8 Tips for Crafting CRUNCH times
It can happen to all of us at any time of the year. Crafting with a time crunch. Crafting with a deadline can be exhilarating, exciting and exhausting. We all do it to ourselves many (MANY) more times that we’d like to admit. Our crafting to-do list gets long and the time gets short. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, or whenever you’re crafting at crunch time, here are some tips to keep your life from getting hopelessly tangled.
Nothing says crafting on a deadline quite like some nice thick yarn and needles the size of a tree branch. There’s a reason why new crafters are taught using bulky or super bulky and larger needles. Selecting a project that uses a heavier weight yarn means you’re going to get some wind in your sails right away to help you get on with this gift. Banging out a hat in a super bulky yarn is a reasonable night (or two) project.
AOC: Avoid Overly Complicated
Crafting in a crunch means you’re going to be a bit stressed about getting finished in time. In her knitting classes Erin used to say that knitting isn’t a race. But… in this case it really is! To set yourself up for success you want to make sure you’re not making an intricate lace project. (unless you're a lace knitting savant who can bang out YOs like no one's business). You want something that isn’t going to tax your brain too hard. Better yet, what about a project you’ve made before? Knowing what’s coming up will help as time ticks away and your stress level increases.
There’s Only Room for One Star
The best projects only have one star. What the heck does that mean? Let us explain. Part of the art of crafting is selecting the right materials for your project. We firmly believe that all yarn is beautiful and useful. But not all yarn is perfect for every project! Part of the art of our craft is that we’re taking a pattern and making it our own. Each crafter puts their own spin on a project. And, that spin starts with selecting the yarn. (If the thought of matching a yarn to a pattern makes you sweaty, get in touch! We love to help in fibre matchmaking!) In general, a dramatic variegated yarn is not going to match up with a lacy project. The yarn and the pattern will compete. We usually look for a simpler yarn for a complicated pattern. Or, if you’re about to embark on a simple project, we always recommend considering a starring yarn.
Keep it Simple Kits
To make things easier for you, Christine is often found pulling yarns together in kits for you. Her super power is creating colour pairings that blow the mind. You can see all our offerings by looking under the yarn tab under kits. We’ll often include pattern recommendations too. Be sure to follow us on Instagram because we share new kits in our posts and stories.
There are some people in our lives that just aren’t knitworthy. They may not be able to properly care for handknit gifts or they just may not enjoy the look of handmade items (crazy we know). Before you put the effort and time into a project we recommend you consider the recipient and make sure they’re knitworthy. Will they appreciate the love and care you’ve put into a pair of handknit socks? Or would a jumbo pack of tube socks make them just as happy?
We’ve often told you about Erin’s fear of sweater commitment. So it’s no surprise that she’s going to recommend NOT knitting sweaters for people you aren’t really (REALLY) close to. Accessories are where it is at friends! Honestly! Everyone can use a toque or a set of mittens. We all need a shawl to wrap around ourselves on a cold morning. The other amazing aspect of accessories is that they are pretty small. (Erin does have a fingering weight shawl problem but can restrain herself during the holidays). Stick with accessories and you’ll get a useful and fast project—something achievable and perfect for gift giving.
We’ve got a cautionary tale to explain why keeping some type of record of your knitting is a good idea. Christine's brother's family has grown since she knit a colourwork stocking when her first nephew was born. The next year, she replicated the original stocking and made two more to match for her brother and sister-in-law. Now, her second nephew has joined the family and is in need of a stocking. Christine has about 100 paper patterns across the floor of Wool & Waves HQ *but* none of them are the pattern she’s looking for. She’s remaking the fourth stocking based on looking at the others and with a whole lot of finger crossing. Let her experience encourage you to keep a record of your projects. Avoid the fourth stocking syndrome!!
Sense of Humour
One of our favourite stories is the year that Erin gave her Mom a handknit present. It was beautifully wrapped up but… it was still on the needles! Happily Erin’s Mom is also a knitter and was happy to watch Erin finish the gift on Christmas Day
2 while the turkey cooked. Having a sense of humour about handmade gifts will keep your stress down when it’s 11:30pm on Christmas Eve and you’re just not going to finish in time.
No matter what time of year, crafting crunches are going to happen. Following our tips will help to make sure you aren’t crushed by the crunches. Sharing your crafting talents is a fun and thoughtful way to show people how much you enjoy them. Enjoying the experience of making will keep the fun in craft.