amanda j

there is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness”

Posted on: September 30, 2007

I received one of those forwarded email this week – “Things I have learned” or something along those lines. The title of my post comes from one of the items on the list. I think most of us understand that at times you can find yourself on the wrong side of that fine line. At least one of my feet has been over the line on a number of occasions lately. There are various factors influencing my balancing act:

  • My decision to make 9 pairs of socks by Christmas
  • Ravelry
  • KALs
  • My spinning wheel
  • Mother nature
  • The daily grind

I will address each factor in turn.

My decision to make 9 pairs of socks by Christmas

I am actually doing quite well with the socks. Well, at least with the first sock of each pair. Here is an update:

  1. Waving Lace
  2. Swirly Girl
  3. Anastasia
  4. Embossed Leaves
  5. Retro Ribs (one finished)
  6. Back to Basics (one finished, the other going well) 
  7. Vanilla (one finished, the other on the gusset)
  8. Vanilla
  9. Vanilla

So, about 9 socks and a couple to finish off. Not too bad really. There are 85 days left until Christmas, which means a sock each 9.44444 days. That is fine – I can manage that as long as I keep going at my current rate. I absolutely loved knitting the Back to Basics sock from Knitty, it was a lot of fun. I knitted it on two circular needles and the first one went very quickly. I made great progress on the second sock yesterday during the AFL Grand Final at my MIL’s house. Here is an action shot of the first one in progress:

Mmmm, Koigu


I won’t go on about Ravelry, except to say it is amazing, I love it and spend too much time trawling forums and thinking about what to knit next with what yarn. Time I should be spending doing other things, namely knitting socks.


At the present time, I am involved in three KALs, a Sock Challenge on Ravelry(!) and one fibre sharing group. I am not really being very vocal in any of them. Tomorrow is the start of the Southern Summer of Socks. As such, I am obligated to cast on a new pair. I think it will be Embossed Leaves, as this is for Christmas and I have done the pattern before and really enjoyed it. It will also qualify me for the Holiday KALCAL and the Favorite Socks KAL. The Back to Basics qualify me for the September Sockdown on Ravelry, which had to be either Grumperina designed, toe up of knitted from a mystery pattern posted in sections. This sock is toe up. Now, the fibre sharing . . .

My spinning wheel

I have taken some time lately to do some spinning. I took on my plying demon, and didn’t do too badly. Here is my yarn!

It is a bit too twisty, which I will need to address next time I spin, but I am really quite pleased with myself. This will become a scarf in the not too distant future. I wish I didn’t have occasion to wear scarves at this time of year, however it is still freezing at times despite being one month into calendar Spring! It was so wild and blustery on Friday night we lost power a number of times and I was forced to play Samorost in the dark!

My spinning wheel also possessed me to buy more fibre from Mandie at EGMTK and will have to post to the Ewe Give Me the Knits Fibre Gallery! Here’s what I got:

500g Amethyst Merino Cross Top and 200g Plum Wine Merino Top

I have resisted the temptation to begin spinning any of this yet. I am hoping to be able to spin enough yarn to make another cardigan for the Tiny Madam, and will also try to make enough yarn out of the Plum Wine top to make another scarf, or something. I don’t know. I just love purple.

Mother Nature

A friend of a friend of mine had a tiny, premature little baby yesterday. So today I knitted him a hat.

My own pattern – a copy is here. Feel free to use it. I am planning on making another one tonight.

The daily grind

Monday meant the end of the holidays. I have been back at work a whole week, and I must say it was a better week than I have had for a very long time. The two weeks off allowed me to get some perspective and control over my own destiny and I am feeling much more positive about work. However, it has cramped my knitting time.

Finally, my badge for this post:

The “I Will Impress You With My Math Prowess” Badge – The recipient is a whiz at substituting yarns and calculating gauge, can space increases and decreases evenly and is fully comfortable with the basic math encountered in all knitting projects.

I would not necessarily call myself a whiz, but I did make a tiny hat today with evenly spaced decreases and can make a sock with eyelets that spiral. I understand gauge even if it is sometimes a bit off and if I had to I could knit maths my way out of a paper bag.


6 Responses to "there is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness”"

Your tiny hat is lovely and your spinning is very clever. I have always said that there is a fine line between insanity and brilliance and I am sure you are on the side of brilliance 😉

You sound so much happier!!Congratulations on The Badge and you are going great guns with your socks. I am in awe of the spinning!!! Personally, I think I am on the ‘other’ side of the line!!!!!

My stash closet shows proof that I should be put in a felted straight jacket. So what did I do today? Buy more yarn of course. I love the look of the back to basics sock, I’ve never attempted toe up before. It’s on my list! Love that plum purple roving, spinning is on my list too as is Ravelry. I try not to beat myself up too much regarding the things that I want to make as opposed to the actual time that I have to do it. Sometimes though I have this weird “project guilt”…

I am with you on the purple – that roving is GORGEOUS!!
And I think that so long as you recognise the danger, you are standing on the hobby side of the line – and we all know what it means when you change your tune from “It’s a hobby” to “I don’t have a problem” 😛
cute hat too!

No question that there is a fine line. Then there are those times when you look at that line – grin – and go screaming across before anyone stops you. And a month later you look around wondering what happened to your life!

Just remember, you have choices and you are in control. Those socks will not knit themselves, nor will they get to choose which one gets knit next!

the plum wine merino top! Oh my. almost makes me want to take up spinning! And thanks for the link to the back to basics. I’ve never really considered them but now I think I should.

Your list is amazingly ambitious. Post updates!

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