Beekeeper Parade

October 17, 2016

In my wonderful life journey I have met some amazing people doing amazing things.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending a volunteer day with my friend Fiona Robins who introduced me to a wonderful social enterprise concept called Beekeeper Parade run by a remarkable human being …. Koky Saly.

I am continually inspired by the passion and drive of those who create directly from their heart.  There are countless examples of social enterprises all over the world … many of which were started by a selfless act, a vision, a promise …

Beekeeper Parade is one of those organisations  … this quote is directly from their website (you should go check them out).

BeeKeeper is a Social Business hatched between a brother (Koky) and sister (Sophia) in 2012 while Sophia was in hospital fighting cervical cancer.  

It was with the heaviest of hearts that we experienced the loss of Sophia on the 15th of August 2012, after an 18 month battle. We still feel her absence with such acute rawness. In her will, she left her car to her brother Koky, with instructions to sell it and use the money to create a business that would inspire change and help support the continued work of BabyTree Projects, a charity they founded together to fight for children’s rights and to bring quality education to the doorsteps of children in rural Cambodia.  

Since that time, Koky has dedicated his life to making sure that he keeps his promise to his sister. To this end Boy & Bee was born in 2012, and in 2014 we decided to change the name to BeeKeeper. And the Sophia Saly School was built in 2014, in a coastal village right near the sea.

Koky Saly, himself a refugee, now works tirelessly with his team to support the Cambodian school with the manufacture and sale of their amazing Beekeeper Backpacks and Weekenders (among other things).  The manufacture of these products is, in itself a good news story … with the use of recycled, donated and repurposed materials to create their really well thought out and very high quality products.

Apart from the high quality of the products, they a bit of fun and above all utilitarian, not to mention that the manufacture also creates employment opportunities.  Beekeeper ticks all the boxes.

Their model is simple and it works on so many levels.

The sale of one backpack/weekender will send a child to English classes for a whole year … and for these children, this could mean the difference between living in poverty for the whole of their lives or learning the skills to lead productive lives.

Currently based as a pop up in Melbourne Central (in the heart of Melbourne) until January 2017, Beekeeper has a great range of backpacks, weekenders, ipad and computer covers and more.  Do yourself a huge favour and pop in for some Christmas shopping with heart.  They also have an online store if you can’t make it into Melbourne Central.







P.S. I am now the proud owner of this lovely creation.  Anyone who knows me will know that this is a perfect fit.







OK … I am back!!!

October 7, 2016

Hot on the heels of the fantastic success of our Poppies in both Australia and Europe (and it’s still ongoing here I must admit).  I have a little (a very little) spare time on my hands to declutter.

And …. horror upon horror, I have decided to cull my yarn stash.  This was not a decision made lightly but there is SO much that I have collected over the last 20 years or so and I will NEVER use it … it’s a difficult thing, divesting oneself of one’s lovelies … but it’s got to be done.

So there is MUCH yarn to be sold off tomorrow at Open Drawer’s Destash Market, 1158 Toorak Road, Camberwell.  It is gorgeous … and because much of it is kinda unique yarn … a huge mix of specialty yarns in all the colours of the rainbow … I have separated it into packs suitable for freeform knitting/crochet, scarves, bags, jewellery, general yarn play.  It’s at bargain prices … I must admit to a little hesitation when it came to the really beautiful yarns but … someone somewhere will love it just as much as I do and find a use for it.

So come down to Open Drawer, from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. for a bargain.  There will be a few likeminded souls with lots of other crafty goodness on sale as well, fabrics, notions etc. A veritable feast for the crafters out there.

I have also committed to running a couple of Freeform knitting/crochet classes also at Open Drawer so you can learn to play with your new found yarny deliciousness … on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. … you can do one half day or two half days if you would like.  It will be an enormous amount of fun and a return to teaching for me.  I would love to see you.  You can book here if you would like, or you can book tomorrow at the Destash Market.

