In case you find my naming struggles interesting, or might have advice.This shawl is the next in my Viking shawl collection – a series of romantic, love-inspired shawls and wraps. But it’s designed after something that at first doesn’t sound romantic at all. It’s inspired by lichens. And I think it looks damn like one.
When I visited the old farm in Iceland, lichens were spread out underfoot, all the way to the horizon, where they met the giant, roiling sky. One of my characters uses them to dye fiber in big iron pots, and throughout time they’ve been used as medicine or food.
Frilly white lichens, scattered like small bouquets on the rocky ground, become one of the elements that define the farm for my lost-in-time character. They’re mentioned in some of the most romantic scenes in my book.
And yet, Lichens Underfoot does not seem like a lovely name for a shawl. Not Liverwort either. From there, the possibilities get worse. Consumption Moss? Poultice!
At times while knitting a new design, I’ll feel like its name is there in my mind all along. And at times while knitting this prototype, I’ve thought Curvaceous. It’s a lush name. It might be compelling to people who are not familiar with the shawl series (which is an overwhelming majority of the world.) The word curve appears so many times in my novel, I’m thinking I have to search and destroy before finishing the draft.
And yet, Curvaceous doesn’t capture the stunning resemblance to the composite life forms that inspired it. If it didn’t look so darn like a lichen, I would be comfortable with that.
But this!The one name that’s grabbed my attention so far is Bitter Tonic. One can be made with lichens, and it’s a seductive little name for a knitting design. But it’s not the point of this piece, really.
After all this, I’m left with only some resolution. What do you think?
p.s. Mycobiont is not a pretty name for a shawl. I think it means something about codependent fungus.