We do so hate to be bored

Last August, I was lazing around, reading through a bunch of knitting and book blogs (as one does). I came upon a post about knitting the fandoms – patterns and projects based on various comic book, sci fi, or fantasy franchises. In the post, they review a book of Star Wars-based knitting patterns and also showcase some Dr. Who and DC Comics projects. I myself have knitted a Tolkien-based project in the past, which I blogged extensively in these pages (the latest post is here, with links to the previous posts).

I clicked onto the next blog on my reading list, this one written by the husband and wife writing duo, Ilona Andrews. They write urban fantasy novels, which combine some sci fi, a bit of romance, a little magic, a bunch of scary monsters, fun world-building, and generally kick-ass protagonists. They are very popular, have written at least six separate series, and have a wildly devoted fan base who call themselves the Book Devouring Horde (the BDH). I immediately had the thought “What would a knitted piece of Ilona Andrews fan art look like?” And a fully formed picture of such a pattern popped instantly into my head! It would look like this:

Well, that was in August, and it took me some months to get around to knitting it, but I can happily say that I have now finished and I think it looks pretty cool. “But what does it mean?”, you may ask (thus proving yourself to not be a card-carrying member of the BDH). In the Hidden Legacy series, the super bad guy – who is known as Caesar – causes chaos while his identity remains secret. The only clue that readers have to his identity is in the very last scene of the the third book, in which he has a conversation with a fellow plotter. It is the first time he appears on page, and he says “We do so hate to be bored”. It is, in fact, the last line of the book. The BDH are busily engaged in wild speculation as to Caesar’s identity, which will hopefully be revealed in the next book, and this clue is central to the debate.

As the months went by and this pattern idea continued to percolate in my head, I realised that I liked it more and more, because this statement is a very truthful one, in ways completely orthogonal to Ilona Andrews and fandom knitting. I find that the line “We do so hate to be bored” has two very powerful meanings for me, both of which I suspect will resonate with many of you.

First, it appeals to me as a maker, as someone engaged in creative activity. I think this statement could be seen to define those of us who see ourselves as artists, inventors, creators; we do hate to be bored. We like to create things with our minds and our bodies – be it knitting, sewing, dancing, painting, cooking. Putting together the flights of fancy of my imagination, the know-how of my hands and fingers, the magic of yarn and needles, and the gift of knitting heritage, I can make something new and unique – and in doing so, I am not bored.

The second meaning has become clear to me through two years of this pandemic, and it is that we, as human beings, need connections. We need interactions, we need to engage. We need to keep our brains busy. Lockdowns have taught us that we hate to be bored. It is a deeply felt part of what it is to be human. When we are bored, we stagnate.

If you see me on the street in my new jumper, you can nod your head and think “yes, I’m with her; I do so hate to be bored.” Or, if you happen to be a card-carrying member of the BDH, give me a wave. I have my theory about who Caesar is and I’d be happy to debate it with you.

We took these photos this morning in Henley-on-Thames. It is still cold but it is gloriously sunny and people were enjoying being out and about. This is the first time in a while that I have knitted a sweater which I designed myself. For those who are interested in the creative process and/or the technical details, I will write it up and put it in a separate post, which I hope to publish in a week or two. (We are spending next week in Wales, taking a much-needed break, which may effect that timeline.) In the meantime, I wish you all a lovely, non-boring weekend!

16 thoughts on “We do so hate to be bored

  1. While I’m not a member of the BDH, I’m definitely looking the authors up! I love your new jumper – it is very, very cool. And love your photoshoot location as well 🙂

  2. I admit to knowing nothing about that particular fandom, but I like the quote and as a knitter I am wildly impressed by your colorwork execution (intarsia?). Also, the tee fits you very well 🙂

  3. This isn’t a fandom I’ve heard of but I like the jumper. My mum used to say only boring people get bored and made sure we were always doing something. When I had Covid and didn’t feel well enough to even knit that’s the first time I’d felt bored in a long long time…and I did hate it.

  4. Hi! I am a fellow fan of Ilona Andrews…I saw that you were mentioned today by Amanda in the links on SBTB! How cool!

  5. Very cool jumper!!!
    And everything keeps pointing to Linus as Caesar (respected, powerful, &c) but I figure he can’t be. But I think it’s going to be his evil twin brother or the head of the Records office or something like that. Grandma Frieda somehow knows Linus from the past, so I think there is some family connection somehow. And it’s supposed to be obvious since Alessandro “saw” something when he saw Linus and Catalina together.

    • Ha ha! Well, Patti, this is a spoiler-free zone. (Easy enough since I have no idea what’s in store when the new book is released!) My own theory changes frequently. What I do know for sure is that whatever happens, we won’t be bored! Thank you for commenting.

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