You will learn the importance of colour, texture and shape in freeform knitting, together with a range of basic freeform stitches and techniques to create your own freeform fabric plus some techniques for creating a wide range of items including garments, handbags, jewellery, hats and other items.

freeform-handbagsWe will be using small scraps of plain and specialty yarns, freeform knitting is the art of creating and combining small, disparate pieces of knitting and crochet (scrumbles) into a patchwork fabric of colour and texture. Your own unique piece of fibre art.

In this fun filled class, you will learn to let go of commercial patterns, and give your creative expression free reign.

You will need a moderate degree of skill in knitting, crochet (or both) and a willingness to play. You will work at your own skill level and pace in a small group of up to 8.

Hope to see you at Open Drawer tomorrow.

Love and hugs.








Where did that two years go?

September 2, 2016

It seems I have not posted on this blog for some time.  It was never my intention to be away so long … but I have been a little preoccupied …

Just a warning that this is a long post … making up for lost time … mostly just images, because I think this is the best way to show you what I have been involved in over the last two years.

The 5000 Poppies Project is a community tribute of respect and remembrance to our servicemen and women, their families and their communities.  It was created by my sister in law Marg Knight and I in honour of our fathers.  If you’d like to know more about that you can read all about the project on the 5000 Poppies blog … there is a link at the bottom of this post.

So … 5000 Poppies kinda took over my life somewhat and has left very little room for extra curricular activities … although I must admit I was tempted a few times (but more on that in a later post).  And as I come up for air after a whirlwind two years I am delighted to share with you.

It has been an honour and a privilege I must admit.

In all we collected around 300,000 stunning handmade poppies from people all over the world, and in the process we have met many wonderful people and shared many wonderful stories with our contributors and volunteers.  It has been an incredibly humbling experience and we have created some amazing installations.

First there was the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in March 2015 … in a collaboration with Australia’s acclaimed landscape designer Phillip Johnson, our wonderful team planted 5,000 beautiful stemmed poppies as part of a tribute garden in honour of Phillip’s great grandfather who fought and died on the Somme in WWI. It was a very beautiful, very moving installation and there were tears aplenty.  The poppies were knitted and crocheted, and attached to stems of knitted i-cord over bamboo skewers.

5000 Poppies Project Melbourne Flower and Garden Show March 2015 Photographer Clare Takacs

5000 Poppies Project Melbourne Flower and Garden Show March 2015 Photographer Claire Takacs 1

5000 Poppies MIFGS 2015


Next came our spectacular installation for Anzac Day as part of the Centenary of Anzac Commemorations in April 2015.  It was simply amazing.  Again, in collaboration with Phillip Johnson and his team who worked with us to put together a massive jigsaw of beautiful poppy panels on the steps of Fed Square in the heart of Melbourne.  Plus a series of static displays in the atrium. The installation featured Adrian Egglestone’s beautiful Gratitude Sculpture as a centrepiece.  Stunning! Emotional! Heartfelt! It goes without saying that there were many tears shed here.

2 day fm 6Fed Square Deakin Edge


Fracture Gallery Fed Square

The Atrium Fed Square post Anzac Day 2015 Marilyn Healy 2

On Anzac Day, not content with hundreds of sqm of poppies being laid on the steps of Fed Square … with the help of our many volunteers and the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade we moved them onto Princes Bridge in the dead of night so that our Anzac Day March could march through the centre of them and then moved them back to Fed Square again.  It was wet wet wet on Anzac Day and every one of those 80 nets were very very heavy.

The outcome of these two amazing installations was an invitation to feature the whole project at the 2016 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London.  Such an incredible honour … and we loved every minute of it to tell you the truth.  With the wonderful financial assistance of our major sponsor the Victorian Government, our official carrier Qantas who took us to London and home again, as well as our friends at Carpet Call who generously provided 300 sqm of carpet delivered to site … our incredible team of volunteers laid more than 2000 sqm of beautiful poppies in tribute including 26,500 stemmed poppies.  A mammoth effort.  London really turned on the weather for us and we thoroughly enjoyed talking about this amazing tribute to all who came to visit including the British Royal Family.  What an honour!!!


