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Archive for the ‘Obsessions’ Category

A 2011 itemized list

Just so everything I experienced in 2011 is not forgotten, I thought is was time for a random, itemized list.

1. I have become completely obsessed with homemade popcorn. (And not the kind you microwave.) One weekend my lovely friend Shelley came to visit and shared with me a caramel popcorn recipe that is out of this world. I even bought a pan so I can cook my popcorn kernels better. I also make really yummy kettle corn and buttered popcorn.

2. I ate way too much popcorn in 2011.

3. After 13 years with my Honda Civic I decided to upgrade and bought a lovely Audi named Michael.  RIP Ali.

4. I bought an iPad in the spring.  Hands down the best and most used purchase of the year.

5. I probably could have saved more money in 2011.

6. My Canadian grandpa passed away in the fall after years of living with some pretty hard physical trials. He was a really good man and my mom delivered an exceptional eulogy that made me wish I had known him better.

7. If I die before them I want my Mom and Dad to speak at my funeral.

8. Baby sister Bri gave birth to baby number 2 on December 28th, a beautiful girl named Lydia.  I love her.

9. I am really glad Lydia wasn’t born on Christmas day.  That would be the worst.

10. I am addicted to Shellac manicures.  I love that it lasts 2-3 weeks and I love having color on my nails – even if my friend Laurel thinks it looks a bit tart-y. 🙂

11. My Mom and sister Kara and I like to watch British shows together.  It is the most fun.  Among my favorites this year was Sherlock, Middlemarch, and of course the exceptional Downton Abbey.  (How good was the Season 2 opener last Sunday? Answer: SO good.)

12. I recently taught knitting to a few new friends from church.  It has been a while since I have shared the craft and I like the feeling of having knitting children around.

13. Is it weird to call them “knitting children”?

14. I went to New York City with my Mom and sister in the fall.  Every time I visit the city there is a part of me that is sad I never lived there, if only to prove to smug New Yorkers that I can hack it too.  And I could.  But then I get home and sit in my car and drive to Super Target and realize that I am doing just fine where I am.

15. 2011 wasn’t the best year ever for me but it wasn’t bad either.

16. If you believe a myriad of mystical sources (Chinese horoscope, tarot cards, intuits) then 2012 is a big year for me.  As in good big.

17. I feel the need for a disclaimer: I am not calling the psychic hotline at night or anything. (Does that even exist anymore?)  The above prediction has been accumulated over the years, by different sources, and quite by chance.  Stop judging.

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  1. Prison Break.  The TV show.  All seasons are on Netflix instant watch and my good friend Teri had recommended the show to me a while ago so I tried it…and can’t stop watching it.  I am on the final season now so soon I will have my life back.
  2. Vivid dreams.  Lately I have had a rash of them.  I suspect it has something to do with number 1.  Last night Lincoln from the show stopped by my dream which was lovely.  Characters from the show are welcome just as long as T-bag stays away.
  3. A small bowl of Multi-grain Cherrios when I get home from work or the gym.  For whatever reason, with it staying light so much later right now I just don’t feel like cooking dinner.  So right now, at 7pm, nothing sounds better than a bowl of this particular cereal.
  4. Cup hooks.  My brother-in-law Adam came by a couple weeks ago to help me with some stuff around my house.  One thing we did was install cup hooks in the kitchen and every time I look at them they make me happy.  It is the little things folks.
  5. Karaoke Revolution.  When Kara and I were roomies we had much more of an opportunity to break out the game and sing our little hearts out, often with lil sis Bri in tow.  Fun times I tell you.  I don’t ever do it on my own so it has been a while but lately I have had some occasions to karaoke again.  By far my favorite experience was when my nephew Ryan decided to give it a go.  He was fearless…even when booed of the stage by computer generated concert goers.
  6. My view.  In particular my across the street neighbors.  They do a fantastic job with their flowers and lawn and every time I open my curtains I am greeted with the sights of a beautifully designed and maintained garden.  I love it so much I think I am going to send them a thank you note in the mail.  Just trying to decide if it will come off as creepy or not.
  7. My office space heater.  Holy cow I love this thing.  A co-worker had a spare and gave it to me when I mentioned the sub zero temperatures I have been working in now that summer time air conditioning is in full effect.  Admittedly, I am a wee bit addicted to the heat but I can’t begin to express how happy it makes me.
  8. Drinking my homemade light chocolate soy milk/banana/peanut butter smoothie with a straw.  Especially the bendy kind.
  9. Listening to Pandora radio on my iPhone while working out or while getting ready in the mornings.  I never know what little gem is going to pop up on the playlist.  Love it.

