Last week, a reader asked if I had finished making my Frost Slippers yet. I was embarrassed to admit I hadn’t, especially since the whole point of the post was trying to get a stalled project unstuck. Why hadn’t I finished this project? I had asked my fellow knitters for advice and knew what to do next. It was easy to find, too, in a project bag right next to my knitting chair. What happened?
Part of the problem was a perfect storm of distractions. It was one of many projects unearthed while I was cleaning my studio. I finally had room to work, but it was hard to decide what to work on first. At the same time, COVID hit and we had been given a stay-at-home order that was proving more challenging than I would have guessed. (The fact that I thought my first slipper post was from two years ago when it was from March is just one of many indicators that 2020 has been an unusual year.) On top of that, the stress of the times was affecting my brain. Projects I would normally consider fairly easy looked daunting, and I was only able to deal with truly simple activities.
But I think the main reason I forgot about my slippers was because they were neatly tucked away and out of sight. It’s one of the reasons any place I work gets so messy over time. Out of sight, out of mind is a reality for me. I quickly forget about tasks if I don’t have a visual reminder to prompt my memory.
The down side to this is that you wind up living in a mess that is constantly distracting you. Every time I look around, I see piles that need my attention. It’s wearing and often overwhelming. But if I don’t leave things out? I forget all about them. It doesn’t matter so much for things like something I am knitting for myself, but when it’s bills or a birthday present I need to mail? Remembering in a timely fashion matters.
Once I got the reminder about the slippers (thanks, Sarah!) and found them, I read the directions and got to work. I was particularly excited because I realized, once I got the pieces sewn together, the remaining knitting would be relaxing and mindless. Even after nine months to get used to life during COVID, I still need easy projects to work on.
The slippers are now finished. Once I picked them up again, they only took a few days to complete. I’m mostly pleased with the results, although I think I would be happier with them if there were just a shade larger. I checked my gauge when I started but they still came out small. I made a note to remind myself in case I make another pair at some point.
Now I just need to figure out how to make notes to replace all my piles.
Do you forget about things when they’re out of sight? How do you remind yourself of unfinished tasks?