Crafting Slumps

Posted by Casper Alixander on

We've all been there. Right? We've started our crafting journeys with the utmost vigour, churning out finished projects every week, impressing everyone with the speed of your advancements and the skills you've developed. You coast along like this for a while, slowing down as you go but only because the things you make simply require more time. And then... boom. Something happens, you've lost your mojo, and you can't bear to pick up your needles again. If you do manage to, you put them down before the end of the row because it just doesn't feel right. And then you're stuck. 

If you've not been there, I envy you. If you have been there, I feel your pain. I only just recently got out of a crafting slump. To be honest, I think I'm still in it, but slowly on the way out. It's okay! It's totally fine. Don't beat yourself up about it. It's so easy to feel like you've lost a part of yourself when you go through a slump and nothing inspires you. You haven't lost it, though, it's still there. It's just waiting for you to be ready to utilise it again. 

A swatch of knitting with the stitches laid diagonally. Each stitch is a different colour and it looks very crazy.

(Here's a project I love, and I love the colours, but the endless stocking stitch is BORING right now, so I'm barely touching it.)

There are so many reasons people fall into slumps with their crafting, and the first step to getting out of the slump is to recognise why it happened in the first place. Maybe you spent far too long focusing on making things for other people, and haven't prioritised a make for yourself in a while. Maybe your yarn stash is overtaking your house and you're paralysed by too many choices. Maybe you have too many WIPs and you're getting overwhelmed, maybe you just don't like your WIPs anymore, maybe things outside of your crafting life are bringing you down and hindering your creativity. Or, maybe there's no reason at all, and that's perfectly okay too. If there's no reason at all, it's simply a matter of waiting til something boosts you a bit.

Everything else can be easily fixed, too, although it can seem so overwhelming to start again. Just take it slow, when you're ready, when you know that you want to get back into your making even if you don't know where to start. 

A swatch of stocking stitch in grey and orange-y colours on circular needles.

(Another thing I started and haven't touched. This is with really funky hand dyed yarn and it's a bloody DINOSAUR TOP, so you'd think I'd be thrilled, right? Nope. It's in 4ply. It's taking an age. So I've barely touched it...)

Clear out your yarn stash. See what you've got enough of to make a project, and display them where you can see them, or at least where you can access it easily. Don't think about planning projects yet, and put small balls and scraps somewhere that won't overwhelm you if you've got a lot! Just put your pretty balls out and bask in the colours. 

Clear out your projects. Put them all in one pile and spend some time with a cuppa thinking about what you're truly enjoying making, and what just isn't working for you. Unravel things! Don't be afraid to frog old WIPs. The yarn you used can make something you like even better, and it's better than it just sitting there. 

Figure out how many projects you've done for other people lately, and how many you've made for yourself. When you started crafting, were you excited by what you could make for yourself and then everyone you know started asking for bits and bobs? Or did you start learning for other people and no one seems to have appreciated what you've made as much as you would like them to? 

Then, take a break. Focus on yourself for a bit. Are you neglecting self care? Are you eating enough every day, drinking enough water, spending enough time focusing on what makes you happy? A lot of people use crafting as an escape from the stressful world around them, but sometimes you just have to go back to basics and make sure that you're taking care of yourself first and foremost.

I came out of my slump literally a few days ago. It's been made doubly hard by my ADHD, but that's a whole 'nother story! I'd spent a day sorting out my yarn stash and donating a bunch of yarn that I was never going to use to charity. I haven't managed to touch all of my WIPs yet purely because I just don't know where they are, but that's the next challenge.

A swatch of very textured crochet fabric in a wine red.

(The below mentioned project I'm finally happy about. It's in Forest Aran, by the way!)

But, I saw a jumper version of a cardigan I made a while back, I bought some yarn, and I just went for it. I knew that I could make it because I've done the stitch pattern before, I knew I would love it, and for the first time in a long time I'm only working on one thing right now.

Time will tell as to whether this mojo lasts, but it should do, and it's okay even if it doesn't and we have to reset ourselves again. It's okay to lose your flow for a little bit, it's okay if you're not ready to get it back, it's okay if you decide you don't want to do it anymore. But, when you ARE ready, you're more than capable of getting back to it and you will not have lost your skills. Take things slow, craft for yourself and your own wants and needs, and spend some time treating yourself well no matter what's going on in your life. 

You deserve it.

-C x

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  • Thank you Casper, that’s Sooo comforting!

    Judith on
  • Very reflective article. My slump has been caused by the discovery of Tesco’s new Cinnamon Tear & Share bun, which quite frankly, is a misnomer. My waist is now at bursting point so I need to burn calories finishing that baby blanket for friend. 4 weeks to go to EDD…

    Antoinette on
  • Very reflective article. My slump has been caused by the discovery of Tesco’s new Cinnamon Tear & Share bun, which quite frankly, is a misnomer. My waist is now at bursting point so I need to burn calories finishing that baby blanket for friend. 4 weeks to go to EDD…

    Antoinette on

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