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July 7, 2010

Stuff & Gloves & Hats, oh my

After writing so much about stuff yesterday, I thought I should get off my duff and actually make good on the promise I made myself to slowly pare down. I have a lot of difficulty getting rid of books. And I have A LOT of books, so that's where I started.

While I was basking in the clutter-free zone of the vacation cabin and thinking about what I could let go of at home, I decided to part with some of my travel books. For every vacation I have thought about or actually gone on in the past five or more years, I have a guidebook or two or four. The guidebooks are a perfect storm of my personal hoardiness: they represent both a happy future (as in, "One day I will visit these places and be happy!") and in many cases they also represent a happy past event ("I used this guidebook when I went to Bermuda with my mom and it was so much fun.") What's goofiest of all is that travel books get out of date almost as soon as they're published and if I were to revisit or go to any of these places I'd buy a new one anyway. Yet still I hold on.

It seems to me that much of my hoarding has to do with some future life in which I will need or want or have a place for the object, whatever it may be. And on most of those television programs about extreme hoarding you'll notice they almost all have that in common: saving everything for someday, some unknown happy future when you have it all together, which makes their present day unbearable.

In the case of my travel books, they represent both happy memories of the past and happy expectations for the future. But they aren't the future and they don't open up and reveal the past, either. They're just books about logistics. You would be surprised how long it took me to decide which ones to keep and which to let go of!

Why was this a hard decision? Weirdo.

This is how many travel books I had hidden on my bookshelves:


The final keep pile is on the left and the donate pile is on the right:

So I ended up keeping 10 books, four of which are out-of-print and I wanted to keep them, and donating 20. It was a good start to the morning.

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Last night while watching my Netflix arrivals (Leap Year and Local Hero, apparently I was in an Irish/Scottish frame of mind) I knitted on my second glove. I love the yarn so much. It's Noro Kureyon sock yarn and it's just beautiful, nubby, richly colored.

Do you find that the second thing in a set (gloves, or sleeves, or socks) takes you more time or less time to finish? I think I am knitting this one much slower.

And is it just me who seems to tighten up on gauge for the second one?


- - -

While I was up visiting my folks my dad asked me to make him a multicolored hat. This is very exciting because 1) my dad never asks for stuff and 2) I get to make him something he wants! I'm trying to decide between making my own stripes or using a self-striping yarn. And I probably should make it machine washable. Maybe an assortment of Lion Brand wool-ease striped together? I love making hats. I haven't made a good hat in a long time. But I am also tempted by some Noro Taiyo I have in my stash. I guess I need to ask my mom how she feels about hand-washing a hat.

Also, why is it that I always seem to really ramp up my knitting in the hottest days of summer? Yesterday morning I was lured into the early a.m. marine layer and pretended it would be a cold and blustery day. That lasted until the sun came out and warmed the valley midday. It's always summer when I want to up and move to Ireland or Copenhagen or just about any one of those travel book destinations.

Maybe I'll keep an extra Iceland book, just in case.

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Frankie is so exhausted from being cute.

Posted by laurie at July 7, 2010 12:11 PM