Making Progress on My WIPs


I have slowly started to get back my knitting enthusiasm. I’m using my knitting to find some balance. Lately I feel like I’m all over the place, can’t focus on one thing and then forget what I was going to do when I got distracted. So I’ve been trying to slow down and focus on one thing at a time and try my best to do it well. I’ll work on syllabus prep and then reward myself with a bit of knitting or a little time playing video games. I’ve found that over the last five months while sheltering in place my attention span is all over the place and focus has been so difficult. I’m trying my best to get used to this being the very weird new normal.

School started this week for faculty, we’ve been meeting and prepping and getting ready for the new year. All my courses are now going to be taught online, our university just didn’t think it could open to undergrads from all over the country with this virus still running rampant. I’ve got a little less stress by not being in the classroom but honestly, COVID-19 gives me a lot of anxiety. For now, my husband and immediate family are all healthy and doing well, but I just feel so angry at how all of this has been managed. So I will just continue to knit on and hope that things get better.

22 Replies to “Making Progress on My WIPs”

  1. Wow. I just wanted to let you know that I to been struggling with my focus these last several months. I’ve started knitting new projects but can’t seem to get into them. Although I’ve been able to complete small things like knitting dishcloths.
    Stay safe and healthy. May this new way of teaching classes be a blessing to you.

  2. I teach University classes online (COVID or not) and I too have found that my concentration is just trashed during this pandemic. My ability to accept this state of things goes in and out! Sorry it’s affecting you too this way, as well as other readers!

  3. I understand those feelings completely! Distraction and anger mess with me constantly. I think I will follow your lead and knit as a reward for getting necessaries done.

  4. Yes,I am in agreement. It has been difficult adjusting for me.I been buying yarn, patterns, slow🐌 on completing or starting. Glad everyone is doing well. Knit on,🤗

  5. Dana, I’m glad your knitting mojo is back. You’re not alone in having trouble being creative; I’ve been struggling along right with you and am amazed I’ve made anything during these times. But I know you can do it. You are a strong, capable woman and a gifted teacher, and even though it’s harder, you are up to the challenge. Stay safe and well!

  6. This resonates so much with me. COVID-19 is so terrifying and so many people haven’t got the memo.
    Here in the UK the press has been full of people falling out of pubs, and crammed on beaches.
    Our government has really lost its way with its management of this situation. I’m sorry to say but from here it seems like Trump never even started to look for a way. Countries like Norway and New Zealand show that a way is possible.
    My children are due back in school in 2 weeks and I’m terribly torn. As they have some additional needs, the online learning provided by school has been beyond their reach, so we’ve been focussing on maths and reading, and practical skills that utilise them. They are ready to go back. I’m not so sure.
    I suppose I’m thinking that if you’re not feeling unsettled and concerned about the state of the world at the moment, then you really should be paying more attention.
    Stay safe. In all ways.

    1. Love that last paragraph.
      To give myself some focus, I chose to try some new things. Grew plants form seeds, container gardening of veggies, learned to make yogurt, making masks to give away. Figured if the world was going upside down maybe I needed to make a few changes in order to save my sanity. Just lately I have had the itch to start knitting again, just as soon as my canning schedule slows down i will be casting on!
      Relish the new challenge of teaching online and welcome the rhythm of getting back to feeding young minds.

  7. “managed” – that’s an interesting word. Well, I don’t want to start ranting. I’m glad you and your family are well. I’m glad you’re classes are online. I live next to a college whose students are returning to campus. Now I’m just waiting for our local covid rates to increase.

  8. Dana, You are such a blessing to others always, but I appreciate you even more during these perilous times. Your authenticity is very much needed when our trust in people is wobbly. I love, love your knitting skills and masterful sense of color. I appreciate your openness about difficulty focusing, etc. and the number of comments about others’ difficulty with it too. Your blog is a lifeline to me.
    Do not ever think that this blog is only about knitting. Oh, my. It’s about human connection, and it’s not superficial. Thank you.

  9. Thanks so much for your honesty and openness. It’s much appreciated. I’m also grateful and impressed that Howard U is taking the health of it’s students and staff seriously. My university is doing the same and even though I’m not in love with taking online classes, I appreciate the need for them at this time. Knitting wise, I love that green speckled sweater with the turquoise collar and hem!

  10. I sit in my teeny tiny pandemic world and think that I am the only one who can’t concentrate anymore. I started worrying about dementia, honestly, and berated myself for leaving projects unfinished. Your posts, especially in the last month, inspire me to be a little more gracious with myself, especially now. It’s good to know I am not the only one distracted by anger about our national state of affairs and our upcoming elections. Love your knitting and your blog! Knit and blog on!