Chelsea 23

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Marg

Lynn has a chat to Prince Phillip and Princess Anne

Lynn Meets Prince Harry

Lynn Meets the British Home Secretary



And if that wasn’t enough, we managed to secure an Australian Government Grant along with some private funding, to take our poppies across to Fromelles France for the Centenary of the Battle of Fromelles.  An incredibly moving experience for all of us. Again our team came with us and were complemented by a team from the local Rotary District in France, the Australian military, and many others who wanted to help out on the day.  We installed approx 26,000 poppies at Cobbers, a small piece of sacred land in rural France that many Australians as well as British, French and others lost their lives fighting over in WWI.

Fromelles France 2016 Photographer Claire Takacs


We are also on tour with the fabulous Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience … a spectacular WWI exhibition which is touring Australia from 2014 to 2017.




It has been a full on couple of years … and the truth is its been a massive community effort … I cannot stress enough how many thousands of contributors from all over Australia and indeed the world coupled with an amazing team of volunteers helped to pull it all together.  They have made this evolving dream a reality.  It’s probably taken around a million man hours …  I kid you not!

Words just cannot express my gratitude … it’s been amazing.

We will continue our work until 2018 which is the Centenary of the end of WWI, and are in discussions with the Australian War Memorial in Canberra about our final installation … We expect it will be HUGE!  Stay tuned … exciting stuff.

We are also continuing support smaller localised installations on request and have done quite a few … all beautiful, all unique … and all with one aim (at the risk of repeating myself), and that is to honour our servicemen and women, their families and their communities.

How lucky am I, are we, to get to do this work?

You can read more about the 5000 Poppies project, its origins, and its metamorphosis at 5000Poppies.wordpress.com

You can also join our facebook group if you would like to join the Project … 5000 Poppies

I would like to acknowledge the photographers … the professional Fed Square photographs were taken by Patrick Redmond and the Chelsea Flower Show and Fromelles professional photographs were taken by Claire Takacs.  All other photographs are either taken by me or have been posted on our facebook group … with many and varied authors.



Inspired of Glen Iris Here …

August 1, 2014

It is impossible not to be inspired (and a little overwhelmed) by the plethora of extreme crafty talent around the world.  I could waste hours trawling pinterest, following facebook leads and jumping from site to site looking at really stunning works of art (and I sometimes do).  For those of us who get excited and inspired by these things, the internet has opened up a multitude of avenues for googling, ogling, and salivating over incredible artworks.  I am constantly amazed, stimulated and inspired.  No wonder I wake early most days with my head brimming with ideas.  So to share a couple of my recent favourites with you … and I can see what will happen here … you will link onto one or another of these links never to see my post again.  My tastes are eclectic and range from the cutest little bunny softies to the hardcore steampunk knitting at the end of this post.  So lucky to live in the age of the internet.

This one because it’s close to my heart …. nearly 900,000 ceramic poppies planted outside the tower of London … but that’s not the only amazing thing on this site http://www.thisiscolossal.com/

888,246 Ceramic Poppies Flow Like Blood from the Tower of London to Commemorate WWI WWI multiples London installation flowers ceramics blood

Loani Prior … the DOYENNE of tea cosy art https://cosytea.wordpress.com/tag/loani-prior/

Prudence Mapstone … the Queen of freeform http://prudencemapstone.blogspot.com.au/
who inspired me to think outside the knitted square so many years ago and really urged me to think creatively about my craft work

The ladies at Yarn Corner and I expect there will be men in there somewhere too … who decorate our everyday lives with colour and life http://www.yarncorner.com.au/


What I am calling rightly or wrongly Steampunk Knitting … that is really knitting on the edge, gritty, edgy and very, very sexy.  I love these looks (although the model could use a good feed).  This at the Darker Horse … the Photo is attributed to Caroline Munro (must follow that name)

And Tess Gibersen (must follow that name)





