Friday, 17 November 2017

Fun at the Beanies to Berets Exhibition and Sale (Part 2)

"The devil is in the details."

There's nothing like an exhibition to inspire creativity.  

At the Onkaparinga Arts Centre, the Beanies to Berets Exhibition and Sale 
gave plenty of design ideas for crocheted hats. 

The attention to detail in finishing can turn an average hat 
into something extraordinary.
From left to right: knitted and felted handspun wool with 'dreadies' by Alexis Morrison, red mohair jester hat by Sharyn Brady & white hat with polka dot veil and black flower by Kaye Oliver.
Let's look at the different finishing techniques on display at 'Beanies to Berets'. It is amazing how a simple embellishment can provide style and character to handmade creations.
  A Top Finish!
Muffin-shaped beret crocheted in mauve and teal. Wisps of unplied fibre close the top round.
Fluffy fibres on a top tassel.
Crocheted by Helen Herde

A black and white tall knitted beanie with stripes of different widths and topped with natural magpie feathers.
Feathers and fibres sprout from
the top of this magpie-coloured
knitted beanie.
Instead of tassels, this hat has a set of three little stuffed toy alpacas in natural alpaca colours - caramel, cream and chocolate.
Why use ordinary tassels or bobbles
when you can have a herd of alpacas?
Knitted alpaca hat by Mary Schmidt.

close up of a tweed coloured green hat which has a long tassel on the top. The tassel is decorated with 12 wooden beads in primary colours.
Wooden beads create a
colourful, tasselled tail.
Crocheted hat by Helen Herde.

Close up of a pointed hat's ring of metallic-coloured beads which reflect and complement the colours of the hat.
Pretty beaded embellishment
on a crocheted beret
by Helen Herde.

The beret is in shades of yellow and green and looks like it could have been tie-dyed!
Exaggeration of a design feature
adds personality.
This beret's top 'stem'
has been elongated.
It is made of handspun yarn
and crocheted by Sandy Soul.

A white felted hat with a turned up brim.  the shape reminds me of an upturned flower pot. The top of the hat has felted woollen tassels.
Tassels can be felted, just like this hat
by Alexis Morrison

A knitted beanie in orange, blue, green and topped with a white dots on a black background which sprouts curlicues of all colours at the top.  The main stripes are in stockinette and divided by narrower stripes of garter stitch.
Curly tassels complete this knitted hat.
This spiral effect can also be created with
crocheted 'curlicues'.
Three brightly coloured hats displayed on the southern wall of the exhibition. Left: long 'sleeping cap' style of beanie in candy colours. Centre a beret style knitted hat in a neutral beige; Right: a pointed knitted beanie in purple, yellow and hot pink stripes and ribbed band.
Three different ways to top a hat.
These knitted hats show a felted pom-pom, a cute button and a knitted loop.

A collection of hats from the western wall of the exhibition. In the foreground is a knitted beanie with a stem on top finished with a natural brown feather. The hat is striped in shades of dark brown, pink and white. The side of the hat is embellished with an appliqued flower which is felted in shades of pink and sky blue and centred with a pink button.
Feathers & Flowers!
Why settle for just one addition?
The hat in the foreground has feathers on top and a felted flower buttoned on the side.
Named "Daisy Days", it is knitted by Helen Peterson.

Red jester hat in rectangular style with green band. The hat corners are finished with plaited tassels and felted balls on the ends.
Jester's Hat by Sharyn Brady
finished with
felted pom-pom tassels.
Some tassels look like braids.
Embellishment choices

Flowers, feathers, appliqués, lace, braiding, beading, ribbon, badges and buttons are some of the resources available to embellish headwear. Use them as surface decoration or incorporate them into the fabric and structure of your hat. Many of these ideas were displayed at the Beanies to Berets Exhibition.

A knitted beanie in dark green. The crown is made with short rows, the body worked even and the brim is completed with a faux strap, finished with an ornate button.
An ornate button adds a touch of class to the headband
of this beanie knitted by Anne Wratten

The hat is crocheted in variegated yarn: mauve, warm beige and light brown. Small bugle beads embellish the  brim, and round beads with metallic colours embellish the top. The beads shine green and purple etc.
Helen Herde has used bright, shiny beads as accents in the fabric of her crocheted hat.

