Unable to Focus, knitting to the rescue

My concentration has deserted me. I can’t seem to focus. My head seems to be buzzing rather uselessly. When I can’t read a page of a book without my mind wondering off I know I’m in trouble. Reading is my canary in the mine. Uh-oh, this is not good.

How to get it back?

I’ve turned to sudoko puzzles. I been doing several every day for the last week. Today I am celebrating because yesterday my 21st EASY puzzle was error-free. Yay. Today the 22nd puzzle was also totally correct. Double yay. I decided to stop there and enjoy this victory over my squirrel brain.

My second focus project is to tackle something hard: Brioche. I have not taken to this stitch at all. I have taken 3 different classes. I thought I had really made a breakthrough during the last Basic Brioche class I took last fall, thanks Sheila. I got home and tried a  new project, lasted for one inch before throwing it down, disgusted with myself. I don’t know why this technique has me totally stymied.

This pattern, Presage by Hunter Hammersen, caught my attention and with some trepidation I started it.DSC_7874-a_copy_small2

I can learn, I can learn, I can learn. I’m telling myself that I’m working on improving my concentration rather than the technique itself. Ha, ha, right!

Voila! Hey, not too bad. At the beginning I kept finding stitches where the yarn over was missing.  Obviously more concentration was needed. I know how to correct this now, in fact, I’m pretty good at it.20200815_130724

And when your brain says you should stop … you should stop NOW. Ask me how I know! A very hard lesson learned.

How are you maintaining your focus?

Cheers, Deb

Gauge-Free and Any Gauge patterns by Deb

Cabin Fever No-Sew patterns by Deb & Lyn



Author: debgemmellmods

I'm a Knitter. The capital K means every day, everywhere. I'm co-owner of Cabin Fever with my sister Lyn. We have published over 100 patterns and 11 books. I'm also working on a new set of patterns for Any Gauge knitting. Dive into your stash and cast on for a Top Down sweater that fits, or an accessory to use up those odd balls of yarn.

24 thoughts on “Unable to Focus, knitting to the rescue”

  1. You’re not alone. My focus deserted me somewhere back in March. Ashamed to admit that I’ve hardly knit a stitch since then; crossword puzzles are my only mental preventive from mental stagnation. Even my reading is almost completely confined to books I’ve read before, kind of the literary equivalent to comfort food. Kudos to you for trying a new, complicated technique to try to jumpstart your brain! I did dig out the sewing machine, and found that I’m really enjoying re-discovering sewing. Here’s hoping our mojo comes back soon….

    Karen999 on Rav

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I turned from knitting to my sewing machine also! In “normal” times I prefer knitting because I can socialize with my two knitting groups. Now I have returned to the hobby I am far more proficient at (sewing). It is such a lonely activity, but now I am completing half-finished sewing projects from years ago when I worked full time and could not join knitting groups as frequently.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bet that’s very satisfying. Finishing up half done projects always makes me feel great.


      2. I never really thought of it as lonely, just solitary, like most of my hobbies. I’m a homebody anyway, so it’s just fine. I’m enjoying it so much that I’m treating myself to a new sewing machine for my upcoming birthday. The old one, which had been living in the back of the closet for a decade, decided to crap out; it was a cheapie to begin with, which would cost as much to fix it as it was worth. And I did dig out two knitting projects this week; haven’t worked on them, but they’re sitting there, making me feel a bit guilty, so maybe that’s the first step towards getting my knitting mojo back.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A new sewing machine, that’s exciting. Maybe that excitement might spread to your knitting too.


  2. Personally, I would rather chew my foot off than do sudoku. I do understand the need to find something that can be controlled and mastered …so good on all of you for persevering. I decided to give up facebook, exercise and drinking! ;0) (two out of three ain’t bad)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m Karen’s twin!! Haven’t been able to knit a stitch & I once knit 56 pairs of socks in a year as a challenge!! I’m reading old favorites – the whole Anne series – doing crosswords & even blew the dust off the sewing machine!! But, I just couldn’t ever get excited about brioche. I think forgetting how to do it after taking 3 classes should tell you something. But don’t stress about it!!! After all, you’ve hung in there & taught us so many things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not knit brioche, no matter how often I attempt it. My heart belongs to cables, lace and beading, kudos if I can find it all in one project. Short rows escape me, with the exception of Japanese and German short rows. I despise intarsia with a rabid passion, but I love the magic of mosaic knitting and helix knitting. (O Lord that was hard to learn!) Knitting centres me on days when I am in pain, as do logic puzzles and sudokus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t you love that there is so much variety in knitting? We can all pick and choose. I have to let the beads go. No love there I’m afraid.


  5. I am usually up for a challenge and don’t tell me I can’t because I will. But I do know when I am beaten and Brioche has beaten me. As for the concentration – my excuse is that one has to have had it to lose it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Deb, I loved your email about focusing problems. I am knitting a very simple pattern shawl and I find I am having the exact same problem as you with “yarnovers”. It feels sort of like I am suddenly more stupid. The only solution that works for me is using lifelines every five or six rows. I use Addi Click needles which have openings in the cord for lifelines, and I use .5 mm Chinese Knotting Cord from tanglesnknots.com. I took a class from you once, and I love reading your emails. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear I’m not the only one. It’s frustrating isn’t it. Life lines are an excellent idea. I hope your concentration comes back soon.


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