25 July 2013

A Little Crochet Therapy

This blog has been a much quieter space than I prefer. My Cuddly Hubby has settled into his Maryland man cave. While it would be nice to think I now have two residences, the reality feels more like I have half a residence in two places. My used knitter's cats, my friends, my studio, and my familiar stomping ground are in one location, and my Cuddly Hubby is in another. I've been making the 650-mile all-day drive every two weeks. I've put 5000 miles on my car in two months. This and other factors are leading me to conclude that commuting back and forth every fortnight is not sustainable.

Some of those other factors include little things. For example, there is no food in my refrigerator. If you leave for two weeks, then anything you left behind will have spoiled by the time you return. And if you are about to leave for two weeks, then you only purchase what you think you can eat before you leave. Also, keeping two kitchens is confusing, as it is easy to forget you bought butter/cereal/tea for that location but not for this location.

You also come home to a big "to do" list, even if you left the place in good shape. All the cleaning things you might do once per month are now crammed into two weeks. Two weeks of mail is on the table. If there has been a power outage, then you come home to wrong clocks and timer lights switching at peculiar hours. And there are appointments to be made. On this last trip, I came back and made five phone calls on Monday to set up appointments. I am guessing the two residences lifestyle is glamorous if you do it the way Frank Lloyd Wright did it -- live in Wisconsin the warm part of the year and Arizona the cold part of the year. Making a big trek once every six months is sustainable. Splitting your life between two locations; not so much.

In the midst of this turmoil, I have been attempting to clean my studio and impose a small amount of order. I looked around and gathered up some of those projects and kits that were gathering dust, taking up space, and generally in the way rather than properly stowed. My thought was that I would have few distractions in the man cave, thus forcing me to work on unfinished objects.

One of the items I picked up was the fashion show door prize I won at STITCHES South this year. The Romantic Pineapple Shawl is a crochet project. I do know how to crochet. And I figured it would be a nice change of pace. It came in a nice tote bag, but that meant it was lurking on the floor of the studio. I figured that if I made it, then I could put the tote bag, leftover yarn, pattern, hook, and needles away. As you can see, logic is failing me.

This turned out to be a fairly enjoyable project. The main body of the shawl is not "social" crochet. The pattern requires your attention as you work a background of cluster-Vs with the occasional pineapple motif thrown in. I enjoyed the distraction and the excuse to focus. By the time I got to it, I'd worked enough pineapples for the edging to be "knit night" work; however, it was a little tedious. The bottoms of all the pineapples are worked across the row, but the points are each worked separately. The first pineapple can be worked with the already-established yarn, so you have 23 ends to weave in and 22 beginnings to weave in. I wove them in as I went -- I knew not to delay and make a monster. But this is very much an example of the result being worth the effort. As you can see in the "action shot," the little points really are quite flirty and fetching. The whole effect truly is romantic. Good crochet!