We all have been at this place at one time or another haven’t we? At first, in starting our new projects we feel the thrill of looking for the perfect pattern envisioning all the time what it will look like finished and setting before us. Then the excitement of shopping for just the right yarn and in the perfect color, unto shortly after we set down to crochet it and reality sets in. Possibly because of skill level or a lack of time or just the loss of interest, there it sits, in a pile, in the corner, in a bag week after week. Sometimes I would put other projects on top of it or put it in the back of the yarn closet, just to block out the fact that I didn’t finish another project. You know out of sight out of mind.
If you have been there, or even now are setting with several unfinished crochet projects, then this post was written to let you know I have been there and know how discouraging it can be. I would like to share with you some reasons why projects lay gathering dust and what we can do to help it not to occur again.
There are many reasons why a crocheter might not finish a project:
1. Time – we just do not have the time we need to finish.
2. The project is larger then you expected.
3. You ran out of yarn and it is no longer available.
4. The pattern is confusing and you just cannot not follow it.
5. You just lose interest and am draw to another project.
6. The pattern is harder then you expected, to be honest it is just to hard.
7. The yarn you chose just doesn’t work with the pattern
8. You realized that you made a mistake about four or five rows back, and you just cannot face ripping it out and starting over, so you put it aside.
9. The yarn is just terrible, and miserable to work with, it splits, it has these little puffy things flying from it, etc. It’s just an unpleasant experience instead of an enjoyable one.
10. You hold it up only to discover the gauge is off, and it will be the wrong size.
I am sure there are many more, but these 10 have been the ones that stayed with my experience over the years. I would lay them aside and promise myself very faithfully that I would come back to them after I finished just one small project. Maybe a hat or a scarf, a dishcloth, you know what I mean, something small. I have good intentions of going back, finishing it or fixing it but I just never seemed to grab it.
One day I decided to clean out my yarn closet and discovered about six projects completely unfinished. Just laying there – wasting all that good yarn that I had spent hard earned money on. An unbelievable feeling of discouragement and failure came over me and that is when I decided that I would never leave a project unfinished again.
These are the steps that led me to create one personal rule that I have made to help me keep this promise for about the last the fifteen years;
1. First do an honest evaluation: look at the projects and determine which ones you are going to finish. All others, just rip them out and row the yarn into nice balls. Place them in a bag to keep the yarn together. If you have it, place the label in with them.
2. Then place each project with all the material you will need to finish it in a bag. Do not forget the instructions and set it by your crocheting area. For me it is a chair in my living room.
Tip: I brought some hat boxes from the local dollar store and I am using them to store my future projects in. I have three boxes, one for each for my next three projects. They are really good for storing all the items I need to finish each project and they look nicer in my living room then a bunch of bags sitting it the corner.
3. I first chose the project I was the most excited about to help motivate me. I knew if I could just finish one project it would help me to pick up the next one.
4. If it is a small project, then make sure to carry it with you. You’ll be surprised how much you will complete by crocheting while on the go. Besides doesn’t it make you feel good when you are in the doctor’s office and someone next to you comments on how nice it look?.
Once I finished the last project I made a rule that I have been very faithful to keep. I never work on more then three projects at one time. I always have one hard project and two easy ones. I am not allowed to pick up another project until these three are completed.
My hard projects are usually my biggest, and entail such things as – an afghan, a sweater or a shawl. Anything that takes seven skeins of yarn or more, I consider this a large project. My smaller projects are usually with done six skeins or less. By doing this it helps me to finish all my projects and never again have that feeling of discouragment.
Also in these three project, I always have one challenging one, and two, what I like to call as, no brainers. You know the one’s you can do while you set and catch up with your hubby on his day or visit with your friends. These are projects which just do not require your complete attention.
The challenging one I save for when I am in the house alone. That way I have a better chance of finishing it if I can give it my full attention and concentratioin.
This one rule, no more then three projects at one time, one large and two small have kept me from having unfinished projects laying in every crook and cranny throughout my home.
What are some things you had to adjust to help you finish your projects? Would love to hear about what works for you. No matter what you have chosen to implement into your life, it just might be what works for you might help someone else to succeed.
Until next time, keep those hooks flying.