- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.6XeXEVt9.dpuf The Curiosity Project: The Beekeeper's Revolution

20 March 2012

The Beekeeper's Revolution

"Once upon a time, a jolly maiden found she had excess time on her hands. She picked up some knitting and quickly got to work. It seemed the only thing left to do was to write down all of the patterns so that everyone could join in and knit along!"



Right now my house is covered in tiny little hexapuffs. "Hexapuffs?" I hear you say, "what on earth is one of those?" For those of you who aren't aware of the knitting pattern causing a sensation in the knitting world, please cast your eye over the Beekeeper's Quilt, then it'll all make perfect sense. 

For those of you who are immersed in the soft and wooly world of the puff, how are you doing? How are you coping? Addictive, isn't it. At the beginning of January I embarked on my own quilt as my project for 2012 to cover just the top of our king size bed. Am I crazy? Hell yes! It has given me a wonderful focus to relax with though and gave me some time with my mum to remind myself how to knit. She's even started her own!


In the beginning...


My latest update. I'm not ready to join them yet.


{My hexapuffs are knitted flat in one piece and joined, I also cast on 20 and increase to 40 so they're bigger than Stephanie's pattern}

If you're not acquainted, Stephanie Dosen, creator of Tiny Owl Knits, is a freakin' genius, so much so that her work has been featured in craft magazines worldwide (she was recently in Mollie Makes too). Her whimsical knits take you back to childhood fairytales where beautiful princesses roamed magical woodlands and animals could converse with humans-the Mr Fox Stole, Woodland Hoodlet and Deer with Antlers hat are just some of her repertoire. Oh, and her favourite swear word is "cupcakes!". 


There are many more layers to Stephanie's talents, none more so prominent than her incredible ability as a singer songwriter. In fact, I feel almost embarrassed as I look through her musical resume that I haven't made that connection before. With two breathtakingly beautiful albums already under her belt, 'Ghosts, Mice & Vagabonds' and 'A Lily For The Spectre', she has also collaborated with the likes of Massive Attack and the Indigo Girls on tour and has also worked with the Chemical Brothers. If you're around my age you will also recognise her vocals from the soundtracks of Dawson's Creek and Party Of Five. I love her and I know you will too...




You had what sounds like an idyllic childhood surrounded by woods and birds so is it a subconscious choice that your designs reflect this? 


I lived out in the country and spent very much of my time under trees and by the ponds when I was little. I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time sitting by rabbit holes waiting for them to come out! I collected toads by the bucketful and watched closely for foxes. I also ate a lot of pizza. My parents owned a pizza store while I was growing up and pizza was my brother’s first word. I have a vague recollection of candles in a pizza for a birthday cake, but I might have made that up.


Tell us about how Tiny Owl Knits started, how you got into knitting and what led you to start designing your own patterns for others to use...


I started knitting when I got a job at a yarn store in Nashville, TN. They hired me as a crochet teacher and before long I was knitting up little trinkets and sharing the patterns with the customers. It was great to have something to give them to get them on the knitting path. I was a yarn pusher! I always get a little over-excited about things I'm passionate about and I think everyone should try it at once! I think my friends began to fear coming over to my house because I would shove yarn and needles and patterns at them and just expect that they would be keen. Yes, I am that annoying friend!



You seem to just pull beautiful and magical ideas from the sky and knit them perfectly-HOW?! Where does this inspiration come from?


Aw thanks so much! I get lots of ideas from things I see or dream up. I imagine what I want to have and then I make it. But it doesnt come out perfectly the first time! I always have to re-knit and re-design things. I've been working on a certain project for several months and I have had to redo the chart at least 20 times. I just cant let it go out if im not totally thrilled with it. I cant tell you how many things I knit that never “make it” to the pattern shop.

Are you surprised at the incredible response you've had in relation to your patterns, the Beekeeper's Quilt in particular? Do you have any plans to expand this side of your creativity with a book perhaps? ;)


I'm absolutely and totally shocked to my core. I had no idea on this swirling tilting blue planet that anyone would even SEE the quilt let alone want to knit it! It took me so long to finish and I tried to release it a couple times before I finally took the plunge. I was worried the photos wouldn't look right and people wouldn't be able to tell that they were little separately knitted puffs. I believe I actually lost sleep over that fact! At the end of the day, I freaking love that quilt. I loved making it, I loved putting it together and I love looking at it every day. So the fact that other people get to share in that is just aces in the sky, it's mice peeping out of mouse holes, it's a snow day, it's extra cheese on the pizza! Oh and yes a book is coming! (You heard it here first!!!!!!)


