If you have been crocheting for any length of time, something you may have noticed is that sometimes we can have a hard time finishing our crochet projects. Sometimes this is because “life happens” as we say. We may get busy and not have as much time to work on things as we normally do, or another legitimate project might come up that we realize needs to be worked on first.
But many times, not finishing a project is mostly due to a lack of planning and follow-through. Specifically we often see another crochet project (or perhaps a whole other creative thing we want to do), and instead of finishing our prior thing(s) first we jump ahead and start this new and “shiny” other project instead.
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Sometimes this is just fine, but eventually it can get a little disheartening to go a long time without finishing something. The creative process might be most important for many people, but I think everyone enjoys actually completing something. On the other hand, it can start to sap some of the enjoyment out of a hobby if it feels like things are never getting done.
Thankfully, there is a solution that can help ensure that more projects get done. It all has to do with planning out your crochet projects.
Now I know that may not sound particularly fun, but hear me out. I am not saying that in order to become a great project-finisher you have to have a rigid schedule for crafting and only work on one thing at a time and never deviate from your plan at all. That really would not be fun.
What I am saying is that if you consider a few key areas, you can come up with a plan that will truly be helpful to you (without being rigid). If you ask yourself a few questions about what crochet projects you’d like to accomplish, and what your current season of life is going to allow, you are going to set yourself up for success (and a lot more satisfaction from your creative work, too).
Using your plan
I do write about crochet here and this whole post is geared toward planning your crochet projects. However, everything in this post can easily applied to just about any hobby or creative project you have! I have also geared the planner for any type of creative outlet as well. You can go ahead and access the planner if you want by scrolling to the bottom of the post.
The key is simply to use the topics that I present below to properly focus your creative energy so that you can be the most satisfied with the projects you are working on. The second point is, of course, to finish the projects you start.
So, Does less frustration and more finished projects sound good? If you’re thinking that this planning thing might be a beneficial thing to at least try, here are the things you should think about:
Things to Consider
One thing to be honest with yourself about is how much time you can plan on working on your projects. Everyone has different schedules and obligations, and this will affect your planning for your creativity Someone who has complete freedom with their schedule may be able to crochet or work on another skill for many hours each day, while others(myself included) may only be able to get in a few hours each week. Those of us with more limited time may certainly envy having more time and want to get to that ourselves, but in the meantime, we are going to be better served by making the most of what we have now.
Now on that note, I will be writing a whole additional post soon on how to make more time for crochet projects and other things creative. Since a lack of time is the number one frustration I hear from artisans and hobby creators, I hope this will be able to help a lot of people in this area. Be on the lookout for that!
For now though, just get an idea of how much time you think you have for your creative skills right now. Try to come up with an actual number, whether you are thinking of your time each day or each week. You can always adjust your expectations if you find that in reality you spend more or less time on your crochet projects than you thought at first.
Another consideration for many people with a creative hobby is spending money. Now if you always get amazing deals or have mostly free resources/materials or you have some other way of really keeping your costs down, then this may not apply to you as much.
However, most of us have expenses from our projects. In crochet, some of those expenses are yarn(a big one!) new tools like crochet hooks, and sometimes paid patterns, to name a few. Many times, these expenses can really add up.
To think of money for planning your creative projects, simply consider what you feel is reasonable to spend each month, and what things are most important for you to purchase. This should help you look ahead, scout for deals or other cost-saving possibilities if you want, and possibly keep an exciting project from stalling due to short funds.
A third area to consider for project planning is your current skill level. Are you a beginner? A seasoned expert? Perhaps somewhere in-between? Putting a label on your current abilities is not meant to put you in a box or limit you at all. In fact, a label isn’t really the most important thing.
Instead, knowing about where we are is a good step for recognizing which projects might stretch us. In the crochet world, this might mean noticing when an interesting project uses stitches or techniques we’ve never done before. If something looks like a challenge, it’s wise to use a little discernment.
Learning one new skill for a project might be just what you would like to keep things interesting. But too many elements that are new might make a project difficult enough that it becomes more of a burden than a joy. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find how complicated you like for your “challenging” projects to be. It’s really up for you to decide.
As you put your plan together, keep in mind that it’s not just about looking at the difficulty of each project, but looking at your upcoming projects all together as well. Personally, I think it works well to alternate between easy, simple projects and more involved ones. This may be especially true if you choose to have multiple WIPs(Works in Progress) going at one time.
The final area that I would urge you to consider is about your own goals and desires. What is it that you actually want to accomplish with whatever time, money, and ability you can give to your projects? Whether you are working on crochet projects or something else, knowing the purpose for what you are doing is generally a more important consideration than any of the others that I’ve covered.
You may be making things to learn something new, or to finish things for yourself and your family. You could mainly want to work on gifts, or you could be trying to use your creativity as part of a side hustle or business to make a little money. Whatever the case, knowing what you want is going to make all the difference for hopefully enjoying your creative time a whole lot more.
Tips for Finishing Crochet Projects
So now that you have put a lot of thought into what you should work on. I have just a couple tips to help you follow through as you work on all of your wonderful creative things.
Focus your efforts
First, consider only working on one project at a time. Although having a few WIPs going at one time can increase productivity sometimes and be more fun, sometimes it can just dilute your efforts. Keeping your focus on only one project will keep you from jumping around, getting distracted, and from possibly forgetting something about one of your projects and having to go back and re-do some of your work. I would especially recommend this if you have limited time, because you will finish each project more quickly if you tackle them one at a time.
Secondly, consider putting your “blinders” on. This is for those who know you are prone to get distracted by new and shiny projects before you’re done with one that you really do want to finish. If this is you, think about taking a break from the sources that give you all those great ideas. This could mean staying off of Pinterest or ravelry, not going to the yarn store, or saving certain emails for later. Whatever it is, taking a break from it just long enough to get through one or two of your unfinished projects might make all the difference. You can always reward yourself for hitting certain goals with little Pinterest Breaks here and there!
Of course, this is for after you have your plan of projects set for a little while. If you still need to find some projects, there are many great websites and places to find them.
Finding Projects (specifically for crochet and knitting)
If you are interested in finding some crochet projects to get you started, Ravelry is one of the best places to go. With a free account you can save projects, search with plenty of filters, and even see completed projects from other people. Pinterest and Etsy are two other great places to search for inspiration and patterns. And finally, you can see my own projects here on the site for your benefit on the projects page.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a planner or if crochet is something you do purely for pleasure, I hope that reading this has shown you some strategies for making your crochet or other creative projects more organized and joyful. Whatever amounts of time, money, and energy you might have to invest at the moment, you can (and should!) have a way to be creative that is realistic for your current season of life. With a plan, you can make the most of what you have.
And if you aren’t yet sure what you’d like to work on next, you can use my List of 101 Crochet Ideas to jump start your creativity!
Keep the crafting delightful!