Remember when I told you about the person who was working the Princess edging on the bus, and how I'd been, well, gobsmacked at the thought?
I got thinking about the time I made a cobweb lace christening dress and shawl for my niece, and it struck me: we were living in France at the time (we spent much of 1997 there), and we spent the weekends travelling, figuring we'd never get such an opportunity again. And, because I had to have the shawl done for the actual christening date, I had to work on it steadily and constantly.
So I dragged it around with me everywhere. Everywhere:
That's me, after hiking up a mountain near Annecy, taking a break and working on the christening robe. I have other photos, on top of other mountains, in a wooden shoe in the Netherlands -- I think the only place I didn't knit this was on a bike.
That was almost ten years ago, and for the life of me, I couldn't do that today, and certainly not with Princess. I've been mulling over why I could do it then. The cobweb yarn is probably about as fine as the gossamer merino, but I was using a slightly larger needle size. As well, Gladys Amedro's pattern alternates lace rows with plain knitting, so evidently having a break in working pattern helps.
But I don't think that's the whole story. I don't know about you, but with the Princess edging, I really have to concentrate. I can't watch television or listen to anything requiring my attention (as The Other will attest when I told him to go away and talk to me about the laundry later, as I was in the middle of a row). I have to be awake, alert, fresh. I've spent much of today ripping out knitting and reworking it, as I'm not in top form today. I know I should just put it down.
[subliminal message to Ted: work on something else for a while so I don't get too far behind you on the edging]
However, I think I've finally discovered what the problem really is.
I'm getting old.
Seriously. I just read about a recent study, in which they've discovered that as we age, changes take place in our brains that make it more difficult to concentrate. And this just gets worse as we get older.
According to the report's chief author, Dr. Cheryl Grady of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care:
"Older adults should try to reduce distractions in their environment and concentrate on one key attentional task at a time," Grady suggested. "It may be as easy as turning down the radio when reading, or staying off the cell phone when driving a car."
The good news? Apparently challenging one's mind helps prevent the cognitive downslide. So working on Princess is actually a good thing.
I'm just not going to be taking it on the bus.