On the Lookback Technique

One of the silly things that I am inclined to do is to use a technique that I’m sure is fairly commonly used, but I don’t happen to know a term for it – I call it the Lookback Technique.  How this works is that when you are counting down to something you want to reach, you regularly check on progress by seeing how long ago it was when you were as far in the past as your desired event is in the future.

That sounds even sillier than I think it is.  Here are a couple of examples from my life.  Firstly, I use a variant of this technique very frequently during my exercising.  I currently do the cardio part of my exercise via a 36 minute stint on an exercise bike.  When I’ve been going for a while, I start calculating as follows:  if I’m 6 minutes into my time, I say “OK I now have 24 more minutes to go than I have already done.”  And then, 1 minute later, “Now it’s 22 minutes.”  And there’s the joy – you gain 2 minutes for every minute that passes.  When I am at the halfway point, I start “I now have x fewer minutes to go…” and that feels great.

My major use of this technique for the past while has been checking to see how my retirement goal is coming on.  I decided that I would retire at the standard age of 65 (though I’m going to the January after my October 2011 65th birthday, for tax reasons) almost three years ago.  In January of 2008 I wrote a query to calculate the date that was as far in the past as my retirement date is in the future.  At that time, it was four years before, so January of 2004.  Then I’d think back to what had been happening at that time and it never seemed very long ago.  So the date of retirement seemed fairly close.  At this point, my lookback date is in January of 2009.  Wow, does that seem recent!  Hazel was already halfway through first grade, and she’s just finished second now.  I don’t know why I find this so much fun, but it works for me.

On the Knitting Front

Here’s a new photo of my Lunar Evolution as I have named it on Ravelry.

Though the color is pretty far off in this photo, you can see what’s going on pretty well.  You can see the different sections in their graceful curves and how the lace pattern in the center section is coming along.  You can also see some scattered little bits of lace in the two sections flanking the center.  My idea here is that I will be putting random little scatterings of lace motifs (probably just these little diamonds, though maybe some single eyelets too, and who knows what else might show up) and use one of my favorite techniques of having relatively few of these towards the top, but a whole lot more by the time I get to the bottom.  Random is really very hard, though, so we’ll see how it goes.


About Knitterly Anne

A knitter for many years, I have become increasingly involved with designing knit patterns in recent years. Other interests include my lovi
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2 Responses to On the Lookback Technique

  1. Laurie says:

    Love your Lunar Evolution and can’t wait to see what other motifs you pop into that very cool pattern.

    I like to play little games like that with time, too. Usually when I’m on the exercise bike or some other task I really don’t like to do.

  2. Sarah says:

    Lace adds great interest to the shawl–wonderful personalization. Randomness is hard at first. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

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