I’ve started so I’ll finish

There are, apparently, two sorts of crafters. Those single-minded individuals, who start a project and see it through to the end without getting distracted, and those who have multiple projects on the go – flitting between them like creative butterflies. I have to confess that I’m the latter type, although I quite often focus on one project for a while: I never leave a pair of socks unfinished, for example.

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One of my on-going projects – I do some work on this most weeks

Some projects are always intended to be long-term: my sofa cover for example I knew was going to take ages and would evolve. Indeed, it’s still a work in progress, but I do something on it most weeks. Similarly, the Beekeeper’s Quilt is a way of using up scrap sock yarn, so I add to the stash of hexipuffs when the mood takes me… one day I’ll sew them together, but there’s no rush and I like making the collection. But then there are the projects that I started, but for some reason I lost momentum. And these are the ones that cause me a problem. Continuing projects are easy to return to, but halted projects I find quite a challenge… especially when they require me to follow a pattern. It’s easy enough to return to granny squares or a stripy blanket, but a half-finished garment can be more of a challenge.

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Return to the hoodie (shown here in a crocheted work bag I’m rather pleased with)

And so it has been with a hoodie that I started knitting several years ago. In fact, I realise that I blogged about it in January 2014. Looking in the work bag, I discover that I had completed the front, back and sleeves, but had never started on the hood. It’s been sitting up a corner trying to attract my attention for ages now, but I just couldn’t motivate myself to get it finished. However, last month I made a commitment to completing some of my UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and so, reluctantly yesterday I got the pattern out and stated trying to work out what I needed to do. It was at this point that I remembered one of the reasons I set it aside – the pattern isn’t very well written and contains a number of errors and omissions. As an experienced knitter I’m quite capable of sorting these things out, but I do find it extremely irritating and time-consuming. I seriously thought about unravelling it and using the wool for something else, however, I’d already put so much work into it that I decided to bite the bullet and get it finished. In fact, based on my progress yesterday evening, it’s not going to take long to get it finished. Whether I actually want to wear it after all this time remains to be seen, but maybe I will love it and treasure it more because it’s been such a long time coming.

How do you motivate yourself to return to a project you have fallen out of love with?

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19 Comments

  1. Your post is quite timely as I was thinking I might dedicate March to only finishing projects. I am a very very good starter and love the excitement of something new to develop. But I lose interest too fast.

    I could never knit socks as I’d make one and think, well I’ve done that, why would I want to make another.

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  2. That’s a tricky one for me to answer, as I belong to the former category, and tend to work on and finish one project at a time. I have two long term projects which have sat around for absolutely ages for the simple reason that they are complex, involve lots of small pieces and are hard to simply pick up and put down. One is in a bad way because of my inexperience at the time, and the other is quite exceptionally fiddly. Two very good reasons to avoid them! I’ll get there one day…

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  3. If they’ve been sitting for more than a year I give them away. I’ve come to realize at that point I’ve lost interest. I’ve had a bad habit of starting projects I THINK I can do, only to become overwhelmed. I’m getting better at picking my projects.

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    • Yes, I think project selection is important. There are some projects I like the idea of, but I know in my heart that I won’t actually enjoy implementing. I have come to realise that I’m not really keen on sewing, for example, so I try only to do that when necessary.

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  4. I donate it to a charity shop, with all instructions!!

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  5. I’m the latter as well. I start several and finish according to when they need to be moved on. I am saving scrap fabrics to one day make a scrappy quilt out of but still working to finish things I have started. So far, good progress. Loved the Beekeepers quilt. Some projects just need time while others require immediate attention. Nothing wrong with that, said the butterfly. 🙂

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  6. I think I’m mostly a plodder with just a touch of flitting thrown in now and again. It took me well over a year to finish a Bavarian quilt for my daughter. It only got finished because having missed Christmas and her birthday I thought it really shouldn’t miss a second Christmas 🙂 In between I made several tops, three shrugs and probably some other stuff I’ve forgotten now. Right now I’m working on a jumper and a lacy shawl – one requires time and the other requires concentration so they get picked up as the right circumstances arise. I think I work best when there is one project and a deadline. Deadlines are most helpful 🙂

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  7. All right, I will get the knifes out and continue on my spoon from the cherry tree I cut down a few weeks ago.

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  8. This just reminds me of the projects that have been put aside! Currently I am crocheting a lot as there is a population explosion where I work, as the 5th baby has just been announced. Real deadlines here, so I’ll finish, but the cross stitch projects are still waiting. I’ll get there, but it may take some time, I am determined to finish though. And then I want to practice knitting…

    I think I’m a flitter 🙂

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