Jimmy Barnes, Fernando Alonso hooked on Hobart crochet artist

(Supplied: Lucy Ward) By

Lucy Shannon

Updated

August 07, 2018 13:54:17

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Jimmy Barnes and his wife Jane have ordered 14 crocheted dolls for their grandkids.

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“I had this guy who saw my crochet and he said, ‘When I was young, my mum made me a Mr Squiggle and I’ve still got it’. Photo:
Lucy Ward with two of her crocheted creations (Supplied: Lucy Ward)
But Tasmanian Lucy Ward has taken her passion and talent for crocheting all the way to Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes and Spanish Grand Prix driver Fernando Alonso.It all began with a realisation that her house was being swamped with crocheted rugs and she needed to branch out into other projects.”I think I made a little nativity set and then some cricketers for my son, like George Bailey,” she said. (Supplied: Lucy Ward)
And that’s when the commissions from Jimmy Barnes came along, beginning with a friend asking her to make a character from his children’s book Och Aye The G’Nu. (Supplied: Lucy Ward) The craft of crochet inspires thoughts of grandmas, pots of tea and cosy blankets in winter.It certainly isn’t something you’d normally associate with rock and roll singers and Formula One drivers. “Jimmy Barnes and his wife Jane saw the character I made, loved it and straight away I got all these orders from them and I’m up to 14,” she said. “It really connects with people.”

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Most of Ms Ward’s commissions are for adults. She then got an order from a CSIRO marine biologist to make a critically endangered spotted handfish.”That just got heaps of love from everyone … and then I got some orders through him and the power of social media,” she said.”He tweeted them and the Tas Museum asked me to make the fish for their children’s display, so I made flatheads and starfish, and that was really fun.”

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Ms Ward crocheted a critically endangered spotted handfish for a CSIRO marine biologist. External Link:

Fernando Alonos instagram holding knitted doll
“I think he must be giving them to his grandchildren.”Similar word-of-mouth publicity saw her crochet a figure of Fernando Alonso for a young Australian fan which took off on social media.”He took it along and lined up to meet him [Alonso] and then there were photos taken and they were on the news, and Fernando Alonso instagrammed the photo and it went all around the world.”That photo received 45,000 likes prompting a Canadian fan of Alonso’s, who said she wanted to marry him, to order one, which she presented to the driver at the Canadian Grand Prix.Alonso then posted a photo of him holding the doll to his 2.1 million followers.Surprisingly, most of Ms Ward’s commissions are for adults, often wanting their pets recreated in wool.”I think it is also reminiscent of their childhood,” she said.