They say as we age, it's important to keep our mind active and vital as we age. I've always tried to keep my mind working. In high school, I wrote essays, taking an opposite stand on an issue, just so that I had the mental exercise of arguing the point, even if I didn't believe it. I've read a lot of non-fiction, just to learn more (though I do have to say, I really did not care for a lot of the subject matter; I have a book about how beer changed history that I can not make myself read. At all. I'm aging now, a bit less gracefully than before (in our house, we play a game we call, "Guess what joint just cracked and I'll tell you how many times I injured it in my misspent youth." and I'm catching up on HTB), and I want to keep my mind sharp.
I stitch ///////, then \\\\\\\. I've been doing this for 20 years. It's comfortable. I can do it like no one's business. Soooooo . . . a couple months ago, I came up with the idea of changing the direction I stitch in. At least for one project. Stitching gymnastics, as it were. At least on a small scale.
I started stitching \\\\\, then //// today. I've done it before, a long time ago, on a round robin. It was a Dragon Dreams-themed RR. The owner stitched that way, and asked the rest of us to do so as well. One woman just gave up and stitched it her way. Others met with varying success. It was not a happy week in my house, since anal-retentive perfectionist me was battling to do this dragon correctly, per the instruction, and my hand, usually so well-behaved, was pulling a, "But that's not the way we do it." I did get it done, though. It was a success. And I have never done it again.
That changed today. I started "Fa La La," a sweet freebie from Plum Pudding.
It's a challenge. My brain sees a /// and wants to put a return \\\, not realizing that we already did that. Meanwhile, it's trying to work out a system to do the stitching, minimizing the thread wastage. But I'm liking it. I like that the light hits it a bit different. I like that there is texture that I'm not used to. I like that I haven't flung it yet. I like the challenge. I already have fabric picked out to make it into an ornament. Blogger buddy Suzanne gifted me with a length of perfect fabric for this, and I'll use that. And trim it with red and green cording. I think that will look awesome. And I'll be able to say, "I exercised my brain." Cracking knees, sharpening my brain, that's ol' me!