Does your music and knitting ever inter-twine with each other e.g. do you find that one can help the other? 


At first I thought I had to choose one. But that's silly. I mean, people have 2 kids and they can love each equally and they certainly both need lots of attention. So it's the same way with music and knitting. I love both and they will always be my little harbors in the storm of life. I always need music and I always need a pair of needles clicking during the day. I am scared however to start any other hobbies. Or should I say habits?

What are you working on at the moment? 


I just finished a pattern for a magazine, and now I'm working on patterns for 2 different e-books, plus my own book, plus I really need some socks! I mean, what knitter who loves to knit socks is completely out of knitted socks!? answer: me! It's so sad. I think I'll cast on tonight. Ooooh I'm also working on beekeeper quilt number 2! really having fun with that again.



And finally, I can't let you go without asking about the music. Are working on any collaborations or a new album at the moment? Give us something to look forward to!

I just finished a record with Simon Raymonde (Bella Union/Cocteau Twins). I finished the vocals before I left London in November. It is being mixed right now and might not be out for a while, but there are lots of exciting guests on it and I cant wait to share it! I only wish it was totally finished now!!!


You can find out more about Stephanie's knits here and of course her music is available on iTunes and through her label, Bella Union here.


Now we want to hear from YOU. Are you busy beavering away on your own quilt? Or perhaps another of Stephanie's designs? Get in touch and tell us how you're getting on with it, send in some piccies if you can, because we're nosy! 

8 comments:

  1. Hi - thank you for publishing this interview, Stephanie is one talented lady!

    I started my beekeeper's quilt last week ... it's a great project to carry around and knit a few quick rows while you're waiting - I knitted half a hexipuff in the doctor's waiting room last week, and another couple rows at the school bikesheds waiting for my youngest to come out of class. A bit here, a bit there - all of a sudden I have 9 hexipuffs! I am soooo enthused about this project!

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  2. I purchased The Beekeeper's Quilt pattern last year and put it in my queue, where it languished, unloved, until I got the word our first grandchild will soon be making an appearance. So now I'm hexipuffing along and having a great time collecting and designing little charts as well as winding and trading mini skeins.
    I'm collecting puffs in a basket. When "the time" draws near I'll scatter them on the train table and stitch them together as they fall. How big will the blankie be? As big as it ends up. I can always add to it so it can grow up with baby.

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  3. I found the Beekeepers quilt pattern last month. Or perhaps it found me - it seems it was meant to be anyway. I knit my hexipuffs on the bus to and from work and suddenly what was a dreary commute has become something to look forward to each day. It also seems to open up new conversations as a few curious people haven't been able to resist asking what on earth I'm knitting. this project just inspires people to share - whether it be yarn, time, smiles, whatever. Thank you Stephanie for what you've started.

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  4. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Steph's been talking about the book on Ravelry for some time...
    Otherwise, fantastic post and a great interview with a lovely lady!

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  5. Charlene-that is just the most perfect idea for a gift! My little son has a gorgeous knitted blanket my mum made for him and he will treasure it always. Maybe I'll do another quilt for the next one ;)

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  6. I found the Beekeepers quilt pattern last month. Or perhaps it found me - it seems it was meant to be anyway. I knit my hexipuffs on the bus to and from work and suddenly what was a dreary commute has become something to look forward to each day. It also seems to open up new conversations as a few curious people haven't been able to resist asking what on earth I'm knitting. this project just inspires people to share - whether it be yarn, time, smiles, whatever. Thank you Stephanie for what you've started.

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  7. Sherry in Idaho21 March 2012 at 15:30

    I like Stephanie's group on Ravelry and so enjoyed this interview. Thank you.

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  8. aw thanks for the lovely interview!!! ♥
    happy knits everyone!
    love stephanie
    xoxoxo

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