knitter next door

How I became a girl who can't say no to knitting (and other musings on obsession) esimnitt (at) yahoo (dot) com

Friday, July 22, 2005


Marked again! These lovelies are from Suzy.

I just read Claudia's post about repetition and Cate's post about perfection (via Cara).

It's made me feel wordy (and a little bit hungry). Since my knitting has been stalled a bit as I get ready to go visit my brand new niece, here are my thoughts on chocolate, which is every bit as addicting as knitting.

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I'd like to say a thing or two about obsession. You see, it's not just yarn I'm addicted to. Or knitting. Apparently, I'm obsessed with collecting candy bars. Not necessarily eating candy bars (that's not to say I haven't eaten my own weight in peanut m&ms several times over). Every since I read Steve Almond's "Candyfreak" last summer, I can hardly leave the store without already-melting ooey, gooey chocolate and peanuty goodness in my hot little hand.

These three candy bars are a witness to that. On top is the newest addition to my collection: The lime and coconut Almond Joy. I found this at the video store while renting "Bride and Prejudice" last weekend. I had planned to eat the candy bar while watching the movie, but by the time I stumbled into my air conditioned house out of the 100 degree heat, the moment was gone (and the bar a bit too droopy for eating). So I added it to the glass jar on the counter in which I cram all my candy bars for later enjoyment.

Problem is, that later enjoyment rarely comes. The Almond Joy bar is less than a week old. (Note: I'm not sure why I bought it. While I don't subscribe to Steve Almond's opinion that coconut tastes like fingernail clippings, I'm really not a fan). The middle bar has a longer history on my counter. I bought it at Cracker Barrel about six months ago on a nostalgic candy bar run. We don't eat at Cracker Barrel, we just buy Peanut Chews there.

I have no other connection to the Sifers Valomilk than that I read about it in Almond's book and tried it like any good researcher should before I wrote first an article for the local newspaper (Almond tours the Idaho Candy Co., located right here in Boise, ID, in the book) and second a longish essay on it for my Masters thesis. It's not even my own nostalgia I'm hungry for (I bring out the Big Hunks and the Idaho Spud Bars for that).

Finally, there's the Kinder Bueno bar I bought from a vending machine in the subway in Paris last fall. I had every intention of eating this one. I was starving and, at the time, still too afraid to approach a cafe with my non-existant French-speaking skills. And yet. Here it still is. A memento that's probably gone a bit grainy and rank.

There are two conclusions I can reach: Either I'm firmly on the path to becoming one of those people with old newspapers stacked six feet deep throughout my house or I'm a major pleasure-delayer stuck in delay mode. For you yarnies, let me apply the same principle to knitting: The softer, the shinier, the more sinfully decadent the yarn, the more likely it's doomed to be stashbound forever. I have six balls of Kid Silk Haze I'm saving for who knows what.

I'm not sure what is to be done. But my jar is full and my yarn room bursting. I think a mid-year resolution in hand. Perhaps each week I should pull out a candy bar and a ball of silk and address this obsession head on.

Just in case I've wet your appetite for sweet talk, here's the opening paragraph of my Steve Almond inspired essay:

At 10, I spent a few blissful months on a constant sugar high. I had a friend with a paper route and a sweet tooth, and as payment for trudging through the neighborhood and collecting the newspaper’s fee with her, she’d let me help spend all her earnings at the neighborhood Chevron station. What else were we going to do to with all the money? Urban sprawl was already setting in to Idaho Falls, which meant the mall was too far away and too dangerous to bike to. We occasionally hoofed it all the way to Smith’s grocery store for an ultra-cheap ice cream cone. But the Chevron was close and carried that which was most dear to our little sugar-deprived hearts: Candy. These were the days before parents put 7-Up in their kids’ sippy cups, before Americans all but walked around with IVs filled with high fructose corn syrup. There was no talk of childhood obesity, and I’m fairly certain my Big Hunks did not carry the “Low Fat” label they do today. Occasionally my mom would break down and buy us Sugar Smacks for breakfast (because, I think, they appealed to her sweet tooth), but our plaintive pleas for sugar-coated Count Chocula, Trix, Cocoa Crispies and Cookie Crisp went unheard. We dutifully drank a glass of milk with dinner and ate our cream of mushroom-infused casserole. Only during those lazy summer afternoons basking in the sweet potential of Lemonheads, Chick-o-Sticks, Charleston Chews and Blow Pops at the Chevron station did we feel the first intimations of freedom, of choosing for ourselves to rot out our teeth and revel in all that is sticky-sweet.
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Friday, July 15, 2005


Woohoo! Stitch markers from my Stitch Marker Mania buddies!!! Now I can mark in style. These sweet markers are from Stephanie. Thank you!

I think their first project will be the hourglass sweater from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts," as it's knit in the round and most definitely needs markers. Plus, these cuties will go so much better with the Noro Cash Iroha I have planned for the project than scraps of yarn or the cheap plastic markers I've been using. So happy. So very, very happy!

And in other happy news: My sister had her baby! Welcome to the world Olivia Anne! Posted by Picasa

And these are from Erin! So cute! I can hardly wait to use them! Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 08, 2005

Feeling Lucky

Do I feel Lucky? Well, do I? That would be a definite yes. I've been thinking about casting on for this project for many, many moons, but was nervous because my gauge swatch was off. But then I got a little inspiration from Tara who, like the mad and productive knitter she appears to be, is finishing hers off. So, I took a deep breath, pulled out my next bigger needles (US#3's) and grabbed my pretty yellow Fortissima cotton. The color isn't bad in this photo, but it's not spot on, either. And you can't tell how soft this little section of sleeve is or how freakin' adorable the little cloverleaf laces are. I. Love. This. Pattern.

In other lace knitting news, I've made it through about 22 repeats of Branching Out, and I'm a lot happier with it. (And I've finally joined the BO KAL). It took sitting for a couple of hours in a distraction free zone (my living room before the cat and the hubby were up) to finally get the pattern. So I'm cool with it now. Plus, it's a better pattern to take camping (yup, we're going again this weekend) than Lucky because the yarn is a heckuva lot darker and less likely to show dirt. I have to triple wash my hands before I go anywhere near Lucky.

What I really need to do is start a color work project. Once, I knit two little stars on a sweater that turned out to be ill-fitting. And, of course, I've striped. But that's as fancy as I've gotten. I'm really nervous and scared about jumping into intarsia/fair isle, but I think the time is nie. Once the summer of lace is over, shouldn't it be "Fall of Fair Isle"? Anyone with me? Anyone got any advice? Anyone want to hold my hand?
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Friday, July 01, 2005

Hooray! It's finally finished! (Except for that yarn that needs weaving in you can see hanging off the table). The pinwheel progress has felt slow these last couple of weeks, but I finished, and a whole 16 days before its recipient is due to make her debut in this world (my little niece). To finish it off, I bound off in Tahki Cotton Classic (the same yarn I used to knit my VK sweater thingy) using the picot bind off from the paisley shawl pattern in the spring issue of Interweave Knits. I love it when you can pilfer parts of patterns! Posted by Picasa