When It Feels Like All Has Failed...
Crafters, I'm quite sure you all know how it can feel when a project goes wrong. A forgotten increase, a purl where there should be a knit or even a dropped stitch can make you feel down in the dumps for the rest of the day if you let it. However, there are ways that we can make things a little bit better when they do go wrong. For today's post, I have compiled just a few of these.
Starting Something New
Starting a new project might seem like the last thing you would want to after something has just gone wrong. You may be worried that the new project will go wrong too and that they will pile up or alternatively, you may just not feel up for it. However, if you do something simple and quick it can take your mind off of the mistake. Also, you may feel more motivated if you make something for a friend or family member. Here's a present I made for a friend recently. It was relatively simple, but making it felt really good and my friend liked it too. It was made using a kit from a company called Diamond Dotz.
Organise and Bag Up Your Crafts
Unless you are naturally organised, this may not be a great one to do straight after a craft has gone wrong. However, every once in a while, you may make a mistake on a long-term project, which may make you feel down in the dumps and not in the crafting spirit for a few weeks. This is when organising your crafts can be a perfect way to spend the time and possible persuade yourself to fall back in love with your project. Organisation means different things for different people but personally, I like to have projects that I take out of the house in knitting bags (ideally ones that have compartments for the other things I need) and projects that don't leave the house on shelves, in cardboard boxes, etc. Though, to be honest, I am not the best and getting round to organising them!
Watch a Craft TV Show
Right now, there are loads of TV shows about craft at the moment, with The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC1, Wednesdays, 9:00pm or on iPlayer), The Repair Shop (BBC iPlayer) and Grayson's Art Club (Channel 4, Mondays, 8:00pm or on All 4) amongst them. Notice that, with the competitive craft shows, almost everyone makes a mistake at some point - it's completely normal, even if you are an expert! You may be tempted to watch the show thinking that they are only making mistakes because of the pressure and that you have no excuse for your flaws. Instead, think about what you are going through - perhaps you are feeling a lot of pressure yourself at the moment, particularly with the lockdown. Even if it is a different type of pressure to competitive pressure, it will still impact you in a similar way.
Alternatively, if you were not feeling pressure until before the mistake, it is not your fault either! Mistakes are healthy - if you did not make them, you would make no progress. Often, the competitors that make mistakes are able to turn them around or if not, it is usually due to a lack of time. In real life, their are a lot less time constraints, so that is less of a worry
On the contrast, when watching craft shows of any kind, pay attention to the amazing things that can be created through crafts. The possibilities are endless; you can be as colourful or as plain as you like, it can be as quick or as slow as you like, and you can use pretty much anything.
Surround Yourself With Friends
If the other tips do not work for you, this one should. Talking about how you feel is great and if you have any friends that love craft, then that's a bonus. If not, don't worry. If you explain to your friend why you are frustrated, they will probably be able to empathise; we all know how it feels to work on something for a long time, put lots of effort and energy into it, then notice that we have made a mistake. Your friends can uplift you by reminding you that things will get better soon and can distract you in the meantime.
A Final Word...
Of course, different things will work for different people, so be not be disheartened if not all this advice works for you. However, I hope that trying some of the tips or even just reading this and knowing that you are not alone helps. Also, perhaps this doesn't just apply to craft. Right now, it can be hard to feel motivated to do a lot of everyday things. Therefore it is important that we care for ourselves. Hope that you had a good mental health awareness week and are feeling OK at the moment.
My name is Sharon the Sheep, the owner of Avicraft Wool Shop in Bromley Kent..