Monday, July 9, 2012

Ned Kelly's Beard

 Latest distraction? I've been crocheting Ned Kelly's beard.

Ned's Needles is a competition to knit or crochet the bushranger's beard in two categories - most realistic and most creative. No guesses for the category I'm entering! It is being held in my home town of Beechworth and there will be an online exhibition of photos of the entries as well.

I've embellished my beard with 16mm film to commemorate the fact that the first feature film in this country and possible ever in the world, was about Ned Kelly. "The Story of the Kelly Gang" was made in 1906.Fragments of the film can be watched on the Australian Screen Office website.

"Kelly and Horse" Sidney Nolan's Kelly series
Growing up in Beechworth, the Ned Kelly legend permeated our young imagination. If we were out in the bush we would wonder if Ned had hidden in this very spot of if he ever rode through or walked the same paths. 

Beechworth courthouse

"The Trial"  Sidney Nolan 1947
Our Dad used to clean the old court house where Ned Kelly was sentenced and he would give each of us a turn in the dock while he placed the dusting cloth on his head and pretended to be the judge!

So I couldn't resist entering this competition which for me melded together crochet, Ned Kelly, sentimental memories and film history! 
After crocheting the beard in wool I cut up an old student film of mine and hand stitched it in curls.

 Here's my little outlaw wearing the beard.

More about Sidney Nolan's Kelly Series here and here


  1. You are SO creative. I am always in awe of the wonderful ideas you come up with.

  2. Wow. Ned Kelly's beard! What a clever creation. I remember going to the Ned Kelly museum (I think in Glenrowan?) when I was in high school and really enjoying it. The film itself is probably a piece of history also as we don't really use film anymore. Great job with all that hand stitching!

  3. Those celluloid curls are something!

  4. Huzzah! Your entry looks fantastic great that your little one wearing it;)