Obsession Thursdays

Just like a pill

I bought a recumbent exercise bike in a fit of panic a few years ago when I was prepping to go on Knitty Gritty. Cable television. In reruns for ever. Me and my generous body on tv for all to see. [Ironically, the episode has aired a total of 2 times, as far as I know. But I digress.] I rode it for a while, and it soon became exactly what most of these devices become: a nagging reminder of  failure to stick with it. A clothing horse. An embarrassment. Flash forward to me now, and I’m in a bit of a state. My body isn’t working well, and things are breaking down all over. I need to do something, but my ...

Obsession: Cooler Weather

It’s been a long, hot summer where I live. It started early, and it has been relentlessly hot and sunny since May. Now, I do like summer very much. I love light cotton skirts, and ice cream, and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. I love iced coffee, and the beach, and being able to take the dog out for a walk without four layers of protective clothing. But if truth be told, summer is not my favorite season. I’m a Fall girl; an Autumn girl. I love cool, sunny days; I love listening to the leaves crunch under my feet as I walk. I love dark rainy nights. Why? Because I’m a knitter, of course! ...

Obsessed with linen

I hate hot, and I don’t do summer well. But about 3 or 4 years ago, Jillian took me to Acme Mercantile before a speaking engagement at the Ann Arbor Public Library, and she introduced me to my new summer love. Flax Designs. Brenda Dayne, goddess of the Cast-On Podcast, tried to do the same thing with me, calling the style Lagenlook [the German word for “layered look”]. But I kept finding pages like this and never quite got the fever for it that she had. That’s because I had been looking in the wrong place. Flax Designs are also Lagenlook, but pared down. It’s about layers of linen, ...

Obsession: Dexter, Roxy and Microchips

World, meet Dexter. Dexter is a stray dog who came into my life recently.  My hubby and I had had a dog, a lovely yellow lab called Avery, and she died of cancer four years ago.  We’d been talking about bringing another dog into our family, but the time hadn’t seemed right. And then three weeks ago, a stray dog appeared in the yard of a dog-owning neighbor.  The stray was handed over to the joint care of me and my hubby, and another neighbor who had recently lost her own dog. He had no tags on his collar, and no microchip, so we launched a massive campaign to find his family.  We posted with the city ...

How DO you pick a new camera?

Some things are fun to buy on impulse. Earrings and shoes, definitely. Technology? No way. I am not an obsessive researcher when it comes to getting new technology — I mean how many ways can you research which iPod to get…it’s more about picking the color than anything else. But that goes out the window when it’s time to get a new camera. I bought a Lumix FZ20 [Panasonic camera with Leica lens, very highly reviewed here] in 2005 to shoot things for Knitty. It performed very well, but I found that I was not taking it along as much as I should have because it was big. So when we went on a trip ...

Obsession: Iced Coffee with A Shot of Vanilla

It’s hot where I am – you may have already heard that.  I know it’s hot where a lot of our readers are. When I was younger, my favouritest hot weather treat in the entire world was ice cream.  Now I’m a lactose-intolerant grown-up, my favouritest hot weather treat in the entire world is an iced black coffee with a shot of vanilla syrup.  It’s like a grown-up version of a coke float, in an odd sort of way — but with more caffeine! Without giving any too many of our secrets, I can tell you with absolute authority that more than one iced coffee was consumed during the production of ...

What the heck is a Nabaztag?

It’s a rabbit. It’s a device. It’s plugged into the wall. It’s got wifi. It lights up. Its ears move. It does tai-chi. It’s made of plastic. It reads messages aloud that were sent electronically as text. <— It looks like this. I know. Nuts. Who cares? Go for a second and watch the opening animation at the Nabaztag site. Then come back. [Please.] See? it’s kind of captivating, isn’t it? Nabaztag was introduced in 2006 and was, honestly, buggy and limited in function. The new Nabaztag can be identified by its belly button, which houses a microphone. –> This ...

Obsession: Coil-less Safety Pins

Many older knitting books mention a rather mysterious tool: the coil-less safety pin. I’ve been reading about them for years, and quietly wondering what the fuss is about. I’m always up for trying a new tool, but I could never seem to find them. I do love me a good safety pin. I use them for all sorts of things: as markers, as stitch holders, as a crochet hook substitute for picking up dropped stitches, to keep track of a bunch of increases and decreases (just stick ’em in the knitting when you do the increase, and you can more easily count them). I even use big ones as shawl pins and instead of ...

Obsession of the Moment: Doctor Who

Ok, I lie.  This has been an obsession of mine, oh, since I was about 7. Doctor Who (Wikipedia link for full and wondrous history) is a science fiction TV series produced by the BBC.  Its initial incarnation ran from 1963 to 1989. I am a Brit, and I grew up with it. It’s about a mysterious time- and space- traveling Time Lord who goes by the name of the Doctor, and is a great mix of science fiction, mystery, fairy-tale and old-fashioned adventure romp.  It’s funny and thrilling and cheesy in just the right balance. The clever trick is that Time Lords can regenerate their bodies, so that when an actor ...

The happiest day of the week?

It’s Obsession Thursday again! Here’s what I’ve been coveting lately: Bathing in Luxury No alcohol, no plasticy smells. These perfume oils are luxurious smelling and last all day. Plus they come in glass roller-ball bottles – no spilling. My favorites, so far, are Daydream – a bright smell with citrus and vanilla, and Stroke Me (hey, it’s really the name) – deep and warm sandalwood, musk and vanilla. Roxanne earrings Huge (2″ x 2 1/2″) and light. I want to wear these every day. The swirliness of them is so over the top girly that it makes me laugh. Amy’s ...