July 9th, 2011

knit

Attention and Autopilot

I've had three knitting projects projects now recently that I had to rip back a bunch of work on, because of a stupid mistake. Two of them were failing to pay enough attention to the pattern directions and missing a small but important step (i.e. in the Rose socks, "start the second trellis" was actually "start the second trellis but start it at whatever row the first trellis is on, so that they match when you get to the step two inches later"), one was just failing to put in the last decrease on the left side, so the armholes didn't match and I didn't notice for forever. I've been trying to figure out what is up with that. It's not just reading comprehension, and it's not just absent-mindedness - I think it's mostly just that I've started running my knitting a little too much on autopilot (while watching TV, reading, whatever) and the lack of full attention still bites me every so often. But... I don't really want to have to pay it my full attention all the time. When it's my hands doing the work, and my brain is only checking in once in a while to steer, the solution isn't to have my brain there all the time - I just need to make sure that when my brain does check in, it does so all the way.