First, I want to apologize for my utter failure in producing weekly patterns. I’ve been struggling with my health, but now I am thankfully well and back! Knit on, my friends.
8 Unexpected Ways to Make Time to Knit
1.) Choose the right project. Many busy knitters are over-achievers. There’s a reason you’re busy. There’s a reason you have the patience to learn an antiquated fiber art and love it. HowEVER, it is better to start projects that you will actually work on and finish, than to pick ridiculously complex fair-isle, aran, double-knit blankets, no matter how luscious they seem. Knitters on-the-go need simple, easy-to-follow, portable patterns. Hats, scarves, mittens, coasters, or anything requiring a skein or less is perfect (as are most patterns on this blog.) Limit the extended techniques, like colorwork and shaping. Evaluate; would I mess this up if I were simultaneously watching a emotionally-gripping episode of Downton Abbey? If so, choose a simpler project.
Edmund is a quick knit!
2.) Choose the right bag and organizational tools. We all know how stressful tangled yarn is in your purse. It’s not a good look. Keeping your project organized will make you more likely to work on it. Maybe it’s just me, but seeing my project all bundled up and ready-to-go makes it more enticing. First, make sure your every-day purses are big enough for knitting projects. Going out? I keep my projects in a large zip-lock plastic bag in my purse, along with smaller zippered bags inside full of stitch markers, tapestry needles, and any other accessories I might need. I honestly think specialty knitting totes are unnecessary, but a bag like this or this is great because it allows you to hold your yarn while you knit. You could sew your own bag like this easily!
3.) Knit while you watch TV/movies. Now, this assumes you have time to watch TV. I know, I know; ain’t got time for that. But if you indulge? Knit at the same time. You’ll be surprised how much you get done!
4.) Take five-minute knitting breaks. Everyone needs a break, and knitting is extremely soothing. Turn off your brain, pick up an easy project, and simply breath. After awhile, if you haven’t gotten there already, knitting will feel as easy as walking. You don’t watch your feet while you walk, and seasoned knitters don’t have to look at their hands while knitting. Soon you will be able to close your eyes, knit, breathe, and relax. Five minutes might not seem like much, but it all adds up!
5.) Knit on the subway or the train. I have even been known to finish a row during red lights (though knitting and driving is NOT advised…) Most working people have to travel in some way, and if you are an urban knitter, grab an easy project for the subway. If you’re driving with other people, take advantage of the times you’re not driving, so that you can knit an easy project on the way. Make sure it’s a project that you can knit while not looking at your hands, as you might get dizzy otherwise.
6.) Knit while socializing. Busy people rarely get to relax and have coffee with friends. Why not bring a mindless knitting project along? Watch your favorite show together and knit. Get tea or coffee at your favorite cafe, and knit. Out to dinner? Knit. Stuck at your roommate’s awkward party/bridal shower/Avon event? Knit. It will definitely start a conversation, and you’ll be finishing a hat at the same time. I’ve even been known to knit while going on a walk; light exercise and knitting is a great combination. Bewildered looks is a bonus. Just make sure it’s an easy pattern so that you can devote your attention to the people you’re spending time with.
7.) Knit in class or rehearsal. I’m a flutist, and once during a particularly grueling production of a Poulenc opera, I knit 5 pairs of baby booties while waiting to play my scarce piccolo part. Just make sure you check first with your professor or conductor first. In that case, the conductor said he didn’t mind as long as I made all my entrances, which I did. However, if it’s an intensive class, it’s probably not a good idea. If the atmosphere seems relaxed and discussion-based, give it a try. My professors have always been charmed to see an undergraduate interested in something their grandmothers also loved.
8.) Finish what you start. The number one complaint of knitters I talk to is that they have a blanket/scarf/sweater half-done and lying around in their attic for years on end. The sense of accomplishment when you finish a project is addictive, and will inspire you to use these tips to finish more projects! Keep in mind; it’s totally fine to have multiple projects going on at the same time, but keep it under control by keeping works in progress in a “WIP Basket”. When the basket is overflowing, you know you need to finish something before starting another. The productivity high I get from finishing projects is my biggest inspiration!
Hope these help, because they sure help me! Happy Holidays and happy knitting!