen.
I am not sure who crocheted the brown one but
it reminds me of
pumpkins, hallowe'en and witches!

"Earthy Band"
by Sharyn Brady

A knitted beanie with a ribbed cuff and rounded top, using short rows to shape the top. The beanie is a pastoral scene. The bottom half is green with variegated yellow, white and earthy orange brown to represent the pasture. A fair isle  pattern in brown alternating with green and brown and then alternating with blue and brown depicts a fenceline. The blue top depicts the sky.  White knitted sheep are appliqued onto the 'grass' and the sheep's feet and faces are embroidered in black yarn.
A classic design, handspun and knitted by Mary Schmidt.

This is just a taste of the many styles and ideas to be found at this exhibition.  Did it whet your appetite for more?  There are plenty more photos to come.  Would you like a closer look at any of the items pictured here?  I may be able to enlarge the details for a better view in future instalments. Leave a comment or email to let me know.

Volunteers, Greg and Michael, were of great assistance, reaching (and putting back) so many of the hats for me. I didn't need to ask.  Michael had much delight in finding fun designs for me to try on.  Thank you!

Modelling a 'jester' style hat of handspun wool,
knitted by Jennifer Jager.
Do you think it suits me?


I'm still trying to obtain details of more participating artists.
I hope to add them to this list as information comes to hand, with their permission,
of course.  It is important to me to give credit where it is due whenever possible.

Sally Baird (Hats by Sally):

Helen Herde, visual artist & ceramic designer:

Kaye Oliver, textile artist:

Sandy Soul (Soul Spinner), textile artist:

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Beanies to Berets Exhibition & Sale Now Open!", 25 June 2017:

"Fun at the Beanies to Berets Exhibition and Sale (Part 2)", 17 November 2017:

"Beanies to Berets–Bigger and Better", 21 June 2018:


  1. Wow, what an amazing exhibition. So many beautiful hats its hard to decide which one is my favourite. I would want to try them all on.

    1. There were so many hats there - it would have taken hours to try on each and every one and there were so many I could easily have bought and taken home if only the budget had allowed. There are more photos coming so stay tuned - there are some gems.

  2. Replies
    1. It *was* cool, Cheryl, so many artistic creations, and the hats were warm! Perfect for a winter's excursion.

  3. Thank you appreciating the love and hard work that goes into my designs. @Hatsbysally xx

    1. What's not to appreciate? It takes skill to work fair isle to an even tension and to keep the floats tidy on the wrong side. It also takes patience and a good eye for design to handle all the different colours even though, technically, in fair isle you are only ever using 2 colours at once in any single row. It's putting it all together that takes talent and skill.

      Hand-made unique designs, with all the work and planning and skill that go into them, certainly deserve the appreciation and prices to reflect that. If I had the budget to buy an unlimited number of hats, I could have easily and happily paid for more than 20 hats from the exhibition. It was very difficult to narrow down the choices.

      I'm already saving for next year! xx

  4. How fun! What an inspiring event. I do miss wearing and making hats. It doesn't really get cold enough here in Texas to wear them often. Thank you for sharing. You look very cute in the jester style hat.

    1. It is inspiring to go to craft and art events. Even if not our main craft, we can learn so much about design, colour, structure etc. and apply it to other parts of our creative lives.

      It's a shame that Texas is too warm for beanies. South Australia has extreme summers too and I am thinking about summer hat designs using crochet. I will need to develop some millinery skills and source specialist hat materials to manage details like wide brims etc.

      There's always something new to learn and that's what I love about crochet!

      Thanks for your compliments about the jester hat too - a bit of fun!

  5. You look great in that hat!! Hmmm. Do I have a favourite hat? Usually the last one I made. Lately it is a Runic beanie that I made from alpaca. The displays you posted are amazing. I would love to attend something like this - so much colour and brilliant ideas.

    1. Mmmmmm, runic beanie in alpaca sounds so cosy and traditional. Is that Lucy Hague's pattern? If you liked the photos in this post, stick around, I have more to compile and share when I get the chance. I hope you can have a similar event in your part of the world one day. You are moving into autumn now so you never know!