So there you go, nothing like a good itemized list to break me out of my no-blog slump.

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On Originality

As you saw from my gauge swatch for Little Birds, I am a tad obsessed with picking colors for a knitting project. I want it to look just right and–if I am being honest–I also want it to be different from the original. I don’t know where this comes from, but I really need to be unique.

I think part of it is the challenge and satisfaction that comes from discovering the perfect-for-me colors for a garment. But this is not entirely true because sometimes the sample colors on a garment are perfect for me and it doesn’t matter–I still want to change them.

Choosing the right color for the birds in Little Birds was difficult. I swatched five different colors for the birds. Five! Every person I showed the swatch to in person picked blue. Every single one. Secretly I liked the blue best too but refused to accept it as my choice. So I kept on swatching. Finally, I conceded and during a final visit to the LYS I looked at all the deep blues and stumbled across one whose shade I really really liked. It was perfect. Then I thought, if I had to be boring and go with the already picked out color family, at least I could have a unique shade of blue.

I started to knit. I knit and I knit and made good progress.

I was pleased. That is, until last night. It was then I realized that the shade of blue I picked out is the exact same shade as the sample garment. ARGH! How did that happen? Now, at least the other colors I chose for the pullover are not identical–my base color is more gray and my green is deeper–but still.

I don’t understand why I am like this. Why do I care? Do any of you knitters have the same hang-ups? Or do I just have issues? (I am not sure I want you to answer that, but go ahead.)

That being said, I sure do like the way the colors look–dang it.

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So it all started with this.

I was directed to The Twist Collective, a new online source for patterns (part online magazine, part pattern store), this morning.  Ever since I looked through the projects I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Little Birds.  I love it.  Knew immediately I had to make it. 

There was only one problem.  I am pretty sure it would not be the most flattering style on me.  You know, the deep, only attaches at the waist, cardigan look.  It is adorable–but in my opinion it is more adorable on smaller busted women.  I have another cardi with the same cut and I stopped wearing it because it made me uncomfortable and didn’t fall nicely. 

But I still love the birds.  So what am I going to do?  Turn it into a pullover.  I did a little drawing of what I am thinking and I am encouraged that it will still be really sweet and vintage-y.  The last thing I want to do is ruin the charm and personality of the original design.  

Then, on a whim, I decided to take my obsession with this sweater to a new level.  Heard of ravelympics? (ravelry link)  For my non-knitting readers, this is where a bunch of crazy but awesome knitters (5000 and counting) decide to knit a challenging for them project during the Olympics.  You can’t cast on before the opening ceremonies and you have to finish before the flame dies.  There are teams and events.  It appeals to all levels of my obsessive and competitive personality and also to my geeky knitterlyness.  The thing is, I wasn’t going to sign up for it because lately I have been feeling kind of meh about everything I am knitting.  But then today…Little Birds! 

So it is official, I am knitting Little Birds for the ravelolympics.  I don’t know if I can get it done–two weeks is crazy fast considering the pace at which I have been knitting lately.  But I will do my best. 

The sweater is knit with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift and thanks to a frogged Autumn Rose Pullover, I have plenty of yarn to swatch with.  I will need to buy some more of the main color but I have a week to figure out what that will be and to make sure the yarn store has it.  Swatching (or training) will commence this weekend.  I will keep you updated.

Anyone else feeling the Little Bird love or ravelympics spirit?

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I saw an early copy of the new Interweave book Inspired to Knit several months ago. Ever since, I have been dying to own it, talk about it, and knit from it. Now that the book is released I can finally share how I feel about it with you all.

Now, while the book is lovely and has many gorgeous patterns I want to knit, there is one particular pattern I have become a bit obsessive over. The Victorian Lace Blouse. It makes me want to cry it is so beautiful.

photo courtesy of Interweave Press, copyright 2008

I will have to make some adjustments–must be longer and I am pondering the neckline.  But come on folks, beautiful right?

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Today I introduce a new feature to this blog, “Obsessing Over”. In case you didn’t know this about me, I can be a tad obsessive at times. I get fixated on a subject or product or activity or idea until I exhaust all thought and discussion around it. This week, I can’t stop obsessing over this:

If it doesn’t look huge in this picture, please let me assure you that it is. What is it you ask? I really can’t tell you. It developed about 6 days ago and at first I was sure it was a pimple. Granted, the biggest pimple I had ever experienced. But a couple days into it I started to think that it might be something else. Below the surface it feels like a raised rock hard disc about an inch and a half in diameter. Two days after it fully formed it was painful to touch and the area around it was swollen.

