A Knitalong and a SALE!

Got your Queen Bee pattern yet?  If you were hesitating, here's all the incentive you need: The fabulous folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts are throwing a sale on Queen Bee yarn!  From August 1 through September 15, all BFL sport yarn will be 15% off.  Choose the original colors, or select your very own custom combo; just use code "QUEENBEE" at checkout to receive your discount.

And, since you asked, I'm happily hosting a Queen Bee Knitalong, starting on September 1.  CLICK HERE to join in the fun, and be sure to invite your friends!  I'll be on hand to answer questions, offer encouragement, and generally enjoy all the buzz.  And of course, I have been known to award prizes, from time to time...

Oh, and one more thing:  BFL sport yarn comes in HUGE 661-yard skeins.  If you are interested in sharing skeins of the contrast colors with other Queens, be sure to check out the thread for skein-splitting on the KAL group page.  Make a friend, share a skein = Win/Win!

See you at the Knitalong.  It's good to be (a) Queen.

At Last! Time 2 B

It's been a long time coming, and I've promised so many, so often that I can't believe it's finally time:  Today you can get your very own Adult Bee pattern, to make in any of six sizes, at the length of your choice. 

CLICK HERE to get it.

Not to make too obscure a reference, but if you happened to see the Teachers' Talent Show at the Madrona Winter Retreat this year (What happens at Madrona Stays at Madrona), where there was an official Media Blackout, you saw me wear the original Queen Bee.  Among Other Things.  'Nuff said.  Lots of people asked me about the pattern after that, which is the only reason I bring it up now.

The original version of the bee sweater was a baby cardigan; one of three that inspired me to publish my first book.  I was surprised and delighted when one after another, knitters asked me to re-tool the motif as an adult sweater.  In fact, from the very first, everywhere I went that people had seen that baby bee sweater, knitters assertively *cough-aggressively-cough* let me know what they wanted.  And they were not shy.  Knitters crossed rooms, crossed book-signing lines, crossed lanes of traffic; all to let me know that while the baby version was fine, what they really wanted was a grown-up bee sweater of their very own.

Which I realized, should not have the same naive spirit as the original. An adult bee sweater had to reflect wisdom, and stature, and well, royalty of a sort.  It could only be a QUEEN BEE

Much as with the original, the adult bee sweater almost knitted itself.  The yarn was a complete no-brainer:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts, with Force of Nature Tina Newton at the helm, supplied the yarn without batting a lash.  Even though I don't normally like V-necks, this one told me loudly and often that it needed to Bee a Vee.  I never question messages from the universe which are that loud and clear.

I hope you'll enjoy the Queen as much as I have.  Thank you so much for telling me how much she was wanted.  And for patiently waiting while I made it happen for you. 

Long Live the Queen.

The Best Poem I Never Read

My mother once looked across a formal dinner table at me and smiled indulgently, in response to something I had just said.  "But you're just not very well-read, Darling," she drawled, sending Phillip, my then-fiancee and intellectual wunderkind into gales of strangled laughter. He believed otherwise, both then and now, or wouldn't have been much interested in a second date, never mind more.  Try not to judge my mom too harshly; she's a woman who, if presented with the Taj Mahal as a potential residence, would smile archly and say "Well, if you like MARBLE all that much...Personally, Ah think it's a little cold." Let's just say my mom's standards were high, in all arenas.  To this day, it's impossible for me or Phillip to quote any work of writing without inserting in air quotes, and "But of course, Ah'm not very well-read".

If you have seen my independently published patterns, you will know that I always include a selection of visual ephemera, and quotations that I find inspirational and germane.  Today I was looking around for such things to augment the Queen Bee pattern, and would you believe it?  I found the perfect poem to express the essence of the design, written by none other than E.B. White:  

Song of the Queen Bee
by E.B White
Published in New Yorker Magazine 1945

"The breeding of the bee," says a United States Department of Agriculture bulletin on artificial insemination, has always been handicapped by the fact that the queen mates in the air with whatever drone she encounters."

When the air is wine and the wind is free
and the morning sits on the lovely lea
and sunlight ripples on every tree
Then love-in-air is the thing for me
I’m a bee,
I’m a ravishing, rollicking, young queen bee,
That's me.
I wish to state that I think it’s great,
Oh, it’s simply rare in the upper air,
It’s the place to pair
With a bee.

Let old geneticists plot and plan,
They’re stuffy people, to a man;
Let gossips whisper behind their fan.
(Oh, she does?
Buzz, buzz, buzz!)
My nuptial flight is sheer delight;
I’m a giddy girl who likes to swirl,
To fly and soar
And fly some more,
I’m a bee.
And I wish to state that I’ll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.

There’s a kind of a wild and glad elation
In the natural way of insemination;
Who thinks that love is a handicap
Is a fuddydud and a common sap,
For I am a queen and I am a bee,
I’m devil-may-care and I’m fancy-free,
The test tube doesn't appeal to me,
Not me,
I’m a bee.
And I’m here to state that I’ll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.

Mares and cows, by calculating,
Improve themselves with loveless mating,
Let groundlings breed in the modern fashion,
I’ll stick to the air and the grand old passion;
I may be small and I’m just a bee
But I won’t have science improving me,
Not me,
I’m a bee.
On a day that’s fair with a wind that’s free,
Any old drone is a lad for me.

I’ve no flair for love moderne,
It’s far too studied, far too stern,
I’m just a bee—I’m wild, I’m free,
That’s me.
I can’t afford to be too choosy;
In every queen there’s a touch of floozy,
And it’s simply rare
In the upper air
And I wish to state
That I’ll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter.

Man is a fool for the latest movement,
He broods and broods on race improvement;
What boots it to improve a bee
If it means the end of ecstasy?
(He ought to be there
On a day that’s fair,
Oh, it’s simply rare.
For a bee.)

Man’s so wise he is growing foolish,
Some of his schemes are downright ghoulish;
He owns a bomb that’ll end creation
And he wants to change the sex relation,
He thinks that love is a handicap,
He’s a fuddydud, he’s a simple sap;
Man is a meddler, man’s a boob,
He looks for love in the depths of a tube,
His restless mind is forever ranging,
He thinks he’s advancing as long as he’s changing,
He cracks the atom, he racks his skull,
Man is meddlesome, man is dull,
Man is busy instead of idle,
Man is alarmingly suicidal,
Me, I am a bee.

I am a bee and I simply love it,
I am a bee and I’m darn glad of it,
I am a bee, I know about love:
You go upstairs, you go above,
You do not pause to dine or sup,
The sky won’t wait—it’s a long trip up;
You rise, you soar, you take the blue,
It’s you and me, kid, me and you,
It’s everything, it’s the nearest drone,
It’s never a thing that you find alone.
I’m a bee,
I’m free.

If any old farmer can keep and hive me,
Then any old drone may catch and wife me;
I’m sorry for creatures who cannot pair
On a gorgeous day in the upper air,
I’m sorry for cows that have to boast
Of affairs they’ve had by parcel post,
I’m sorry for a man with his plots and guile,
His test-tube manner, his test-tube smile;
I’ll multiply and I’ll increase
As I always have—by mere caprice;
For I am a queen and I am a bee,
I’m devil-may-care and I’m fancy-free,
Love-in-air is the thing for me,
Oh, it’s simply rare
In the beautiful air,
And I wish to state
That I’ll always mate
With whatever drone I encounter. 

I share it here with you, Gentle Readers, because it really says it all. But of course, I'm just not very well-read...