I have been turning this blog post over in my mind for a couple of days.
I realised on Sunday that I had started treating my crafting, my knitting and my crochet, like a chore that I had to get done and consequently I was feeling stressed if I wasn’t achieving or finishing items or parts of items by my own preset deadline.
I looked in my crafting notebook and saw that I hadn’t made any items this month for the advent calendars I had decided I wanted to make my godson and stepgrandchildren for this Christmas. I have made a couple of items but I hadn’t enjoyed the knitting and because I don’t enjoy the knitting, it was feeling like a chore. I just didn’t want to make any.
A few years ago I consulted a psychotherapist over an issue I felt residual anger from and I found it incredibly helpful. One of the things I recall the psychotherapist said is that I’m prone to make rules in my life of how I think things should be.
This trait is very useful in my working life! I do have a reputation for being efficient and I manage it with lots and lots of lists.
However it’s not good with a hobby. I never used to be like this with my crafting but it seems to have crept in the last year, like setting myself deadlines for things I must make.
I think Knitting Sarah’s 1+1+1 project is a really brilliant idea – it just doesn’t work for someone like me, who uses it as an excuse to corral myself, rather than treating it as a way of managing projects. The idea is you try not to work more than three projects at once but I decided that I would make three projects a month! Nowhere was it suggested this was a good idea, but it seemed like it to me. Sadly it just exacerbated my tendency to default to ‘rules’
Equally, joining in with a mystery knit along is not the best thing to do when you are inclined to be a bit pedantic – I just have to accept I don’t always have time to do 30 rows of lace a week and not pressurise myself into doing it! I love knitting lace but at my own pace.
I conciously realised I’ve got into this mindset when I was talking to my sister Gayle last Sunday about her 40th birthday blanket. From when I started it until before her birthday (yes I’ve missed the deadline by 9 months so far!) I just worked on it whenever I felt like it but Sunday I found myself writing out a timetable of how much I have to make by when, which is ridiculous.
Anyway this has been a long way round of telling you that I realise I need to actively enjoy my hobby in a stress free way and if that means only making certain things, and not working on things for days at a time, and having 20 works in progress, and generally not being obsessive, then that’s fine. I still have the calendar idea but until I find a way of doing it that doesn’t feel like a chore well then I won’t do it… I know you’ll understand. X