A multicoloured tartan pattern includes warm yellow, hot pink, dark brown, white, light blue and red.
Jennifer Jager has used the loose ends to enhance
her colourful and textured woven hat

Fringe Benefits

Regular readers of this blog might be aware of my penchant for fringe. #putafringeonit is a favourite hashtag of mine!  Fringe need not remain reserved for the ends of neck scarves as proven by the beanie makers of this exhibition.

Dark green helmet shaped hat with multicoloured fringe in a mohawk style.
'Mohawk' chunky fringe on a hand-knitted woollen helmet.
Bucket hat style with red and light brown stripes worked in rounds form the crown. The sides are woven and the hem is fringed.
Sandy Soul brimmed this woven and crocheted hat
with a fluffy handspun fibre fringe

A Millania and Donald Trump themed pair of Pussyhats. Millania is on the left and Donald on the right.
The ultimate use of fringe to great artistic effect was by Helen Herde in her unique interpretation of the iconic "Pussyhat" (original concept pattern by Kat Coyle).
I love Helen's wit–zippers for mouths that perhaps should have remained zipped up?
It looks like the wearer of the comb-over fringe is biting his tongue.
Notice the red lipstick and glittery gold edging–glamour to match the lustrous, long, woollen locks.

a side view of the Millania Trump Pussyhat. It is bright pink with white wavy woollen locks. The mouth is made of a zipper with crocheted red lips around it. The bottom hem is embellished with gold glitter yarn.
The Gallery Director was kind enough to turn
the display around so I could take a photo of
the back of this "Pussyhat"
More information about the Pussyhat Project, including links to free Pussyhat patterns, can be found in the reference list below.

Many thanks to the crew at the Onkaparinga Arts Centre for allowing me to photograph and share the wonderfully eclectic collection of crocheted, knitted, woven and felted hats online.

Despite taking careful notes, I ran out of time to note the details of every hat discussed here. I have credited the designers wherever possible and made endeavours to confirm the creators of beanies that have no designer details listed. A list of all the exhibition participants can be found on a previous blog entry, "Beanies to Berets Exhibition & Sale Now Open!"

I am in the process of collating further information about each of the designers. It seems that not all of them have an online presence that is easy to find.

If you have any further information, it would be most welcome. Please send the details via email to

May this blog entry provide ideas and inspiration for turning an ordinary project into something special.

 Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Fun at the Beanies to Berets Exhibition and Sale (Part 1)", 20 September 2017:

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

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

Onkaparinga Arts:


Coyle, Kat, Pussyhat Project:
"The pussyhat is a symbol of support and solidarity for women's rights and political resistance."


  1. An impressive exhibition and rather inspiring too :)

    1. Yes, it was impressive, Tracey - a lot of work went into it. The pictures in this post were meant to inspire you so that's good! :-)

  2. Really wanted to see this and couldn't of course so it is lovely to have some pictures of it!

    1. Oh, Cat! I know how much you wanted to see it. If I were able to drive that far, I would've been able to pick you up and take you. As it was, I needed to be taxied myself. There will be a few more pictures to come in a third instalment so you will eventually have three blog posts of pictures to peruse.

  3. I love the whimsy and colors of the hats. Great inspiration!

    1. Indeed! We all need a bit of whimsy in this world. :-)
      (That's why I love your blog, Amalia x)

  4. Those are some pretty fancy hats. I tend to keep things simple and am not very confident about adding embellishments since sewing isn't exactly my thing. Wouldn't want things falling apart. :/

    1. Sewing can be daunting. When I first began crocheting, it was a challenge because I had never sewn anything before but slowly, starting with weaving in ends, then whip stitching limbs on amigurumis, gradually the skills build. Help from reputable sources like texts and tutorials was also useful.

      As some of the examples here have shown, we don't necessarily need to sew embellishments on - we can incorporate the decorative elements into our crochet; e.g. crocheting or knitting with beads (either pre-strung on the yarn or added as you go), leaving the loose ends a bit longer and fluffing out their plies for a tasselled look. Even fringing can be incorporated into the fabric by the use of 'loop stitch' (it may also be known as 'fur stitch').

      Nevertheless, I would rather a plain crocheted item, which has regular, neat stitching, a pleasing overall design and suits its purpose (i.e. a hat that fits) instead of a multicoloured, extraordinarily creative design that looks amazing but with loose seams and unfinished threads. Whatever the style, good quality work wins my heart every time.

  5. They are all fantastic, but I have to admit the alpaca tassels are my favourite.

  6. So much inspiration in this post, thank you Jodie. Hx

    1. A pleasure, Helen. Even if you are not making headwear right now, the ideas here can be translated to other types of projects.