So, it’s that time of year again. We all know it well. I am of course referring to
the mad dash to knit all the things you put off till the last minute Christmas time.
With this time of year we are all filled with stress and panic warm feelings of joy and love as we work on finishing up those knits for the people we care most about.
Even with all of those feelings, I always seem to find myself caving in around this time of the month. It is usually the time when you look at your to do list and count the remainder of the days; doing all the math possible to make it work and somehow things don’t add up.
Then comes the depression. I don’t mean clinical depression, just knitting depression. The slump of too much to do and not enough time. Knitting seems to almost become work at a certain point. Throw in the unavoidable knitting mistakes that will occur and you are soon day dreaming of setting all the yarn ablaze while chugging wine and laughing like the Joker from Batman.
Well, I am here to give some tips on how to keep you from having to file an insurance claim explaining why your house has fire damage.
My first tip is to find a video knitting podcast. I say video because it will give you something else to visually focus on occasionally. Start the podcast and get out a project that doesn’t require too much attention and start watching. Usually what will happen is you will see the wonderful things they are working on and motivation will hit. The next thing you will know your hands are moving and stitches are coming out of no where. This is especially true if you watch a few episodes back to back. They always seem to fly through their projects. Another suggestion I have for this is to take a look at a few different podcasts. Some are more knitting intensive and some simply just sit and knit and talk about random stuff. Find one that suits your personality the best. I tend to mix up the type with whatever mood I am in. (Audio podcasts could work here, but I find the visual stimulation helps give me inspiration and takes my mind off the fact that I am forcing myself to knit.)
My next piece of advice is the reward system. I used this in college to help force me to write a paper or study. Set yourself a goal and when you reach that goal you get something you want. Knit a chart repeat, get a cookie. Knit a heel, get a glass of wine/beer/shot of tequila. Knit a stitch get a breath of air. Just use whatever is a small reward that will make you want more.
Another thing I have found helpful is to just go sit with my stash for a little while. Look at all the pretty yarn, feel it, smell it. This might be just enough to get your motivational juices flowing again. I have a particular skein of baby alpaca that I sometimes just go sit with and hold against my face. I will most likely never knit with this because it is my “special” yarn.
If sitting in the yarn only made you angrier at all the required projects you have, I suggest finding the one yarn in the stash you really want to make something with and cast it on. Working a little while on a “fun” project will sometimes get my knitting mojo back and I can then go back to cranking out those “not fun” projects. This also can go back to the reward suggestion. Knit an hour on the blah project, knit an hour on the fun project.
If none of these work for you then I suggest just take a break. Take a day off. Find a movie/book you have really been wanting to watch/read, put on your most comfortable of pjs, and just relax. Knitting is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. If the person you are knitting for is really going to be upset about having to wait on a labor of love, then I suggest not knitting for them.
I really hope that everyone gets all of their knitting finished with as little stress as possible. It is just a day on the calendar and in the end it is just about being with the people you love.
P.S. If you happen to not get it all finished, I say just wrap the yarn, needles, and pattern and let them figure it out.