Category: Free Tutorials

Craftivism: Saving Australia’s Wildlife After Unprecedented Damage from Bush Fires

In this age of heated political debate , where the nation is polarized and deeply divided, a way to express one’s beliefs, or get behind a cause they’re passionate about with works of art, crafts, and making for a cause is trending. During the recent Australian bush fires, I was able to witness people from … read more

craftivism

In this age of heated political debate , where the nation is polarized and deeply divided, a way to express one’s beliefs, or get behind a cause they’re passionate about with works of art, crafts, and making for a cause is trending.

During the recent Australian bush fires, I was able to witness people from all around the world come together and make items for the wildlife that was displaced. I saw women from Kentucky talking to women from Australia and the UK about the way to create a bat wrap, and pouches for kangaroo joey’s that were orphaned. Ladies from California were collaborating with ladies from Montreal.  It was an amazing. It was beautiful, in a world that seems to be so torn with such a deep rift, coming together for a common cause… to help the Animals! Who doesn’t love critters?!  Craft enthusiasts across the world worked together to create tiny mittens, blankets and pouches for animals affected by the bushfires in Australia.

“We’re a bunch of crafters who decided to do something,” said Lachute resident Shana Panasuk, a Quebecer involved in the project. “We’re going to be asking for donations and looking for companies who can ship everything. Once we have a big box of stuff, we’re going to ship them ASAP.”

The international Animal Rescue Craft Guild has more than 231,000 members, and its Canadian sister collective, the Canadian Animal Rescue Craft group, has garnered more than 10,000 devoted crafters since its creation.

Hoping to help wildlife harmed in the Australian wildfires, thousands of crafters worldwide churned out swaddling wraps for bats, hanging enclosures for kangaroos, and cozy pouches for wallabies and other animals.

The unprecedentedly fierce fires in southeast Australia have claimed the lives of at least 28 people since September, destroyed more than 2,600 homes and razed more than 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres), mostly in New South Wales state. The area burned is larger than the U.S. state of Indiana.

With experts estimating the animal death toll in the hundreds of millions, Australia’s federal government recently established a $50 million emergency fund for wildlife. Half of the money will go to front-line responder groups, with the other $25 million funding an advisory panel to analyze affected areas and plan for long-term habitat restoration.

“It’s not just kangaroos, it’s also baby koalas, it’s bats, and possums, and sugar gliders – all the marsupials in Australia who are used to growing up inside a pouch now don’t have a pouch to grow up inside any more,” she said.

craftivism

“I am a single mom, so I don’t really have a lot of money to donate,” she said. “But I know there is a need, and this gives us something to work for. It’s rewarding to think a bat can lay in this pouch and feel some kind of comfort.”

Alison Rouse-Cramp, a tutor in Australia, began sewing wraps for bats in October 2019 after seeing a call for them on a local wildlife Facebook page. Carers often send her photos of the bats using wraps she sewed. This and so many stories like this is craftivism at it’s finest. Crafting for a purpose or cause can bring us all together, and put so much good karma out there into the world.

A lot of times in these crises animals are forgotten, so I am just doing my bit to know I have helped in some small way,” she said. “When a carer sends me photos of their babies in items that I have made, it brings tears to my eyes.”

Animals are always in need of these wraps – not just in fire season. Despite the outpouring of supplies, experts say they do not expect to have an excess any time soon.

“Australia has a lot of iconic and lovable animals,” Sharples added, “and I think that for people to physically be able to create something, to physically create an item they know an animal will use, resonates with people more so than a cash donation and that is why we have set that up as an option or a way to help.”

craftivism

Much of the outpouring can be traced back to Anna Key, who gathered together a bunch of sewing, knitting and crochet patterns approved by wildlife rescue groups and posted them on Facebook on Jan. 4. Within a week, they had been viewed more than 17 million times, and multiple Facebook groups popped up to coordinate and collect donations.

Key, who lives in Yamba in New South Wales, said she was inspired by her mother, who was knitting animal pouches, and figured she could put her own skills in marketing to good use. She called the response to what she’s dubbed the #globalcraftmovement overwhelming, but said participants should not be discouraged.

“Rescuing our Animals is a marathon, not a sprint — this will take months if not years to even try to recover from,” she said in an email. “We will still require crafts, just need to find out what is still needed first.”

Key has heard from groups in Singapore, Portugal and Hong Kong who are making items, along with schools across the United States. In Lee, New Hampshire, 10-year-old Gibson Griffith organized an event at his church to sew dozens of bed liners for crates and cages. About 15 people donated fabric, and more than a dozen showed up to help make the liners.

“It felt really good, and after the project, all of my volunteers that were there felt really good as well,” he said.

As crafters, artists, sewists, knitters, crocheters … we’ve been blessed with talents, it’s only right and good that we should give back using the skills we’ve been blessed with, isn’t it?

One of the GS Hanmade shops, MGEDesigns has a freebie platypus key fob (ITH) design (available for download here)  that has been downloaded almost 500 times. The only request from the shop owner is that if you make the key fob and sell it, you will donate part or all of the monies back to an organization helping the Australian wildlife.  Another shop , WeLuvDizne has the ready made key fobs for sale in her shop  (buy it here) and the profits are being donated to the Aussie animal help groups.

 

Spooky Light Up Halloween Lantern Tutorial

Spooky Light Up Halloween Lantern Tutorial (source Brother Int’l blog) Light Up the Night with this Spooky Halloween Lantern! This pdf file can be instantly downloaded Here   ScanNCut Specialist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer helps you get your house ready for ghosts and ghouls with this eerie Halloween Lantern project! Today I’ve got an epic ScanNCut … read more

Spooky Light Up Halloween Lantern Tutorial (source Brother Int’l blog)

Light Up the Night with this Spooky Halloween Lantern!