  11. I feel you, Dana. My attention span is also all over the place & I can’t seem to settle for long. What’s helped me a lot has been making new schedules; making sure I walk Scout every single morning, early if it’s likely to be too hot later on. Then back to the house for some small cleaning; finishing the morning holding Scout while he naps & I knit.
    I’m so angry at how the virus has been handled. Too many people have died & too much nonsense over wearing a mask. I don’t understand how people can assert their “independence” in the face of refusing to help keep others safe. I used to think most people were good but I question that now in the face of such awful joy-sucking selfishness.
    I’m so glad your school is virtual. I know that brings it own set of problems, but it is a way to keep you & your loved ones safe. This is the first year since I retired from teaching that I’m so grateful I don’t have to return to the classroom. I think it’s shameful that so many schools are opened up. They’re just giant petri dishes & they’ll have to close again!
    Sending you & Jellybean hugs. Stay safe & healthy.

  12. Covid just goes on and on. If it’s any consolation to you, I have been knitting for over 50 years and I am having trouble finishing my knitting also. Good luck with the teaching on line; you will have insight since you are also a student. Here’s hoping the US’s Covid toll continues to decline.

  13. I’m with you, Dana! If I’m not doing my beading, my attention is all over the place. Knitting has helped too because you (ME!) really have to pay attention to the patterns. My daughter is a first grade teacher, but is due to deliver our second granddaughter and thankfully isn’t having to face the perils of this coming school year. I’m so thankful you’ll be online at least to start. We WILL get through this together and hopefully November/January will bring a change that can help us all! Thank you for your honesty and providing a platform for us to share knitting and REAL concerns! Stay safe and healthy and give that hubby and cute puppy and big hug for us all! 🙂 Carri

  14. Me too! I feel like I do not know what I am doing. My focus is gone. Thanks for sharing how you feel. Sometimes it looks like everyone else is sailing through and I’m still at the dock.
    My knitting mojo is gone but I’m working on Sashiko embroidery.
    Good luck with your classes and knitting. I love seeing pictures of you and Jellybean- thanks 😊

  15. Dana, I’m a middle school teacher and I went in today for the first time. I wasn’t prepared for the grief I’m feeling over missing all of our back-to-school traditions. I’m trying to focus on what I can do, and how to do it well, but I still feel an enormous sense of loss for what we’re missing. Online school is the right thing to do, but it is hard. And I can’t help but wonder if we could have been in a different place with strong leadership in this country instead of the chaos that currently serves.
    I think you have the right idea by breaking things up. I usually have such enthusiasm for the beginning of the year but I’m going to have to fake that for the time being. Thanks for listening and sharing. I love your WIPs. They are all so different yet so you.

  16. The anger is at a level where it really doesn’t ever go away. I am glad your school is using the virtual option. My son’s college is doing a mix but I cannot see how this ends well. Please do whatever brings you comfort, be it knitting or something else. I am trying to hold onto hope but it’s hard. ❤

  17. Hi, Dana. I’m so slowed down that I just caught up with your post from two days ago! You’ve got three winning sweaters here. I started to name a favorite, and then gave up. Is that yet another sign of my lack of focus? LOL! I’m finding that the only way to keep myself from getting totally lost is the ten-point to-do list every night for reference next day. No guilt if I don’t get things done, just a road map for when I wonder what on earth comes next. And yes, I’ve lost momentum knitting lately. Instead, I’ve been trying (very slowly) to sort and purge some personal clutter. I opened a box of keepsakes yesterday and discovered two tiny Barbie sweaters and a dress, plus a cardigan vest for Ken that I knitted when I was about ten. There were lots of things wrong with Barbie and Ken, but learning to fit those curves made turning a sock heel when I got older feel like child’s play!

    Wishing you all the best — especially with your technical support staff — as your term begins. Howard University must be simply buzzing with pride tonight! I hope that pride and the incredible conviction and fortitude Senator Harris and the Obamas have expressed in their recent speeches help to carry you forward through this time — as they do me.

  18. I haven’t knit since February. It’s good for me to see other people struggle and try and get back to it. I heard a lot of people got more crafty during this but I have been able to muster is getting out of bed and dressed and feedng my family and work. I think the rest of my time has been spent in mourning, and angst about the future. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. Especially I wish you well in your new year of teaching. What a new year it will be! Good luck!

  19. Thank you Dana for expressing your feelings so openly with us. You are definitely not alone. This change has caused most of us to loose our balance. I find myself in the midst of doing things I naturally love to do getting sleepy and many times waking up to find I fell asleep! No focus! It’s one way to calm the stress of the times. Let’s just keep pressing forward and believing it’s going to be alright. My daughter is also a teacher and this is her first with the online teaching. All our teachers are being taxed to learn something new that they never imagined. Our learning students need you, Keep hope alive and keep knitting, we need you!

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s