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No more 1+1+1

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

PS: Crochet on trains (16.15 London St Pancras to Nottingham, 21 April 2016). 

20 thoughts on “No more 1+1+1

  1. Hurrah for you! Well decided, most sensible, couldn’t agree more and what’s the point of having a hobby if you aren’t enjoying it? [Sent to you from somebody who becomes completely discombobulated if she attempts more than one project at a time!] πŸ™‚ Enjoy your stress free makings xo

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  2. I think I can relate. I used to love to sew and was very good at it. When my ex tried to talk me into sewing professionally, I stopped sewing. I did take it up again when my daughter was born, and now I have a grand- daughter to sew for. I feel the same about my knitting. I do it because it makes me happy.

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  3. I’m the same way. I thought if I only committed to finishing 16 things for the year, it would keep me motivated, yet working at a reasonable pace. Instead I finished my 16 in ’16 by the end of March. Now I’m back to my old tricks of starting everything and finishing little. Heck, at least I’m happy and I can’t say I don’t have anything to do.

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  4. Very smart. When it starts to take over like a job deadline, it’s time to put it back in its place. I love to knit. But if it’s on a deadline that is either real or imagined I don’t enjoy the process

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  5. It can be really easy to try and take something you love to do and force more on yourself than you can handle. I have a book blog but I was so swamped and I totally burned out on it. I hope I don’t do the same with crochet in the future!

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  6. I understand you so well about this. All those goals I have set myself and then something really grabs me and all of a sudden I feel guilty about being behind schedule. Totally ridiculous behaviour on my part. Time to do what we want when we want. Enjoy your crafting this weekend and no more timetables!

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  7. When it ceases to be something you look forward to, then it’s time to rethink, so good on you for recognising and ‘fessing up! Can you feel the stress melting away yet?

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  8. I get it completely!!!!! this MKAL is fun, but so much pressure! I am in the midst of chart 7, and I started getting a little freaked out when I realized I still had mysterious chart 8 to go, and the new clue came out and and and… I also was feeling like I was letting you down, because we were doing this together. So I actually hopped on this morning to check your blog and see how you are doing. I feel 100 times better now. It will get done, and it will get done soon as I love it, but it will NOT get done by the end of the month, I don’t think. That is OK. I am so glad you thought about this and said something. You are right, it is supposed to be fun and relaxing and inspiring. let’s make it so again. πŸ™‚

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      • lol – no worries. How is the shawl coming along? I was really not sure about the last bit – have you looked at the pictures online? But the I saw her version all blocked and I really like it. I should know to trust Boo. πŸ™‚ I’ll get it done. And I ordered some of the tussah silk for another shawl later this year. I will be dripping in silk and beads. Goes well with my turtleneck and jeans look. Takes it to a whole new level of chic. πŸ™‚

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      • that was a good place to stop. This fourth clue is taking me forever. And I know from the other shawl I did that picot bind off will take days. To do the one row, So wait until your mind is ready. On the plus side, it is a beautiful pattern. As fro biker boots, I think that a bit f feminine lace would go great with them!

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      • I love knitting lace but it just isn’t me. I keep looking at the Hitofude cardigan and wondering whether I would wear that… Considering how much I love knitting, the things I most wear are my hats!

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  9. Excellent decision. You may well find that by taking time away from projects such as the advent calendars, thereby removing the stress aspect of feeling like you have to work on it rather than want to, you will resolve the situation and you’ll find yourself wanting to dip in to it every now and then, at your leisure, and in your own time…….. and if it doesn’t? So be it, just one of those things.

    Happy crafting πŸ˜€ x

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  10. Well done you. I can identify with what you’re saying. I like to make rules and find them helpful, but do have to pull myself up occasionally and remind myself it’s for fun and enjoyment.

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  11. I’m another one who knows exactly how you feel. Just yesterday I had to take a deep breath, count to ten and then NOT buy a pattern to join in with a knit along. Then this morning I was still wondering about another knit along. A mystery one but there’s too much about it that’s not right for me so I’m just going to wait. I can always buy the pattern later if I’m still keen. My resolution / aim for 2016 was to just work on 3 projects at a time and it’s been going well so far as I have choices but I’m not spreading myself so thinly that I feel stressed that I’m not making progress. BUT it is a challenge to actively say ‘no’ sometimes (my weak point anyway). Enjoy what works for you!

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