The Creation of Hilly Billy The Vintage Citroen – Yarn Bombing at Emma’s Fabric Studio Open Day July 2014


I have received some lovely feedback about our transformation of the vintage car at the July Open Day at Tithe Barn in Lenham.  Hilly Billy is an old Citroen who is still road worthy and can often be seen driving round the village with her owners Valerie and John Arthur.  They kindly let us give Hilly Billy a summer spruce up at the Open Day. Given how much interest there has been, we thought you might want to see how we went about the makeover and gave her a super cute/super star new look!

Judi, Chief of Yarn Bombing, has explained how we did the eyes, a particular challenge!

When we measured Hilly Billy for her new decorative overcoat I thought we would cover the lights from the back, a bit like a tea cosy, or light cosy.  It wasn’t until later when I  was looking at the pictures it occurred to me that they weren’t lights, of course they were her eyes!

So how do you go about making eyes for a vintage Citroen?


I googled crochet eyes, not much help and certainly no pattern to fit a vintage car.  Well eyes are just circles right? So I found a pattern for a crochet circle, in this case it was a cushion cover, but the basics of how many increases in each round were fine – I was happily crocheting along until I had a circle big enough to cover the front of the light, then stopped increasing and carried on for 4 or 5 rows and that’s it – a plain white cover for the light but it doesn’t look much like an eye though.

A big debate came next in our household – what colour should Hilly Billy’s eyes be? – brown, green, mixed – no of course they should be bright blue.  So the right shade of bright blue was located in my ‘tiny’ wool selection and another circle began – using the same pattern but a lot smaller this time.

After that her eyes needed irises (not the floral type!) – I started making a tiny black circle, It looked ok to me – Stu had different ideas though. A long debate about how the iris should look and lots of cartoon drawings followed – this resulted in a ¾ circle.  I have to grudgingly admit that it does look better than my original circle did.

The final challenge – how to make eye lashes?  Should they be long and curly, thick and bushy – what should they be made from?  I contemplated pipe cleaners, fringing and various other options then it came to me, I could adapt the crochet rose pattern to make eye lashes – a few tries later and I got something about the right size.

So one eye complete – on to number 2!

For the remainder of the car, we pooled our collective crochet blankets, unfinished projects, etc.  We gave Judi anything wool related for her Hilly Billy vision.  Jan, our amazing Senior Yarn Bombing Engineer made a spare wheel cover, Sam (Chief of Pom Poms) prettied up the general look, using various other yarny creations.  Lorna (Chief Analyst, Director of Detail) ensured Hilly Billy was groomed to perfection.  Jo’s collection of crochet blankets were put to very good use.  My unfinished projects were put to great use too (thank goodness)…  Judi clearly had a look in mind and it turned out wonderfully! Have a look through the gallery for more detail.



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