Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Washing Up, and Other Displacement Activities

Working from home, I've become quite good at recognising and dealing with distractions while I'm working.  Apart from dealing with the cats' demands for food, cuddles or other attention, I don't play music so as not to think about choreography (unless that's what I'm working on) and can mute the computer to ignore mail and Facebook. If I'm feeling particularly restless, it's because I'm too cold,  hungry, bored or frustrated and I just want to be doing something else. Time for a tea break! I know it's bad when I want to substitute one chore for another - in this case, doing the washing up instead of the accounts. I'm evidently looking for a displacement activity while my brain puzzles over where to check next to get the balance sheet to balance, or whether it would be easier just to implode from the sheer effort and boredom of doing accounts and other tedious paperwork.  On the other hand, in terms of a distraction or displacement activity, alternating around several chores seems like a good way to go.

What I really want to do is something creative, but daren't get caught up in anything much while I've so much important and urgent stuff to do. I decided a little down-time would be in order, so I picked up a ball of mesh yarn with some shopping while I was out the other day. I'm not much into frills, but decided I should have a go at making a ruffle scarf before the trend dies and the mesh yarns are no longer available. The dense mesh tape is quite pretty, in shades of turquoise, royal blue and olive green with a silver lurex yarn threaded through the bottom of the strip. Lured by the idea that I could knit up a scarf in a couple of hours, I had a go in front of the TV the other night.

There were instructions inside the ball band and it was laughably easy - pick up four stitches from the wrong side upper edge of the tape, roughly 4 cm apart and keep knitting.  So I started. By row six, it was looking wrong, too thin. I undid it, checked the method, redid it and remained unimpressed. I played with the tape, looking for different ways of knitting or crocheting it together.  I unpicked that and restarted the scarf, trying to reassure myself that all that was needed was persistence. Then I realised that I was quickly getting fed up of trying to find the little loops in the upper edge and keep the spacing consistent, and was still not convinced that a four-stitch-width scarf was the way to go.

I gave up, put it down and went to bed. A couple of nights later, I picked it up again.  But Sherlock was on the TV and I sat transfixed, unable to look away, at times on the edge of the sofa. It was that exciting! It was also the last episode of season 3, so I'll have Sherlock withdrawal symptoms until repeats or season 4, whichever comes first.

Since then, I've picked it up again, and have decided just to go with it, however fiddly. I'm finding the 'knit 4, turn' repeat quite tedious. I'm not going to manage a scarf in two hours with this yarn, but at least it makes the accounts and the washing up both look like much more attractive activities!

No comments: