Don’t you just love it when you finally find a moment to knit or crochet? Then someone approaches you and says, “Wow that’s so cool that you do THAT! But I would NEVER have time for that!”. As if that’s all you do. You just sit around and knit and crochet all day. And it’s not like that person has never binge-watched a show on Netflix. Or sat around shooting the breeze with friends. Or taken public transport. And those were all opportunities to knit or crochet if that had actually been one of their priorities.
What we know, as knitters and crocheters, is that it’s all about prioritizing. It's about being creative in finding ways to fit this passion into our routine.
In my previous blog post, I shared the overhaul I’m making in my own (crafting) life. (It's a hefty read.) I'm feeling much more in control of my time and my destiny. It’s all good stuff, but it’s profound and takes a commitment to make changes.
But there are certainly ways to fit more knit and crochet into your life even if you don’t need or desire a fundamental shift in how you're approaching the craft.
Here are 13 actions you can take right now to find more time for knit and crochet:
Always have a project bag packed and ready to go. It's best to pick a mindless project. Something you can stash in your purse as you walk out the door. That way, you’ll always have something to pick up and work when you’re waiting your turn. Or when visiting with a friend. Or shuttling kids around to different practices. All those stolen moments add up quicker than you might imagine into a project that’s DONE. My advice is to make sure it’s a project that doesn’t need a ton of concentration. It should be something you can pick up, immediately understand, then put down without notice. You might find yourself ripping out all your work later if the project is too complex. There are just too many distractions when you’re out and about.
Go digital. If your pattern is always on your phone, you won’t have any problem finding it when you need it. One of the things I like to do is email my current patterns to my kindle account. Or I just buy a digital book in the first place. That way I have access to my pattern whether I’m using the kindle app on my phone, or my kindle fire when I’m at home. Works on iPad too.
Define your “me” time and make it a tiny ritual. Name a number and give yourself that amount of time for knitting or crocheting - every day. Like brushing your teeth, cleaning the dishes, or working out - it's just something you commit to do. Name a time and name a place. Start out small: promise yourself just 15 minutes a day over morning coffee. Take the opportunity to ponder your upcoming day as you work a few rows. It’s the gift you give to yourself. Take it.
Choose more “instant gratification” projects. I have spent so much time designing projects. Even simple design projects are complex because you have to write instructions for them. That's a layer of extra effort and complication. When a project is large, it can become a serious chore. I’m learning the profound value of simple projects, like the Virus Shawl I did lately. Nothing is better for motivation than completing a fun project within a day or two. One easy way to find these projects is by searching for “Hot Right Now” on Ravelry. There's always a big proportion of simple addictive patterns in the top 20. Pick a fast project, grab one of your stash yarns and just do it. Success breeds success, completion breeds completion!
Choose thicker yarn. The thicker your yarn, the faster your project will go. Search Ravelry for a project you’ll enjoy based on worsted gauge or thicker.
TV time = Knit & Crochet Time. I think a lot of us are already doing this, but it’s worth mentioning that you should make sure you’ve got a perfect spot with enough light so that it's fun and not frustrating
Switch to audiobooks. If you’re a reader and you don’t know how to knit without looking at your stitches (see next bullet), this is a game-changer. I listened to the entire unabridged Game of Thrones trilogy on audiobook. Took me 6 months of reading and stitching!! I enjoyed every moment.
Learn to knit without looking at your stitches. You’ll be able to knit in more situations, like while reading or at the cinema! Some tips to get started.
Let other people drive. Whether you choose public transport or just let a friend get behind the wheel, claim the passenger seat! We spend so much time getting to other places. If you're able, choose transportation that allows you to indulge in your creativity.
Swatch. WHAT?!?! Did I really just say that?! But here’s the thing. If you dislike swatching it, it’s probably not going to be mentally frictionless for you to pick up the project and work it. Swatching is like dating before committing. Avoid projects that will bog you down, no matter how much you think that you should do them. This is a hobby you do for fun!!! Focus on what you are loving, not on what you think you should love.
Knit Faster. You won’t gain more time, but you might get more done. You don’t need a friend or a grandma who can teach you. You can learn anytime you want with an expert. Followers of Continental Knitting and Portuguese Knitting claim that their techniques are the fastest. (I'm a total proponent of online learning and yes, these are affiliate links!)
Stop buying new yarn. You can ignore this advice if you don’t have stash, but so many of us do. Learn to shop your stash instead of the yarn store. New yarn is distracting and interferes with your focus. Train yourself to buy new yarn as a reward for when you complete a project or get your stash down to a target size. Focus on getting better at selecting then completing projects that you enjoy.
Train the rest of your family to do housework. (That is, if you live with family.) I do know that the common wisdom is to just lower your standards and accept more dust in the house. But.... I really do love a clean house :). If your children are old enough to walk, they are old enough to pitch in! And get a Roomba!!! (shameless affiliate link!! ) Mine has been a life changer! I’ve got clean floors all the time without lifting a finger and I live with a teenage son that is a walking tornado of disorder.
Did I miss anything? What’s your top tip for gaining more time to knit and crochet? Please share in the comments below.