I've finished knitting the Northern skies.
Started: May 5, 2014
Finished: September 30, 2014
Yarn/yardage used: Silk/merino lace in the Aegean colorway, from Black Sheep Dyeworks. I held two strands doubled, so my best guess is that I used a total of about 2000 yards.
Beads: About 450 size 6/0 beads. The color? Well, FusionBeads calls it "Silver Lined Transparent Light Aqua Rainbow". So there you have it.
Needles: Size 4 Addi Turbo Lace circs, with the longest cables I could find (47"). They still felt rather short, though, since the finished circumference of the shawl was well over 100 inches.
The recipient wanted a pointy edging, so I followed the lead of many other Celestarium knitters and adapted the edging from the Lunar Tide shawl. When I went to start the edging, I found that I somehow had over 200 leftover beads. Now, the pattern calls for 370 beads, and I'd bought three packets of 150 each, so... who knows how that happened? I just went ahead and added beads to each of the 82 pattern repeats in the edging.
This was an odd knit for me in a couple of ways. For one thing, it was only the second project that I've knit to someone else's specifications. You see, when I knit something as a simple present for someone, I might elicit some suggestions on color and fiber, but I always make the final decisions on pattern and yarn. Often the recipient doesn't even know they're getting something until I've finished knitting it. But the custom knitting that I auction off at the Vericon charity auction seems to carry this weight of responsibility with it. I need to make sure that that what I produce comes as close as possible to the commissioners' dream shawls in all respects. So I flood them with options for fiber, color, weight, pattern, and beads. I've been fortunate in that both commissioners so far have been knitters themselves, and so they know what they (and I) are getting into. I've been doubly fortunate in that they've both picked shawls that I had already wanted to knit anyway, making the commission knitting feel just like personal knitting.
Which brings me to the second way in which this is odd: I want to keep this. I want to use it. This is extremely strange behavior for me. I'm a process knitter who never actually uses any of my finished knits. Sure, I wear my socks sometimes, but I don't knit socks so that I can have the pleasure of wearing my own pretty handknitted socks. I knit socks because I enjoy knitting socks, and then I wear the socks because I need to put on socks and these were the ones that were lying around. I knit shawls because I enjoy knitting beautiful intricate lace, and then they get put away somewhere. I'll wear them maybe once a year. (This realization is what prompted me to start offering my custom shawl-knitting services for auction in the first place. Someone may as well enjoy the fruits of my labor.)
So why do I want to keep and use Celestarium? Is it because I've spent so much time with it? Is it because it falls on the right side of the "everyday stuff" and "fancy special-occasion stuff" divide in my mind? Is it just because the weather's grown chilly recently?
Who knows. The urge to keep it, though tangible, is not very strong, and it's getting mailed out to its proper owner today or tomorrow. If I continue to miss it, well, I have some lovely dark blue-purple Malabrigo lace that has been waiting in my stash for two and a half years to learn what it'll become.