Sunday, October 07, 2007

Scattered, Dazed, and Confused Takes on Textiles

Photo by Jessie Barber

The whole sewing thing might just be sinking in.

Now, don't get too excited. I DID just about sew the top of a bag together so that it was completely shut. I couldn't figure out how the heck to measure and cut fabric to make a lining. However, I DID learn how to put a lining in. I DID ask the teacher which row of squares to take off a 5x5 blanket to make it 5x4-would it matter? I think she thought I was the stupidest person ever. It DID take me 3 days just to figure out how to thread the machine and have everything on the right settings.

I'm learning. What I'd really like to do is have something to work on here at home so that I can practise some of the sewing techniques which mess me up so badly. Somehow I just can't "see" how turning right sides together, putting the item inside out and upside down gives me a nice end product. Instead I wind up completely confused and feeling like an utter moron. The stitch ripper is my bestest friend.

I need practise. Lots and lots of practise with the most simple projects imaginable.

So I did what anyone else who has completely lost their mind would do.

I borrowed a old and decrepit machine to practise with and gave myself a few projects:

-Jake's Halloween costume : he wants to be a wizard, and since I couldn't find any sort of robe-like thing in town, I'll be making one. I've already picked up the pattern and the fabric.

-Christmas ornaments: to do some fund raising for Jake's February school ski trip that just about breaks the bank, I have booked a table at the school craft fair. I'm sewing up some WAY cute mini stockings, decorating these little guys, and baking up a variety my best cookies. I'll even be taking orders to bake and deliver cookies for Christmas, and package up some of these for the kids. My goal is simply to make enough money to cover the cost of the field trip.

-and to keep with the crafty theme, I finally am taking the plunge and teaching myself to knit so that I can make this beautiful blanket. I'm not crazy about the colors in the pattern and plan to make it the more earthy tones in my house. Jake has already put in an order for another one for his bed, should I actually be successful. I'm a little more concerned about learning how to knit since I never did learn how to tie my shoes the proper way, but it's worth a try. I want to do it and darn it, I'm going to.

On Friday I went to a computer training workshop for a specialized program for kids, and they ran us through some exercises to demonstrate how difficult reading/memory can be for them. In one of them, they show us a range of words and we have to remember as many as we can.

The average 20 year old can remember 7.
The average 80 year old can remember 4.

Me?

I remembered THREE. By far the very worst in the class-and I was the youngest participant.

I was doing well until the noise in the other room distracted me, and then I began to lose the words because I couldn't focus on trying to keep them in my brain. Instead it was as if my brain kept focusing on the noise instead of the task at hand. I finally just gave up.

Of course I was met with pure fascination by the people running the whole workshop, who stopped me later to talk to me. She asked if I had any other issues with things, so I told her:

-I can have entire phone conversations and not remember a thing that was said afterwards
-I have zero sense of direction
-Often I misunderstand people/directions because I'm very literal and I end up asking a lot of questions for more information (this is often met with "are you THAT stupid" looks or comments like "you need to listen better") I may be listening to you, but nothing is sticking
-I can't STAND having lots of background noise (especially mechanical) because I can't hear people who are talking to me then, and I understand best when someone is looking at me when they talk.
-everything gets written down or otherwise I forget
-long directions/lectures are hard for me to focus on and I often lose it part way through

I also let her know that I've had my hearing tested because I was so frustrated, and it turned out to be completely normal.

"Well yes, but I'd bet that you have a Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and hearing tests don't find that."

Hey, that's funny-in my research of LDs when we were getting Jake diagnosed, I'd come across CAPD and Hubs and I marvelled at how it sounded exactly like me. I've always laughed off my tendencies to forget, get confused, and ask questions as just being a scattered personality.

Think I can list "Textile arts challenged" in there too?

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