Knitting and the knitting community goes through very definite phases of popular trends – just like quilting, cartooning, anime, clothing design, and so many other creative efforts where people get really passionate about what they do.
In fact, I have the ‘fun fiber’ scarves from about 6 years ago – fun fur or ribbon yarn knit on size Ginormous needles – to thank for my re-entry into knitting. The first time I saw a ribbon scarf on a friend, I knew I needed to have one… which meant Make It… which led to the fiber obsession you experience regularly here on CI.
Since then, I have watched a seemingly endless parade of popular projects storm through the knitting community. (Please note that unlike most posts, today’s post has many pictures from other sites – the mouseover text for each has attribution info).
There was the Noro Stripe Scarf
Anything by Stephen West
And myriad others.
For the most part I don’t knit these patterns and projects. I am a slow-enough knitter as it is and I have my own passions to follow. But even more than that, sometimes I just can’t understand the attraction of a particular item, though obviously tens of thousands of others do. This has been true with several colorwork scarves, many shawl patterns, and dozens of sock patterns. Will I jump on those bandwagons? Nope, not me. Well, I admit that I tried Clapotis, but the idea of knitting endless stockinette and then purposely unravelling a bunch of it… I couldn’t do that to myself. The Noro scarf has never held much charm for me to knit, though I love seeing what others have knit because the colors are so pretty. One day I may knit a pair of pomatomus, but I have to learn to say it first.
One of the most recent to blast onto the scene and go from zero to Mega Popularity instantaneously has been The Beekeepers Quilt by TinyOwlKnits – Stephanie Dosen. All I hear anywhere is “beekeeper” this and “hexipuff” that. Wah wah wah puffs. Yeah yeah. Dudes. Get a grip. It’s knitting.
The Beekeeper’s Quilt is quite cute. And Stephanie herself is darling. If you read this post of mine, you know that I am quite smitten with TinyOwlKnits and have been appreciating those cheery puffs for a while. But knitting the actual quilt seemed kind of silly. I mean, it’s just a toe-up sock toe, and then a cuff-down sock toe, right? Then repeat x 400. Bah. As much as I love knitting socks, those two parts are my least favorite. Starting toe-ups can be super-fiddly, and Kitchener – ew. Don’t even get me started. (Remember this?)
Over time, I have seen endless Ravelry groups start up. Small skeins, now refered to ubiquitously as ‘minis’ are hot trade in Rav swap threads. People are going just a little bit psycho. In fact, tons of Etsy shops are selling collections of minis to help knitters add variety, complete quilts, or frankly… just feed their stash mania.
“Whatever,” I thought.
“That’s crazy,” I said to myself.
“Those people are a little silly,” I muttered with superiority. “I’m not like those knitters. Nope, not me.”
For months I’ve been thinking about that quilt. Not so much the making of it, but how darn sweet and cute and colorful it is. It just looks soft and spring-like and full of joy. And let me tell you, no one needs those things more than a Vitamin-D deprived girl slogging her way through the end of winter in the Pacific Northwest.
I kept looking at Stephanie’s pictures. I looked at other pictures from people working on the quilt. I was ridiculous enough to waste time downloading similar free patterns using crochet or other modular (but flat) shapes to make a different type of quilt, but nothing satisfied. Weeks passed, then a few months. I still was pretty enamored by that quilt. And dude, what was the big deal about it anyway? I had to find out.
Finally I just plunked down my $5.50 and bought the pattern.
And just like the rest of everything related to TinyOwlKnits – even the layout and presentation of the pattern itself was just darling and silly and funny.
Right away, I knew I was in trouble:
Oooo. First step – awesome new easy seamless cast on. Humph. This would totally work for toe-up socks too. Worth the price of admission right there.
Wow. These are easy.
Stuff a puff. Heh. Ooo. Check out that sweet cast off & finish in one step. Easy peasy.This is SO not Kitchener. Ohhhh I think I understand. Addictive. Just like everyone said. Uh oh.
One two three four. Knit a puff then knit some more.
Aughhhhhh! Must make more PUFFS!!!!!!
Ok, so I’m hooked. I dream during the day about what puff I’ll make that night. Yep, I can do that cause it takes about one hour and fifteen minutes to crank out one of these little cuties, which is just about the amount of time I camp out on the couch each night with a bully in my lap and needles in my hands.
And I have the added bonus of tons of bright, cheery sock yarn just waiting to be made into puffs. As I admit on my Ravelry page, I have a tendency to buy really bright beautiful sock yarn, although I wear only neutrals and darks. As much as I love the brights, I can’t quite bring myself to wear them… which means that I don’t usually grab those yarns to make socks. So my favorites have been sitting in the cabinet like the sad toys on Misfit Island.
But no longer! Now they will become PUFFS!!
However, I will just say right now that I will NEVER go and buy a bunch of minis so I can knit more puffs. That is just redonkulous. I refuse to do it.
Nope, not me.