2014 International Freeform Challenge

July 28, 2014

So excited here …. Finally the 2014 international Freeform Challenge book has been released and I can now publish our entry. Sister in Law Marg and I have again collaborated on a piece for the challenge which we both really enjoyed …. The process as well as the outcome!  The theme this year was One Colour and we chose Eucalypt as our colour … The colour of the Australian bush.  We hand dyed all of our yarn … Mostly commercial yarn … Wool, cotton and mohair, but Marg did have a go at spinning some yarn too … Turning into regular earth mothers here …. We had a great time playing with raw materials and mordants and seeing what colours would emerge from the dye pot … And then crocheting up the yarn into cute little pods.  We could not have been happier with the outcome.  Its simply called Eucalypt …

2014 IFF Challenge Lynn Berry Margaret Knight

It’s really interesting to see all of the different interpretations of the theme.   You can preview the book here.


Dear Blog …

July 5, 2014

Oh dear … six months since my last post!!!!

I can’t quite believe it’s been that long … there is no excuse …. suffice to say I have been SO busy … much like the rest of humanity, and although I have thought of you often dear blog … other things have taken precedence.

Let me share with you what’s has been keeping me so preoccupied for the last year really … in the main …. Poppies.  Poppies.  Poppies.  The 5000 Poppies Project has taken over my life and my backroom and my living room and just about every other room in the house.  Who knew it was going to be as big as it is …. and that’s not as big as it is going to be … but oh what an amazing journey it has been for me.  Getting excited now as I start to plan the display.  Keep your eye on the  5000 Poppies blog or follow us on facebook.  Very privileged to be involved in this project I must say.

5000 Poppies Craft and Quilt Melbourne 2014

photo (8)

photo (9)

I also made a little time to finish the beautiful Rowan Lima sweater that I had been knitting for my son’s 20th birthday … he turned 21 recently and I thought I should be a good mummy …  BUT it’s a bit tight on him … so he won’t wear it and wants me to start again (oh dear). It is a lovely sweater and very very soft … the yarn was beautiful to knit with, but was a bit of a battle keeping the 4 row pattern (Star Stitch) correct especially on the increases/decreases … I love the finish though … and I have said I will knit him another in a slightly bigger size.  Don’t quite know what happened there because for the first time in my life I knitted a tension swatch … measured twice (or maybe even 3 times) … and no he has NOT put on weight … I knew it was going to be a struggle after I had finished both the back and front but given my battle with the pattern I was not about to pull it out … so the only way was forward.  Not sure what I will do with it … oh well.


evan's jumper

And my muse and collaborator Margaret and I have made and entered our piece for the International Freeform Challenge this year … that was inspiring.  I can’t show you it yet because the book has not been published but very soon I hope.

Until next time

Lynn x




Happy New Year

January 13, 2014

Christmas came and went … New Years came and went … and now it’s back to work … I really should NOT have blinked.  I am thinking that most of you feel the same.

2014 looks set to bring many wonderful challenges this year and I am feeling very excited about what’s in store.  Poppies will be foremost in my year … no doubt … but there are other projects that I will also be working on including the latest International Freeform Challenge … the theme this year is “one colour” … which was my preferred theme … but now that it’s settled I am starting to realise that one colour is really a difficult theme to interpret.  My sister-in-law Marg and I usually collaborate on this project and we have had our first planning meeting … and settled on a way forward.  You will need to wait now until the challenge is published before we will be allowed to reveal our work … but we are feeling very inspired.

Today was our first Poppy Playtime at Fed Square in Melbourne and we had a great turnout … with lots of poppies to add to the total.  After the workshop … Marg and I walked down to the City Square in Melbourne to have a look at the newly installed Yarn Corner yarnbomb installation  … and were suitably blown away.  Big … nay HUGE congratulations to the Yarn Corner team for an inspiring installation … worth a look if you get the chance to visit in Melbourne.

image (3).jpegYarn Corner Jan 2014

image (4).jpegYarn Corner Jan 2014

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image (8).jpegYarn Corner Jan 2014

image (10).jpegYarn Corner Jan 2014

image (11).jpegYarn Corner Jan 2014

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image (22).jpegYarn Corner Jan 2014

image (2).jpegYarn Corner Jan 2014