beekeeper ornament

Image Details: ‘beekeeper ornament’ by mrwalter, via Flickr.

Day Two (Tuesday April 23rd): A Mascot Project.
Your task today is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal. It could be a knitting or crochet pattern – either of the animal itself or something that makes you think of the qualities of that house.

I would really like to say that, when choosing a project, I go through a structured and logical estimation process, whereby I decide on the optimal item and yarn to go with it, taking into account all essential and hopefully some desirable criteria too. Ok, ok, you can stop snorting now! I do none of the above. My Ravelry queue is, quite frankly, a joke to be ignored. My stash isn’t all stashed, so I end up having to go diving to see what is in there. I queue and favourite patterns on a whim, only to return and remove them from the queue a couple of months down the line.

I never do this fabled thing, where I organize patterns and yarn into a little bag ready to be knit. I have heard of it happening, but never in my house I am afraid. That is because I see stash as more of a living being. It exudes forces which can shape and change the way you think about your craft and indeed its own destiny. Something that might have even been bought for one project has the ability to subvert your will to whatever it wants to be, in the end. I liken it to some of the fundamental laws of physics and firmly believe that if you try and organize your stash too much, it will fight back and disorganise itself. So, I just let it mingle around in a couple of plastic lidded tubs to do its own thing and cook up whatever mischief it likes. It’s the safest way all round.

Yellow yarn

Image Details: ‘Yellow Yarn’ by PhotoGraham, via Flickr.

The reason for this rather longwinded intro, is that I find the brief for today hard. I would never go and pick a project then pick the yarn and plan it all out. It is just not the way that one rolls, so to speak. The two processes are entirely separate: I buy yarn I really like without a project necessarily in mind, and I queue patterns I like knowing that I probably don’t have the yarn I would need in my stash. I take a somewhat fatalistic approach to how these methods manifest themselves in my resultant output. Usually it works out to my liking, luckily. I shall add at this point too, that throwing in the random chaos force that is either gin or red wine can add previously unexpected dimensions to the pattern and yarn pairing process, with occasional disastrous results.

So, I thought the best way for me to work out today’s brief would be to do a pattern pick, like I do on the podcast, for the search term “bee” on Ravelry. However, if you include knitting and crochet patterns, there are a staggering 28 pages of patterns. Now I am all for dredging through a few pages to find those comedy gems, but not 28 pages I am afraid. So I have decided to choose one stand out pattern that I would quite like to make, and one that I know now I never will.


Image Details: ‘IMG_5473’ by WoofBC, via Flickr.

Let’s start with the ‘never will thee cross my needles’ pattern. I will be bold and jump straight in there with The Beekeeper Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits. I don’t ‘get’ this project. I didn’t ‘get’ it last year when everyone else was raving about it. I reckon you will need a crane to lift the thing by the time you are done knitting hexipuffs and don’t get me started on the sewing up and seaming that would need to be done. No, no, no. I can see the merits of finding a project to use up scraps of sock yarn, after all, those scraps are still expensive, considering the cost per gram, and you could probably churn out these hexipuffs like a sweatshop, but I think I would find it just a bit – yes I am going to say it, I don’t care – boring. But then I am a Bee. Being perpetually distracted is my raison d’etre. I can appreciate the cleverness of the design, along with all of the great colour work patterns that people have designed for individual puffs, but this is really not a project for me.

Humlesokkene modelled

Image Details: ‘Humlesokkene modelled’ by osloann, via Flickr. Reproduced here by kind permission of osloann (Pinneguri on Ravelry) All Rights Reserved.

So for my ‘maybe I would make this project, actually, if I started right now, but tomorrow, wow, that’s a whole other story, think of what could come along before then!’ project, I have chosen The Bumblebee Socks by The Needle Lady. Something about this project just jumped out, I think it is very clever. It is probably the colours, but also the excellent project pictures the designer has chosen to advertise the pattern on the Ravelry page, which ‘Pinneguri’ has very kindly allowed me to use in this post – thank you! The fact it has been done in a variety of shades also appeals to my bee-like tendancies, as I almost never do the projects in the yarn the project calls for, and if I do, it very often won’t be the shade on the pictures. I wish I could say the reasons for me choosing the project ran deeper than, “I just liked the look of it, really,” but they don’t. This really is how I choose what to make. No wonder my output is so chaotic!

How do you choose your projects? Did you find it matched up with the personality traits of your chosen house?

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