Thursday, December 27, 2007

Multi-tasking 101

As I sit here simultaneously blogging and roasting coffee, I thought it appropriate to share this photo of another multi-tasking feat, one I engage in every evening. On my lap is a book. The pages are held flat by a piece of plexiglass. The plexiglass has a little lip on it which has proved to be particularly convenient as it helps prevent it from sliding off the book. The plexiglass is actually from an old IKEA recipe book holder we never used -- just something that was lying around waiting to be recycled into something new. I discovered this new use a month or two ago.

Above my lap and tucked in close to my tummy so as not to obscure my view of the book is my knitting. Right now it's Fiona's sweater, now back on the front burner of my knitting life. Less than half a sleeve plus a neckband to go.

To turn the pages of the book I need to set my knitting down for a second, lift the plexiglass slightly and slip a page over. If I were reading to myself, that would be necessary too frequently to be enjoyable. But when I'm reading aloud my speed is slower and the pace of page-turning is manageable. My knitting is slower too, but that's okay. It's about the journey as much as the destination, right?

A hidden bonus of the knitting-with-plexiglass-enabled-reading-aloud is that I'm considerably less likely to fall asleep. My kids stay up very late, and often their readaloud story time is well beyond the hour when I should have found my own pillow. I used to fall asleep a lot while reading. Most of the time my words would just gradually grind to a halt. Sophie would nudge me the first few times. Then her nudges would become swats. But sometimes sillier things would happen -- I'd begin inserting words and phrases out of my hypnagogic brain salad, bizarre nonsensical things. Like I once substituted the clause "sugar and spice" for something about a meal in a serious historical adventure tale of some sort. I had no memory of actually having spoken the the words, only a fleeting memory of having heard them. Knowing it was my own voice I'd heard, I jerked myself awake and asked the kids "did I just say 'sugar and spice'?" and they said yes and start laughing their heads off.

So that doesn't seem to happen when I'm knitting, and that's a good thing. And Fiona's sweater is gradually getting finished. Another good thing. It's almost time to cast on for Sophie's, and I just ordered yarn for Noah's. Fortunately I'm sure we'll continue our nightly readaloud tradition and so the needles will keep clicking.


  1. So what yarn did you order? Was it from elann? Funny how when I read to the boys, which doesn't happen so often these days, I always seem to start yawning....even if it's a good book! And sometimes I find that I've been reading aloud while thinking about something else and I missed part of the story - how does THAT happen?

  2. Yup, elann it was. Peruvian Luxury Merino Superwash in tapestry blue -- Noah's choice.

    I've had the same experience with reading aloud and thinking about something else and missing the story. Mostly that happens with Fiona, because I'm reading things to her that I've mostly read before. So I'm not terribly interested in the story. With the older kids I'm a snob -- I'll only read things I want to read, particularly those that I haven't read before.

  3. I do the weird word insertion thing too. It's particularly bad if I read novels to the kids in bed. For some reason picture books or stories on the couch.
    I'm envious of your ability to knit and read. About the only thing I can do at the same time as knitting is sitting - lol.
    Merry Christmas

  4. AnnaLena9:14 pm

    LOL, that's hilarious. I laughed so hard when I read about you saying "sugar and spice" as I did almost exactly the same thing a few years ago. I was reading Eragon out loud for my eldest daughter and apparently had said "cooking method" in my half sleep while reading some serious part. HA HA HA


  5. I laughed SO HARD... in fact, I am still chuckling...


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