Autumn is the perfect time to snuggle up in that perfect handknit sweater, scarf, hat, pair of socks… or all of the above! But what if your wardrobe is sadly lacking in these cozy goodies? Here is a short guide to making stuff based on my own struggles and triumphs.
Time to get knitting! (Or crocheting…or weaving.)
First of all, what to make. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably know that while its a wonderful pastime to ogle all of the lovely knitwear on Ravelry for hours, it’s not actually going to get you any closer to holding a piece of knitwear in your hands. Here we reach the central struggle that all makers face (at least I think it is, it certainly is for me!). How to deal with the overwhelming urge to knit (or crochet or weave) absolutely everything at the same time, and then deal with the helplessness that comes with knowing that you just can’t do it all. The answer? Read on, my friend.
- Find that one, ultimate, special project that says, “Psst, hey! Make me! I’m so wonderful and warm and soft and pretty and you want to make me soooo badly!” When you discover what that pattern or project is, waste no time in getting started. Don’t keep looking to see what else there is. Of course there are plenty more beautiful things that you might find to make, but start with this one.
- Assemble your equipment. Find out exactly what you need, and aquire it. By whatever means possible. Some makers choose to start with this step, and then proceed to look for a pattern. To this I say, go for it! Just make sure you’ve got enough yarn and don’t complain to me if you’ve got a seriously huge collection of yarn in your household that your family doesn’t know about, which you live in fear of them discovering and it fills you with shame and remorse every time you think about it. Don’t worry though, I don’t judge you. I understand completely. In fact, I celebrate hardcore stashers, you’re the ones that keep food on our table! Thank you!
- Make it! Begin with good intent. Swatch first. Yup, I told you, so that means you should do it. Seriously, you will thank me someday, or not, whatever. Beginning a project with good intent and attention to detail is setting yourself up to succeed. If you start sloppy or with lack of a plan, your project won’t have that certain je ne sais quoi, that your most favourite finished objects do, regardless of whether you can actually see mistakes or not. Once you’ve reached a certain level of crafty ability, its good to cultivate pride in the quality of your work. Put good mojo into your projects.
- Finish it. At this point I have a tendency to rush, but its important to finish well. Practise project monogamy. Don’t take on a new project when you’re halfway through, give this one project your undivided attention. (Projects get jealous you know!) This way you can complete it before boredom sets in. Weave in the ends, wash, block or steam with loving care. This is your work of art. Enjoy the denouement like you would a good romance novel, with relish! Then, fueled by passion, caffeine, or the hysteria that ensues from making something all by yourself with your very own hands, go back to step one, and start all over!
There you have it. That’s how its done, now go and do your project.
Now. Stop looking, go knit!
Or at least go make some tea first.