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18 January 2010

Trying something new . . .

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!

6 comments:

April Mechelle said...

My mom stitches that backward way.. LOL She is left handed and instead of stitching right to left in a line, she stitches going left with the \\\\ and then //// on top.. That is so confussing for me. I just laugh at her... LOL

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

What a fun post, Rachel! It would be very hard for me to cross in a different direction than normal, too. Something I'll have to think about trying sometime but it might frustrate me so bad I'd throw the project somewhere.

Elaine said...

LOL...that is the way that I stitch. I bought my first kit ten years ago and that was the direction it showed me to stitch in so thats how I do it. It wasn't until I entered the world of RR and exchanges that I realised I;m different but I like that as I was never one to run with the crowd.

riona said...

Being a good 25 years older than you, I shall stick with my book of NY Times Sunday Crossword puzzles for my mental gymnastics. Stitching is something I use to bring my blood pressure down!!!

Bette said...

I've tried this once. It was not easy. I think I did more frogging then I did stitching.

Pumpkin said...

Why not give a different point of view. That's why they call it arts/crafts :o)

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls