These bags were inspired by my hard working girls, who have been entertaining and teaching me since 2011. As you’ve probably heard, honey bees face a number of challenges today, including parasites, hive beetles, and diseases that were unknown in the US just a few decades ago. Pesticides and herbicides that are not supposed to bother them have weakened and killed many beneficial insects, making it difficult for them to overcome new challenges. Fortunately, my bees are quite resilient, having survived many of my well-intentioned, but stressful interventions. You see, no one agrees about how to keep or help honey bees and a procedure that works with one hive might hurt another.
My first design challenge was choosing the colors. All three bags in this posting were tapestry crocheted with two carried colors, which produced very sturdy fabrics. Black and yellow were the obvious choices for the bees, but what about the background?
Next, I had to figure out how to draw a honey bee motif on rounds tapestry crochet graph paper. I looked at lots of my own photos and online for inspiration, then asked friends and family which graphs they preferred. The top two choices are featured on my first attempt below.
The bees look a little better on the next version (below), but I decided that the experimental handle on the oval-based bag was too long to hold, but awkward as a shoulder strap.
The bees were tweaked again on the final bag (below), crocheted with Tahki Cotton Classic. Separate patterns for this bag with photos, tutorials, and graphs are now available on Patternfish for right-handed crocheters and left-handed crocheters.
I crocheted these bee themed bags while attending three different beekeeping conferences and look forward to showing off my Bee-U-tiful bag at the next one! I love that you can tapestry crochet just about anywhere, allowing me to combine two of my passions!