Growing up I would likely have been labelled ADD or even ADHD had the labels been available then. I am bright enough to have gotten by, gotten both undergraduate and graduate level degrees, however, I didn’t perform up to my potential, often being put in the Honors level course one year, then the average level course the next when I didn’t make as high a grade mark as they Honors level demanded. Thus went high school. I had a difficult time being still and focused, I was a leg swinger, foot shaken, fiddler with a pen or pencil, all those activities that as an adult, trained as a school counselor, I recognize as “symptoms” of the attention disorders.
By college, I realized that I had never really learned how to study and after a dismal first semester and after having the most awesome General Biology professor, who taught us how to take notes and revealing what worked for him, I realized that I learn best by repetition and hands on. I took notes in class on any paper handy and when back in my room, transcribed those notes neatly into my notebook. What a great trick to have learned.
Even as an adult, I flit from one task to another. Ask my family. I can not just sit for long, I pop up and fold a load of clothes, sit and read for a few minutes, jump up and do another task. Even when sick, I have difficulty staying still.
This presents itself as a problem for me as a knitter. I can make a sweater, design a hat or scarf, reverse engineer a garment and create a pattern for it, IF it isn’t a lace pattern, especially one that has a stitch repeat of more than half a dozen stitches or more than about 6 rows. I have tackled many lace patterns and have learned to read a lace chart, not just the written out instructions, though I do better with the written instructions. I have never, I repeat, NEVER, completed a lace pattern successfully if it has more than a 6 stitch/6 row repeat. I find myself off in stitch count and not wanting to TINK (knit backwards to remove stitches one at a time) back to the last row that was correct, so I generally end up finding a simpler lace pattern to complete the shawl or scarf and trying to convince myself that I am happy with it that way. Some of the projects have turned out to be lovely anyway.
This time, I’m determined. The pattern is 12 stitches and 32 rows. I worked on it at knit night last night, but only the simple stockinette with eyelet row part. That I can do anywhere anytime and still carry on a conversation. Once home, with hubby watching TV (surprisingly, I can tune it out), I sat and started on the lace part of this cowl. If I got to the end of the row and the pattern came out right, I whooped and air fived. I am counting every increase row to make sure that I have just what the pattern requires.
Maybe I am be premature and jinxing myself by posting this, but I am 6 rows into the lace and so far so good. I am determined, but I will not work on this project in the car or at a knit group, I just can’t be distracted.