when hobby becomes obsession

I spent the vast majority of Friday evening at Chez Delobi doing things so depravedly nerdy that I don’t dare to mention them, even here.

Saturday morning’s class at Cassandra let out at 11:30, and I was home by noon.

I didn’t leave the house again until 4pm on sunday, and that was only to restake the tomato plants that did not fare well through Saturday evening’s storms.  My first journey off of my property in almost 48 hours was my drive to work this morning.

What was I up to?

  • It wasn’t catching up on Infinite Jest, which I’m about 100 pages behind in (btw, that thing with the Skydome… it actually happened.  I was in middle school, we giggled… a lot).
  • Nor was I catching up on the 5-a-day challenge.  I owe my “to go” box about 55 items.
  • I wasn’t doing laundry or yardwork or cleaning the fish tank either (all of these are also, woefully behind).

What I was doing, was fulfilling a promise I made to myself last year:  That after my stunning 2nd place (out of a field of at least 4!) finish last year, I would be entering the MN State Fair again this year.  Not really to win, but just so that I’d challenge myself to make something competition worthy again this year.

The problem with these year-long promises of course, is the procrastination factor.  It took me months to decide on the right project, and once I had project and yarn, it took me longer than it should have to start it.  Still though, I was proud of myself for starting over Memorial Day weekend this year, and I figured I’d have plenty of time to finish (I was even planning a second project, to be eligible for this year’s Bohus sweepstakes).  But I didn’t take into account the summer knitting slump.  It’s hard to stay inside and focus on cable charts and tiny yarn when it’s beautiful and sunny outside.  Not to mention other indoor temptations like Infinite Summer, and Ulduar.

So, even though these were the only thing I knit on this summer, they took me almost 90 days to finish.  And the final work my fingers to the bone sprint  (to finish, ironically, the fingers of both gloves) took almost exactly all of my free time this weekend.  But you know what?  I kind of feel like these were worth it.

click to embiggen!

click to embiggen!

This photo was taken pre-blocking (hence why they look a little claw-like here).  They are currently blocking between two layers of sham-wows (shut up) in a cat-free zone in the house, and they need to be dry by Wednesday at 8am, so I can deliver them for judging… so, any dry thoughts you wanna send my way would be greatly appreciated.

My thoughts? I love them.  I loved the pattern when I first laid eyes on it, and the yarn, when it first showed up in the mail (it was part of Sundara’s Season’s collection… yes, I was in a yarn club last year… shut up. again).  These may not strike the fancy of the state fair judges (who, I, in my sexist and ageist fashion imagine as little old ladies who will decry my break from knitting tradition by daring to do cables in dark, variegated yarn), but they are warm (too warm to wear to model for pics even), and probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever knitted. So, besides certain Nerd-related events this fall and winter, putting them on is the only thing that makes me look forward to the cooler weather this year.

So yeah, that’s this year’s State Fair.  Next year… I tackle the homebrew competition*!

*maybe.

i double dog dare you

To attempt to claim that the world is not a better place for the fact that this ad exists:

because i just can’t resist

I have a weakness for internet challenges. At least a weakness for starting them (I’m maybe not so great with the follow through). There was “Don’t buy stuff for a month”, “Post everyday for a month”, and “Make Stuff for People*”

This time around, the goal is decluttering, and the name of the game is “5 a day to keep the clutter away“. So, starting this past Saturday, I’ve put aside 5 things everyday that I want done and gone out of my house. If you’ve ever seen my house, you will understand the extent to which this will not really be a challenge at all… which is all the more reason why I should do it (along with Jenni, Wendy, and Amelia.

To make things a little more interesting for the first couple of weeks though, I’m going to concentrate on only choosing items that I could imagine being of value to someone. I’ve got plenty of junk in corners and closets and shelves in my office, and that’s just a matter of throwing it away. Parting with 155 items of actual value though… that might sting a little.

As to what to do with said items, I don’t really want to deal with eBay, and I might Craigslist some stuff if I deem it worthwhile. Otherwise, Jenni is having a yard sale in September that I might participate in, otherwise, the local Goodwill is going to getting a carload of fun stuff.

Here’s a crappy cellphone poorly lit picture of day one (the box is a fair bit fuller now):clutter1

  • Cheap buddha knife purchased from a street vendor in thailand.  Blade is sharp, everything else is plastic.
  • Picture frame which previously contained old-timey picture of me and The Asshole.
  • 3 Pack of highlighters
  • Candy dish from a Harry and David gift set
  • Masterlock padlock, combination unknown

Hey… I didn’t say the stuff would be of much value… just some.

*which I haven’t forgotten about. And totally have plans for, I just need to get my hands on a laser cutter… or a scroll saw.