Remember this project? I decided about six months ago that I wasn’t liking the way that this pattern was knitting up with silk yarn. So I took some yarn that I reclaimed from a thrift store sweater and dyed and start over.
It’s much bigger now, but I haven’t been able to take a picture that isn’t blurry lately. Once I removed the needles, the silk yarn found its way to my yarn corner and just sat there until a week ago when I decided that it was finally time to think about what to do with it. Today I finally go around to frogging the scarf and rewinding the yarn.
Now it’s just waiting for me to find a new lace pattern and start over. It’ll still be a scarf when I finally make up my mind on the pattern. I think it’ll make a lovely dress scarf when all is said and done.
When I opened up my present from my then-fiance on Christmas Day and discovered a set of Knit Picks crochet hooks., my initial thoughts was, Oh I guess I need to remember how to crochet now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful. My husband has an affinity for practical gifts, and I had made it clear that I wanted fiber-related presents for Christmas. He’s also very good at shopping from a wish list, and the crochet hooks were on the one I have up on Knit Picks. And it’s not that I don’t like crochet. After all, crochet was my first foray into fiber arts, back when I was a sophomore in high school and learned how by watching a cast mate during one act play rehearsals.
When I got back into crafting after a several year hiatus, knitting was what I went back to, and for a few years I was more than okay with that. Especially once I discovered wool and gorgeous wood needles. But when Knit Picks started selling crochet hooks, I seriously considered getting back into it. If I’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s that having the proper tools can make any craft that much more enjoyable. And crochet has been no different.
Once I had the hooks, it didn’t take me long to find some leftover wool from a sweater I’d made a few years ago and a stitch pattern I’d found on Pinterest. And now I’m close to finishing a scarf:
I love working with natural fibers. (Unless I’m making amigurumi for my niece, then acrylic it is.) And for whatever reason, the birch hooks feel better in my hand than the metal ones I’d been using before. Not that I’m giving up knitting, mind you. But I’m definitely enjoying crochet a lot more than I have in a while.
When I started knitting my Trilobite socks a year and a half ago, I decided that I would try to make them knee socks. I started at the toes so I could just knit until I ran out of yarn. Then somewhere amid the frustration of a broken needle, the fear of another broken needle, the unwieldiness of knitting two socks at once while trying to knit as tightly as possible, I ran out of a desire to work on the socks. Last weekend, in the face of more pairs of socks getting to the point where they are unwearable, I decided that perhaps instead of knee socks, it would just be better to have done socks.
They fit wonderfully, and it was a bit of a relief to have the needle back. I knit them in Knit Picks Stroll Multi on size 0 circulars. The colorway is Atmosphere. I love Knit Picks yarn because of its softness. The last pair of socks I finished was in Berocco Sox, and they’re a bit on the scratchy side. Of course, an added bonus is that since I didn’t use up all the yarn making these socks, I can add the extra to the bag of yarn for my sock yarn blanket.
And of course, since I got the size 0 needle back, that meant that both needles I would need for my next sweater vest are now available. So I didn’t waste much time getting started:
The color is a bit off, thanks to the flash on my camera. But it’s off to a great start, and I envision many happy hours of knitting ahead of me with this one.
It would seem that I am incapable of knitting a small shawl. The closest I’ve come is my Swallowtail. The rest of them all end up in varying sizes of huge. My Aeolian Shawl is no exception. After 22 months, it has finally come off the needles, and I’ve become aware of just how big it really is.
Keep in mind here that this is a king size bed. This shawl is enormous. But the plus side is that it should do a very good job of keeping me warm when I do wear it. It’s definitely more of a dressing up shawl, though I could probably also pair it with jeans.
I ended up needing three and a half hanks of Knit Picks Shimmer for this. I’m sure that directly relates to my tendency toward loose knitting. With ten rows to go, I was rapidly running out of yarn:
Fortunately, Knit Picks hasn’t discontinued either the yarn or the color, despite the fact that I bought the first three hanks about two years ago, so I was able to order another. Otherwise I’d have had to consider something drastic. Fortunately, the extra hank arrived looking very much like the first three, so both I and the project was saved.
I briefly considered figuring out what the cost for the shawl was now that it’s all done, but I’m a little hesitant to do so. With all the beads, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a cheap undertaking. I kept purchasing more tubes of beads as I ran low, including two more just four days ago. I didn’t use every color bead in all the tubes, though, so I do have a fair number of beads left over. I’m sure I’ll find a use for them sooner or later. At one point during this project, I was swearing never to make a beaded shawl again, but I’m sure that won’t last. There are a few too many pretty beaded lace patterns out there that I want to try.
Here are some close-ups of the beads:
At some point, I’ll take it outside for a photo-shoot, but seeing as the temperature has gone down again and the sun has been a bit shy lately, I’m not sure when that will happen.
One of the things that came up, even before getting engaged, was the Great Name-Taking Question. Something I’d pondered for years was the question of, when I got married, would I take my husband’s name? And there are a lot of things to consider, especially given that Ohio doesn’t require a bride to take her groom’s name. First off, I had to consider that I have a child from a previous relationship. Since my child and I have the same last name, no one questions my legal right to do simple things like pick him up from school or take him to the doctor. I’m sure there are simple ways to deal with this one, given that women with children remarry all the time. But there’s a simplicity to sharing a last name with my child that is easy to take for granted, as well. Secondly, there’s the fact that all my scholarship is under my maiden name. Not that I have a huge publication history, but all my conference papers are under my current name. I’ve also spent the past two years building my scholarly reputation under this name. This would be a bigger issue if I were close to completing a doctoral degree, rather than only having a master’s, but it’s something to consider nonetheless. I’ve also been applying to doctoral programs under this name.
There’s always the option of hyphenating my last name, and that’s something I’ve considered as well. After all, there are plenty of female scholars out there with compound or hyphenated names. It lends a certain impressive air to a book title to see those names on the cover. Zack’s not a fan of hyphenation, though, so he’s informed me that he is more than okay with me keeping my single name. I’m sure there will be many cards and invitation in our future addressed to Mr and Mrs, and I’m more than prepared to let those slide with a snicker or an eye roll, depending on the circumstances.
Of course, until we receive the marriage certificate which would allow me to initiate the name-changing process, this whole conversation is primarily academic. Fortunately, no one has given me grief for my decision yet, and that’s really the best I can hope for. Besides, if I don’t change my name, I don’t need to update my driver’s license for the second time in a year. And not wanting to wait in line at the BMV is something I think we can all agree on.