What do you do when the project you were so eager to work on becomes too overwhelming? What do you do when you've lost interest?
This is a story about persistence. It's also a story about an afghan and pretzel cushion.
About nineteen years ago, when my husband and I were first dating, I decided to make him an afghan in the colours of his favourite football team. I found a crochet pattern specifically for that team and started to work on it. I worked on it here and there for a while, and then just lost interest in it. It wasn’t because I didn’t like to crochet. I love to crochet!! It was the repetition and the size of the project that stopped me from finishing. The thought of spending so many hours on the afghan and not seeming to make any progress was just daunting and I felt so discouraged. So I put the afghan aside thinking I would get to it someday. We all have projects like that, don’t we?
Then we got married and had kids, and I didn’t have time to work on it. Then I had some health issues. But those were just excuses. I wanted to work on other quicker craft projects and see immediate results. So the unfinished afghan sat in a closet, waiting and waiting for “someday”.
Well, last year was my “someday”. I began to work on the afghan once more. In fact, I had several unfinished projects sitting in a closet and I decided to just get them done! During 2014 and 2015 I’ve completed most of them…rug hooking, painting ceramics, and the afghan. I persisted and worked through all the negative feelings I had while completing these projects. To finally finish a project and to see the results of my hard work is such a good feeling!
I’m happy to say that as of today, the only unfinished projects I have to work on are a few embroidery and cross-stitch pictures. Just this week I finished a knitted Pretzel Cushion that I'd been working on since the summer!
I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking at the time, but I decided that I wanted to make a floor cushion for my 10 year old daughter so that she could have a special place for reading her books. As a beginning knitter, I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice my knitting skills, so I found a book in my collection that has quite a few knitted cushion patterns:
In this book I found a pattern for a Pretzel Cushion. My daughter thought it looked ‘cool’, so that's the one I promised to make for her:
The pattern seemed fairly easy. Although I’d never worked with a set of four double-pointed needles, I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to teach myself to cast onto three needles. From there, it would be just straight knitting in the round. To be honest though, after a few rounds, it does get quite monotonous. The finished length is around 170 inches (432 cm). That’s very long!
Several times throughout this project I’ve thought to myself, “Why did I promise to do this? It’s taking forever to finish!”. I wanted to quit. However, thinking about the promise that I made to my little girl kept me going, and I definitely didn't want to disappoint her, so I pushed ahead to get it done. Taking advantage of having some time off work for the Christmas holidays, I knitted a little bit of the cushion every day and finally finished it!
The moral of both these stories is that when a project seems overwhelming or you lose interest in it, don’t think about it in terms of the big picture. Work on it in little blocks of time. When you tire of it, put it away for a few days and work on something else. Then go back to it when you’re ready. Most important, take your time. If it takes months or even years, that's okay. Be persistent. I promise, it will get done and it will be so worth it!
Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!
Welcome! My name is Lisa Bosch, and I'm the soft toy designer of Softiez patterns.