This pdf file can be instantly downloaded Here

 

ScanNCut Specialist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer helps you get your house ready for ghosts and ghouls with this eerie Halloween Lantern project! Today I’ve got an epic ScanNCut Halloween project for you! The video is literally packed with information on how to build your own cut files in CanvasWorkspace for Mac®. We are building four files: a jack o’ lantern, bats, spider webs, and Halloween text.

Then we use the roll feeder and the ScanNCut DX to cut out the four designs from a single roll of Brother vinyl. Throw some Christmas lights and/or LED candles inside the lantern and you’ve got Halloween magic that lasts year after year!

 

For the original post and video, go to The Cutting Corner, a Scan n’ Cut Blog

 

 

One skein project

One Skein Project. Free Tutorials : Snowdrops Mod Scarf Crochet Pattern by Left in Knots

I was tickled to see this adorable scarf pattern from the amazing Left In Knots. This would be SUCH a great gift for someone. I love the tappered into tassle ends, the ombre coloring is so fun too! Of course, you can choose any color skein but this one is especially adorbs! I love when … read more

I was tickled to see this adorable scarf pattern from the amazing Left In Knots. This would be SUCH a great gift for someone. I love the tappered into tassle ends, the ombre coloring is so fun too! Of course, you can choose any color skein but this one is especially adorbs! I love when makers are generous and share their patterns, so please do me a favor & go to the Left In Knots Site and follow Megan ( be sure to tell her Goosie said hello!)

One skein project

The Snow Drops Mod Scarf is a super-stylish one skein project ~This scarf is made with the star stitch with makes a beautiful-snowflake like texture.  Combine that with the icy colors of Caron Cakes “Faerie Cake” yarn and this scarf is perfect for winter! I also think the Pima cotton yarn would work amazingly well, click to see the shades of blue I’m in love with HERE~  She even has an AWESOME  video tutorial to get you started learning the star stitch 🙂
Here are the instructions (she also has a matching snowdrops skinny scarf pattern on her website)

Abbreviations
ch: chain
sl st: slip stitch
SC: single crochet
HDC: half-double crochet
HDC2Tog: Half double crochet two together (aka HDC decrease)
LOH: loops on hook

Special Stitch
Star stitch: WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE
First start stitch of a row: Ch 2, Insert hook into back loop of the second ch from the hook and pull up a loop (2 LOH), insert hook into front loop of the same ch stitch and pull up a loop (3 LOH), insert into the next 3 sts and pull up a loop through each one (6 LOH).  YO and pull through all 6 loops, ch 1 to make the “eye” of the star.
Star stitch: Insert hook into the “eye” of the previous star and pull up a loop (2 LOH), insert hook into the last post of the previous star and pull up a loop (3 LOH), insert your hook into the last stitch of the previous star and pull up a loop (4 LOH), insert hook into the next 2 sts and pull up a loop in each one (6 LOH).  YO and pull through all 6 loops, ch 1 to make the “eye of the star.

Finished Size:
Approximately 6′ long
Pattern Notes
Chain stitches at the beginning of rows do not count as a stitch
Increases and decreases will all happen on the the same side of the scarf.  This will create the triangular shape.

Instructions
Ch 3
Row 1: HDC in second ch from the hook, HDC across (2). Turn
Row 2: Ch 1, 2 HDC in first st, HDC across (3). Turn
Row 3: Ch 2, make the first star stitch of the row (1 star). Turn
Row 4: Ch 1, work 2 SC into the eye of the star stitch in the previous row, 1 SC in the last stitch (3).  Turn
Row 5: Ch 1, 2 HDC in first st, HDC across (4)
Row 6: Ch 1, HDC across, 2 HDC in last st (5)
Row 7: Ch 2, make the first star stitch of the row, star stitch across (2 stars). Turn
Row 8: Ch 1, 2 SC in each “eye of the star” from the previous row. SC in last stitch of the row (5).  Turn

one skein project

Row 9: Ch 1, 2 HDC in first st, HDC across (6)
Row 10: Ch 1, HDC across, 2 HDC in last st (7)
Rows 11-89: Repeat rows 7-10.  Row 89 will have 46 HDC sts across.
Row 90: Ch 1, HDC across, HDC2Tog in the last 2 stitches (45) Turn
Row 91: Ch 2, make the first star stitch of the row, star stitch across (22 stars) Turn
Row 92: Ch 1, 2 SC in each “eye of the star” from the previous row. SC in last stitch of the row (45).  Turn
Row 93: Ch 1, HDC across, HDC2Tog in the last two stitches (44).  Turn
Row 94: Ch 1, HDC2Tog, HDC across (43). Turn
Row 95-178: Repeat rows 91-94.  Row 178 with end with 2 HDC across.

Make your tassels (pom poms would also look great!) and attach them to each end of the scarf.  And VOILA!  You have a modern and adorable winter scarf. (see this free tutorial on craftsy.com ~downloadable ~ on how to make tassels by hand)

Tassels
If you liked this free tutorial, please stop by Megan’s blog and tell her Gypsy Spoonful sent you and give her a follow.
You may also like some of these crochet items in our marketplace and many other crochet patterns available on Craftsy as well.

Romantic Tea Stained Crochet Denim Coat, size Small

Messy bun beanie wheat color, ponytail beanie, bun hat, crochet bun beanie, wheat color yarn, CraftsbyMert

Minnie Lovey

Mermaid Teal and Purple Urban Knitted Ruffle Scarf Dolly and Me Set Toddler Girl Tween Teen Lady Adult Fashion Scarf

Have a free tutorial to submit to  Gypsy Blogful? Email us!

We’d love to share it on the blog!