You've seen the movie The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet? A sweet movie, especially the half with Kate Winslet and Jack Black (though the fact that I am a sucker for Hollywood Golden Age stories probably biases me just a bit)...
I saw it in the theater with a group of college friends and friends-of-friends. It was one of those outings where we pretended we were still 19 years old, not married-with-children/grownups-with-jobs/old-enough-to-know-better. (I may or may not have giggled wildly at the pivotal and emotional scene where Jude Law describes his "package"--watch it again, you'll see what I mean!) We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, so much so that when the credits rolled we were scolded by a woman sitting three rows behind us--who was, as a result of our behavior (she claims!) "ashamed to be a woman."
Though I was not even a knitter at the time, this sweater stole its scene:
I went home and did a little googling, and amazingly enough, I found it! It could be mine, for a mere $995. (Go to http://www.tsecashmere.com/ and click Shop, then Women, then Classics. It's "The Holiday Sweater.")
Fast forward a couple of years, and I was trawling Ravelry for patterns...and I found it. THE SWEATER. Someone (Amber Allison) had watched the movie frame by frame and written the pattern. Never mind that I had only been knitting for five months. Never mind that I didn't own a cable needle and wouldn't know what to do with one if I did. I. Must. Have. That. Sweater. (Rav link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fireside-sweater)
So, intrepid knitter that I am, I bought the pattern. Brown Cascade Ecological Wool in #8087 Coffee was swatched. But no, my dream sweater must be white. I ordered the yarn called for in the pattern--first time ever!--and off I went.
I practiced the cables on a swatch (cables weren't so hard after all!) and started the right front. The yarn (Valley Yarns Berkshire, a wool/alpaca blend singles yarn) is incredibly soft.
I didn't feel much like knitting over the summer, so my Lovely got put aside. Then there was Christmas knitting. Then I fell in love with other patterns. All told, it's been more than a year now, and I am still not finished.
This, my first pattern obsession, will always hold a special place in my heart. Sometimes I pull out the finished pieces, stare at the cables for a while, and pet them. You see, I am in no rush to finish. When it's done, I won't be able to work on it anymore!