Obsess – verb – to haunt, fill the mind (Collins Dictionary)
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Is it part of the make-up of every serious crafter, that ability to focus single-mindedly on one specific that resonates within them, calling out to their inner crafty soul until the need is sated (usually by casting on)? What else could explain casting-on-itis, or those black holes where you pick up the knitting on your newest and best ever project one sunny lunchtime, and suddenly it’s dark, voices are mewling for their supper, and you aren’t quite sure where the afternoon went, but you do have four inches of a jumper back that was a soft fluffy ball of yarn that morning.

For better or worse, I have this kind of compulsive focus in spades. The last time I spent a day quilting, H went out for a boys night supper and I entirely forgot about supper, and am still not sure whether I had lunch. I also have a mental list of books that I cannot start reading if I (a) need to go to sleep within the next hour or so or (b) have somewhere to go within a timescale that will not encompass the end of the novel. Robert Goddard’s In Pale Battalions (a book I love and cannot recommend highly enough) is one that I know I cannot stop reading, even though I’ve read it time and time again. I daren’t start reading it on the train to work, because I know I’d spend all day resisting the temptation to sneak a quick peak under the desk.

It’s always been the same, and I bet I’m not the only one; if I see a film I like I have to check whether there’s a book and read the book, and don’t get me started on books in series – when I was at uni I once ended up with a substantial selection of teen-lit from one particular series just because the first book was given away on the cover of a magazine I bought to read on the train and I needed to find out what happened to all the characters – literary soap opera at its best!

And so it came to pass that I watched the Twilight film. And then downloaded the audio book with my Audible credit at the end of September. And then bought the audio books for New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn in fairly quick succession. That’s 64 and three quarter hours of audio in rapid succession that I finished a week ago (and then started listening to the whole thing all over again).

But that’s not all. I found the Twilight fan group on Ravelry, and there was a pair of mittens, a really pretty pair of chunky mittens, named for Bella and ‘sight-knit’ from a pair worn in the film. And then I remembered two balls of Rowan Cocoon in the stash, and that the gauge was about the same as the pattern, and well ….

I fell down a hole and became a Twilight fan-girl:

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And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

These are Bella’s Mittens, knit on 5mm DPNs from a ball and a third (ish) of Rowan Cocoon in Frost (which seemed rather appropriate). On most people these would be close to elbow length, on me they come to the middle of my forearm. They are soft and warm and just the thing you would need if you lived in one of the wettest and chilliest places around (which looking out of the window today would seem to be where I live).

I finished these mittens last week and spent ages trying to take a good picture with the timer on my camera – the biggest problem being that the auto focus locks down on the background before I can run round the camera to get in the frame – so these pictures were taken on the auto timer with the camera hung just under my chin.
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I was trying to do the traditional fan girl shot (the cover from the Twilight novel) but if I flip the perspective it just looks really weird so this will have to do.

I also seem to be developing a side line obsession in mittens – in the last month or so I’ve made pair for Dolly, a pair that are now mine, a pair for Mum, the Bella mittens and on Saturday I spent much of the day turning this:
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Into this:

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(please ignore the fact that it desperately needs blocking!)

Is this the future? Has my sock drawer finally rebelled and started messing with my mind while I’m asleep? Are mittens the new socks? Answers on a postcard!

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  • Caroline M 27/10/2009 at 6:14 pm

    It’s cold outside – that’s all the reason you need to start off with mittens and gloves. They tend to become singletons easier than socks do so there’s an excuse to knit spare pairs,they knit up faster and they don’t need to stretch over that awkward heel. They’ve got a lot oing for them when you stop to think about it.

    My newly dyed glove yarn is drying now..

  • Rachel 27/10/2009 at 11:11 pm

    Cast-on-itis? Check.
    Forget surroundings and food while knitting? Check.
    Films and books? Check.
    Watch what book is started when? Check.
    Twilight series? Oh man, you fell into the hole! I’ve stayed away for two reasons. I’d like to say the main one is for me, Anne Rice is vampire queen and it seems almost like betrayal to read another. But probably the second reason is the real one. I have an addictive personality to books and seeing how they affected everybody else, I knew I’d fall into the hole too. And I don’t have time to read 4 books on tween vampires. I should at least do Harry Potter before Twilight anyway.

    I do, however, like the gloves. A lot. And I have this sneaking suspicion you will be back to socks at some point. (I’m ignoring the other mitten because it snowed all day today and that makes me a bit grumpy…it’s still october for pete sake).

    Finally, to make this comment a novel…I checked out that book cuz I’d never heard of it and promptly put it on my to read list. Thank you for the recommendation. (and if this posted twice, my apologies)

  • Pat 29/10/2009 at 2:48 pm

    I’m sliding into the mitten obsession too – I think it’s the time of the season!
    I love your snowy mitten – especially the palm side with the cool Vs and swirly thumb – LOVE IT!

    My daughter is obsessed with Twilight – I may have to give in…