Cognitive abilities which have at times gone AWOL - or the current wording Absent Without Leave - without warning or giving me a forwarding address. No ETA of when they might return either.
When that happens, I'm left to my own desires and devices ... er ... coping techniques.
When the mind can't seem to follow the directions, the pattern, and I'm doing more tinking (unknitting) then knitting.
When the project is resisting me at every turn. When I'm moving backward faster than I am forward. When I'm getting frustrated - which happens easily post workplace abuse. Discouraged too. Both of which happen easily these days. And more frequently than I would like.
So I put that work aside - either temporarily or long-term - and either pick up something else on my WIP (Works in Process) pile or start something new. Something in my stash. Something very easy. Something ... well ... something like this work scarf pictured on the left.
Something brainless. Mindless. Soothing. Something with few cognitive skills required.
Which is why when I looked at this Fisherman's Crochet baby blanket which has been a WIP for years now, determined to pick it up and finish it off, my mind looked at it and said: "No way, Jose. I'm NOT doing this. And without me, you aren't either."
I should interject at some point that working on this intricate afghan has been like starting over - even though I've done it once before, even though I knew, at some point in time, how to do all these stitches, this project has fought me tooth and nail. Every time I started a new part of the pattern, a different stitch, I could not successfully do it until after several failed tries and you-tubing a tutorial on the stitch. Talk about frustration.
This blanket is approximately 2/3 way done. I'm ready to start the second panel of the diamond stitch you can see in the picture. The problem with this blanket is that although I've made it once before and am an experienced crocheter, with the cognitive deficits post workplace abuse, making this blanket has been almost like starting new. From the beginning. Which has been ... concerning ... frustrating ....
So I picked up this kit I'd bought previously and decided what the heck! let's go. Let's start it. Even though another new project is exactly what I don't need at this time with others waiting to be finished. Yet I don't have to finish it. I only have to start it and work on it until the needles do their magical, soothing work. I must have been really down for the count mentally/brain wise because a week later I completely finished this 5-6 scarf.
A 1x1 rib (see! I've learned to successfully speak knitting too! Along with Canadian and American English with a smattering of Scottish English thrown in for good measure), it's not as mindless as straight garter or even stockinette (one row knit, one row purl) would be, but it has it's own rhythm.
A soothing rhythm once I get into the groove.
And it works!
That's the purpose of the exercise - of knitting. It's my right brain activity. It's my port in a storm. It's what I do when I can't do much of anything else.
And it works.
And I have a brand new hand made scarf all ready for spring ... or what's considered spring here in Canada. Bonus!