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Brisbane Communications professional, Hayley, keeps her hands busy and creative ideas flowing by crocheting everything from granny squares to amigurumi squid

11 March 2022

Designer Spotlight: lumi wilde

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Story-teller; Crochetor; creator of quirky crochet cephalopods, Hayley: ‘Not really one for ball sports, but I love a spot of knitting’

I’m Hayley of lumi wilde. By day I am a communications professional at a university, but by night I listen to audiobooks and crochet my little heart out!

Hayley at home in Brisbane with a collection of her amigurumi creations ranging from cute sausage dogs and bunnies to quirky octopi and squid

I started to crochet when I was pregnant with my first child, I made him a simple ripple blanket in sunflower yellow and rain-cloud grey and I was ‘hooked’. After a few more blankets I tried some amigurumi – the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small creatures – and I loved it.

A crochet granny square with a ball of yarn and crochet hook on a wooden table; ‘I’ve worked on hundreds of toys and creations, but I love making the little squids most of all’

Over the years I’ve worked on hundreds of toys and creations, but I love making the little squids most of all. I use a pattern by Projectarian, although I modified it to make it all on a single strand of yarn as I hate weaving in the ends!

Brisbane Communications professional, Hayley, keeps her hands busy and creative ideas flowing by crocheting everything from granny squares to amigurumi squid

I like to draw inspiration from books, magazines and social media. I follow a lot of other crochet and fibre artists on Instagram and I get a lot of ideas from the beautiful photos they post.

Hayley’s daughter holding out a pink crochet bear toy once intended for the lumi wilde shop – it seems this one’s been claimed.

However, mostly I think my kids give me the most ideas; the toys they really love, the shows they are into and the way they both interact with the world. I’ve made them some really cute toys they both love.

A crochet Collingwood supporting magpie holding a cup of tea and wearing harry potter glasses in Hayley’s back garden: ‘I also get some custom orders that are pretty whacky’

I also get some custom orders that are pretty whacky. The funniest one I’ve done recently was a Collingwood magpie, drinking a cup of tea, wearing Harry Potter glasses.

An original design by Hayley; an amigugumi pike (fish)

A lot of my toys are a surprise when they are finished, as although I had an idea of what I wanted, I never had a solid plan. I usually start by drawing the concept, then just give it a crack and create it as I go along. I’m a very ‘go with the flow’ creator and I’ve never been good following printed instructions. I even find it difficult to follow a recipe – my brain goes “read, read, read – skip that bit – look at the pictures – you’ll work it out mate”.

Hayley crocheting in an armchair in her living room with a view out onto her balcony; ‘I’m a very go with the flow creator and I’ve never been good following printed instructions’

Crocheting is also very therapeutic, I love to make stuff; craft, art, mess. When I get home I like to unwind with a cup of tea and just zone out with the rhythm of it.

A bright rainbow crochet blanket hangs over the back of an armchair in Hayley’s bright Queensland living room

I’ve always been a maker, my Grade 1 report card said “Hayley is often found on the cricket field knitting” - not really one for ball sports, but I love a spot of knitting on a nice green field.

Some of Hayley’s early creations: teacup and teapot brooches made from the pages of illustrated children’s books

I got into communications as a profession as I loved storytelling as a kid and I have always had a crafty hobby. When I was just out of uni I made brooches from children’s books – tiny little animal shapes with silly words from romance novels on them. I would sell them at markets and get such joy from people looking at them and laughing out loud at how weird or rude they were.

A collection of colourful crochet squid huddled together on Hayley’s tan leather couch; ‘I just like to always keep my hands busy and my creative ideas cranking’

I got the idea from a trip I did in my 20s, I did the trans-Siberian with two of my oldest friends. I wanted to make all three of us matching shirts that said ‘team unorganised’ however I was too unorganised to get the made. So, I ended up making three little brooches with ‘team unorganised’ written on the back and we wore them through Russia, Mongolia and China. They were a bit of a hit, so when I got back I went into production.

Crochet market bags holding pot plants, with the old-fashioned illustrated cards that Hayley packages them with when shipping orders to their new owners

I need to always be making something, whether it’s for me, or my kids or to sell – I just like to always keep my hands busy and my creative ideas cranking. I sell on Madeit as I prefer the Australian-made platform, plus I like the design of the site and the community.

Hayley and her crochet pink bear toy waving at the camera; ‘I know the feeling an artist gets when someone chooses them’

Handmade is beautiful and thoughtful and I know the feeling an artist gets when someone chooses them – to buy their art, toy, craft etc. I like to buy handmade and I love to make things too – win-win really.

A collection of freshly cut herbs accompany a neatly wrapped brown paper package in a market bag on a car seat on the journey to the post office; ‘If we can all try to leave a slightly lighter footprint on the planet we may just keep our green/blue marble in the sky’

I also feel that buying a few nice well-made things is more sustainable than buying lots of plastic mass-produced stuff. If we can all try to leave a slightly lighter footprint on the planet we may just keep our green/blue marble in the sky for a few more million years.

A woman’s hand holds a ball of orange-brown yarn salvaged from a thrift shop and a cute amigurumi squid ready to be stuffed

I find most of my wool and cotton yarn in thrift shops and I like to make the unwanted yarn new again. Each ball becomes a new little creature. I believe we should reuse and recycle, take care and remember not to sell yourself short. I say that, and then I still really struggle putting a price on my toys etc.

A multicoloured crochet bunny with scarf, made from scrap yarn that was mostly thrifted; ‘It’s so nice to see so many new customers – and more people buying and valuing handmade’

I think that letting people know why your items are priced higher than a toy from a large department store is important. The hours, materials and skill that go into the creations from so many of the handmade community is monumental, and that’s why it’s so nice to see so many new customers – and more people buying and valuing handmade. Many of my customers are local, as I deliver free to Brisbane - live, shop, love local.

A woman’s hand holds out a pastel crochet granny square market bag full of freshly cut rosemary & basil

I certainly don’t make enough to pay my mortgage, but I do make enough to make me smile when I see that ‘sale’ email come through and I usually go treat myself to a coffee or buy from another local maker!

Hayley is offering Madeit’s community newsletter subscribers 15% off at lumi wilde for a limited time. Subscribe below to get the coupon, plus weekly handmade shopping guides, designer spotlight stories and discounts:



Visit lumi wilde to find beautiful cotton crochet things for your tiny ‘old soul’: lumiwilde

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