Pistols at Dawn: Dueling Hobbies

3 Mar

Okay that’s maybe a tad dramatic. But I’m struggling lately with dueling hobbies and I need some advice, friends.

I’ve always been a reader. That’s pretty obvious. It’s always been my go-to hobby – the thing I did when I had even a smidgen of downtime. I always have a book with me (doesn’t everyone?) but now, something is competing for my attention: knitting.

I know I said around New Year’s that I wanted to learn how to knit. And knit I have been. I took a class that ended this past Sunday, and since then, I’ve been working hard on my first project, a scarf for myself. I love the progress I’m making and how I’m not making any mistakes (okay, not many mistakes) and how it actually is starting to look like a scarf. It feels incredibly productive and I’m able to shut out the world for a while with each knit and purl stitch (don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about?).

But my reading is suffering. I’ve hardly picked up a book since I started the project, and it’s been almost a week. That’s so unlike me. I tried to read and knit and the same time yesterday, but I’m still such a beginner that I have to focus exclusively on my knitting or I’ll make a huge mistake that I won’t be able to fix. Does anyone else have this problem? I can’t be the only one with separate hobbies that are completely incompatible with each other, can I? In case you’re interested, I’m trying to read Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. Good so far, but I’m not more than 50 pages in. I want to devote the time to it because I know it’ll be good. But I’ve got this little beauty going that I just can’t put down:

Any advice would be extremely welcome!

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6 Responses to “Pistols at Dawn: Dueling Hobbies”

  1. Amy March 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Sadly, it’s all a matter of time and practice. I do have really advanced friends who have taught themselves to knit and read at the same time. I’ve never managed to do that. However, I can knit and watch TV at the same time. So I do that, then put the knitting down, turn the TV off, and pick up a book.

  2. Nicky March 4, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    I’m afraid Amy is right, it just takes time and a little practice 🙂 Knitting and reading together is great, depending on the book I’m reading. What I also find is that my knitting tends to move in cycles much more than my reading does. There’ll be times when all I feel like doing is knitting and then I won’t knit for months. Perhaps the same thing will happen with you and then you can cram more reading into that time! Enjoy your new hobby and best of luck with your scarf!

  3. Eva March 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    CD books are great. Having someone read to you, will make you feel like a kid again. If you make sure the pattern isn’t too difficult, you’ll enjoy the world of literature and knitting at the same time.

  4. Kerry March 10, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    I second Eva’s suggestion – audiobooks! I have less of a problem with dueling hobbies and more of a problem of work overload. Between work and blogging and reading, I struggle to stay on top of the basics like housework and dishes and laundry. Audiobooks have been my friend in that. That, and in my commute (an hour each way).

  5. share March 13, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    Yeah, I have been knitting off& on for years and I still get too distracted & one orthe other (reading or knitting) gets neglected. I’m all for audio books!

  6. Unruly Reader April 10, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    I second/third/fourth the audiobook recommendation! It’s the only way to go — leaves your hands free for knitting. I had to train myself to be able to listen to audiobooks — it didn’t come naturally, but it didn’t take long to pick up the knack.

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