At this point last year, I remember knitting and crocheting was my LIFE. Every spare minute I had was spent working on one of the many, MANY projects I had on the go and nothing else. Knitting actually hit me hard in 2021 and I found myself not able to think of any other hobby at all. In fact, prior to the pandemic hitting in 2020, I had been a huge reader and was reading multiple books every week, not month but week, and then I lost all motivation for that so when I got the urge to knit and crochet ALLTHETHINGS, I grasped onto it and didn’t let go.
In 2021, I started up a bit of a side hustle, Hygge Dreamer, a few months before Christmas. My kids were both in school full time and since I was a stay at home mom, that left a lot of time to do things. However, I’m fairly certain I burnt myself out with making headwraps, snowflakes, dishcloths, and many other beautiful items for people that when the new year hit, I thought I’d take a break. I didn’t think that break would last months.
Recently, I just started picking up my knitting and crochet again and wanted to share what helped me get back to my hooks and needles and creating again. So here are five ways to get you back into creating again, if you’ve found yourself falling slowly into a slump.
1. Reorganize your yarn .
When I started up Hygge Dreamer, I had a LOT going on. I had my desk and two tables set up in my office, with yarn everywhere. I didn’t really know what I had but knew it was somewhere in the piles and bins all around me.
One great thing about a new year is that it makes me want to clean everything in my house and once I had done that, my yarn area looked extremely cluttered and busy. I ended up pulling EVERYTHING off of my shelves, out of my cabinets and drawers and putting it all in piles. Let’s just say that it got really, really bad before it got better.
It was a really great way to see what yarns I had on hand and to remind me of some yarns I had forgotten about. As I put it all away (in a much less chaotic way), I put a few different skeins on my desk that I was in love with. It was kind of like shopping my own stash!
2. Search designs on Ravelry or Pinterest.
I started crocheting way back in 2011 and I don’t believe I even knew what Ravelry was. Or Pinterest, for that matter. All of my projects came from books I got from the library which was way less overwhelming than what’s available now.
While books are still a great way to find patterns, one of my favourite ways to get inspired again is to look at the top patterns on Ravelry. The filters make it easy to narrow down what I might add to my to-make list since there’s no way I’ll get back into the game by knitting a sweater or blanket. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of great patterns for these, but my attention span is small when I’m trying to start back up so anything using a smaller amount of yardage works better than a project that uses up many, many skeins.
Pinterest is also a great way to find inspiration. My favourite kinds of projects to get into when I just want to make something are smaller items like dishcloths or hats or even little stuffed toys for my kids. Put into the Pinterest search bar “Knit toy pattern” and I guarantee you’ll be swarmed with endless possibilities.
3. Have a look through your current wips.
Did you know that there are people out there who work on one project, finish it, and then move on to the next? I am not one of those people. In fact, when I was cleaning my office, I found numerous – as in, at least a dozen, maybe two dozen – project bags with random projects, some of which I had completely forgotten about.
Now, this can be a good thing or a bad thing; good because it might remind you of a project you had loved once and want to finish (like the beautiful golden fingerless mitts I had started for myself), and bad because you might want to finish it but have no idea a) what sized hook or needles you were using, or b) whereabouts in the pattern you were (like the beautiful teal shawl I was knitting where I left off somewhere in the middle of a lace pattern with HUNDREDS of stitches on my needles).
If the amount of projects you find has you feeling overwhelmed, this is probably a good time to ask yourself a few questions such as:
- Can I find out where I was in the pattern or what hook/needle size I was using?
- Is this project something I love enough to take the time to figure out the answers to the previous question?
- Should I keep the project and continue or frog it and use the yarn for something else?
Sometimes the best thing to do is use the yarn for something else – and maybe when you decide to frog one project, you’ll have inspiration for using the yarn in another.
4. Go shopping!
Okay, okay, this one might be a little tricky since obviously you don’t feel like creating, so why get MORE materials that you’re not going to use, but hear me out. Sometimes just wandering through the yarn store is inspiration enough to get your hands itching to make something; all those beautiful yarns, different kinds of fibres, seeing other people excited about creating – all things that remind you of the reason you love your craft!
Maybe you’ve told yourself that there is absolutely NO WAY you’re going to a yarn store when you have tons of beautiful yarn already at your disposal; in that case, shop your stash! This goes hand in hand when reorganizing your yarn; when you go digging through it you might find a gem of a skein that you forgot you had and find that you just have to make something with it.
5. Lastly, do something else.
We’ve all been there, sitting in the same room as our yarn and projects, feeling them stare us down just wanting to be knit and crocheted, but we just don’t feel it. We pick up our project – our socks, our sweaters, our blankets – and knit or crochet a few stitches and the feeling, that feeling of love and joy, just doesn’t come. If that’s the case, maybe that’s your body and mind telling you to take a longer break. The needles and hooks and yarn will all be there when you’re ready to come back and they will welcome you with open arms. When you’re fresh and rejuvinated from your break and finally feel that urge to create, you’ll want to create EVERYTHING and it will be like you never left the craft.
Sometimes as much as you want to get back to creating, the best thing to do is to just do something else and not force it. Maybe try a different fibre art like macrame, or embroidery, or punch needle. Just don’t give up hope. When I lost my attention span for reading, I didn’t throw away all my books and feel like a failure; instead, I let the months go by and read a tiny bit here and there and now I make sure I read every night. Lately I’ve found myself wanting to read more in my spare time and I embrace that. If you feel the love for a certain craft or hobby, that love never really goes away, sometimes it’s just waiting, hibernating like a bear in the winter ready to burst forth in the spring with new life.
I hope these tips help you as much as they helped me! I might not be pulling out my needles and hooks at every spare minute in my day but I feel myself easing back into my craft again and that’s perfectly okay with me.