My co-worker suggested it might be a bite of some kind and that is when I started to believe it was a spider or insect bite. Since then I have been putting Benedryl cream on it and it has gone down slightly in size but it is not going away as fast as I would like. Only reason I am blogging about this is I can’t stop thinking about it. Last night I spent an hour before bed google-ing images of bites and pimples (which is not something I would ever recommend doing unless you want nightmares.) I just can’t figure out what it is. I know the easy way to find out is to go to the doctor, but I am kind of banking on it going away before I go through the hassle and expense. It isn’t discolored and the swelling has gone down so I am assuming it is not infected.  It is just there, a big huge bump on my nose.  Too bad it isn’t Halloween.

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Relentless

While road tripping with my family, my Dad often used the term relentless to describe my knitting. Code for obsessive I guess. I was knitting all the time. I wouldn’t let up while in the car. I just loved all that free knitting time and didn’t want to waste it. But it is true, when I get it in my mind to work on something, I am relentless.

Last weekend I casted on for Molly Ringwald. After a day of relentless knitting, I have a front.

medium_molly_front.jpg

medium_molly_front_detail.jpg I really like it. Sad thing is I haven’t touched it since. I have been knitting Glee ever since I got the happy news about the yarn (yea!) and have sadly ignored Molly. This must change. I want Molly to be done. But I want to finish Glee too. And then there is Somewhat Cowl. Not to mention all the projects I haven’t started yet. It is just too much sometimes. Why aren’t there more hours in the day?

And why does there seem to be a constant stream of new and gorgeous knitting patterns? I can’t catch a break. What am I supposed to do when faced with such temptation…?

First, from the new Rowan :

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Anna Socks. So elegant. I love.

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Kay Jacket. Very nautical? Military? Either way, I like it.

From RYC Alpaca :

medium_exmoor_jacket.jpg

Exmoor Jacket. Simply stunning. But will it be as pretty without the horse?

From RYC Classic Style :

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Belt Bag. I have seen several bloggers call out this pattern and I can see why. LOVE IT.

I am just praying there will be no other patterns that catch my fancy. You hear that? No more. I have enough inspiration. Okay?

Life is hard. At least for us relentless types.


The following 12 comments were originally left at blogspirit:

i know, i know. and then when you think that you have it all under control- boom! all the fall editions are out and you are stuffed! like now. i find myself complaining about how good some of the patterns are because i want them all- am i insane?!
you knit that molly ringwald front piece so fast! keep it up! x

Posted by: the knitchick | 08/09/2006

The Molly is looking great! At least knitting is a good thing to be relentless about – there could be worse things. 🙂 All of those new patterns look like a lot of fun. So many great patterns & yarn…so little time! 🙂

Posted by: Amy Artisan | 08/09/2006

One day? ONE DAY?!? Well it looks fantastic, and you are an incredibly fast knitter! I’m totally jealous.

Posted by: Emily | 08/09/2006

I’m locking myself in the house until I finish some of my FOs. I shall not be tempted by the zillions of fab patterns coming out for fall! 😉

Posted by: Stitch-n-Snitch | 08/09/2006

so many patterns, so little time 🙂
my patterns-to-do-pile sits beside my chair while I spin, and continues to call my name – one of these days, I’ll get to it!

Posted by: Teyani | 08/09/2006

Wow, that’s great progress on Molly Ringwald! You may just have inspired me to get that magazine…

Posted by: Lauren | 08/09/2006

Molly looks great! The socks ARE fabulous as you said last night. Must get a good look through that Rowan book soon. Relentless, obsessive, enamoured of the process…it’s all good.

Posted by: margene | 08/09/2006

Erin — this post makes me laugh. ‘Relentless’ — What a great word for you; a nice euphemism for obsessed. Ha. I get obsessed too, but my obsessions don’t last nearly as long as yours do…I love that you’re a knitter.

Posted by: holli | 08/09/2006

Geez, you are my knitting superwoman! So funny about the horse, why is that so true? Same thing about all the gorgeous countryside photos they use. Things just look so pretty when you imagine them running through the fields on ‘holiday’ 🙂

Posted by: Sarah | 08/10/2006

Molly is looking good. I love that belt bag.

Posted by: Julie | 08/10/2006

You know, I looked quickly at the model in the shot with the Exmoor Jacket and for a second I thought it was you! Did you knit the darn thing already????

Posted by: susan | 08/13/2006

Ooh, I want those socks!

Posted by: Posted by: The Purloined Letter | 08/16/2006

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