Crafting · Tuesday Tips

Know When to Fold ‘Em

Last week I went in to Joann’s planning to buy one set of knitting needles; I walked out with four sets of needles, three skeins of yarn, and yet another tote bag (in my defense, the tote bag was really cute). Like most crafters, I often succumb to the temptation to add to my stash without a clear plan of how I’m going to use my new finds. This time was no different–I couldn’t resist the siren song of those multicolored yarns.

I was really, really excited to try out the new yarn. Of course I’ve got a million works in progress, but this was new yarn! Exciting yarn! So, after a quick search on Ravelry, I started in on what looked to be a promising pattern. Great yarn, great pattern. What could go wrong?

I was enjoying knitting the pattern and loved the colors, but as I went along I just…wasn’t feeling it.

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Note the aforementioned cute tote in the background

I wasn’t sure if it was just me being a perfectionist, or maybe I hadn’t given the pattern a chance to really show itself. I put out the call to Facebook and Instagram–luckily a lot of my friends are crafters too, so I knew I could trust them to be real with me. Everyone agreed: the pattern and yarn just weren’t working together. The yarn was overpowering the pattern, and the pattern wasn’t making the best use of the variegated yarn. I decided to scrap this project and look for a pattern better suited to the yarn.

Luckily I hadn’t invested too much time in this project, so it was pretty easy to scrap it and start from scratch. But what about when you’ve put a lot of time or money into a project? What do you do when it’s not working, or even just not fun to work on anymore?

On the one hand, sometimes it can be good to push through on a challenging project: you learn new skills, move beyond your comfort zone, and can feel a real sense of achievement once you do finish the project. It’s also often worth it to force yourself beyond the boring parts of a project–much as I love crafting, I have to admit there’s always at least one point in every project where I get So. Tired. of doing the same thing over and over. But once you get past that hump and get closer to finishing, it becomes fun again and you can’t wait to see the final product. So there are times when staying the course in the face of challenges is worthwhile.

All of that said, crafting is supposed to be fun. When you’re crafting as a hobby, there’s really no reason to let it become another source of stress in your life. If you’re bored, pulling your hair out over difficulties, or just don’t like the results, there’s no shame in scrapping that project. It’s a tough choice to make when you’ve invested a lot of time in a project, but what sounds better: agonizing over that project and getting anxious each time you think about working on it, or freeing yourself from something that’s stressing you out and replacing it with something you really enjoy? No one’s judging you but yourself, so why not let yourself off the hook (crochet pun fully intended)?

I’m still working on finding the perfect pattern for my variegated yarn, but I loved the original pattern I was using so much that I decided to try it on another yarn in my stash. I’m loving the results so far. If at first you don’t succeed, knit knit again!

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