If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed me mention lately being in a bit of a creative funk. I’ve been making a lot of things for swaps lately (which I’ll finally be able to show off!) but I haven’t been doing any cross stitch and I don’t have a project that I’ve been really, really excited to work on. I’ve been working on embroidered cranes for my 1000 crane quilt so at least I’m accomplishing something. But the deadline is so far away and there’s so much to do, it’s hard to really get excited about it at this point.
I am also stuck in this place where I want to start something new, but I know I should finish some projects from my WIP pile. One project that just keeps haunting me is Evie’s blanket.
I’ve been in such a weird place with this blanket for so long. I started it when I was pregnant with Mira because I really wanted to make Mira a blanket, but I had never made Evie one so I felt like I needed to do that first. I figured I could finish one for Evie pretty quickly, but it didn’t take long before I started running into things I regretted about the project.
– The squares were much smaller than I expected and either the blanket would be a lot smaller than I wanted it to be or I needed a ton more squares than originally planned. I decided to just finish this project even though I wasn’t happy with the size and kept telling myself “just finish it, you can always make her another after”
– I should have been weaving in the ends as I went. Since each square had 4 different colors, that was a LOT of ends to weave in and I was just leaving them all there. The idea of weaving them all in was daunting and extremely unappealing.
– I HATED joining the squares together and wished I had done a join as you go method instead. I didn’t know exactly how I wanted the squares laid out because every center circle was different and I wanted to make sure that the different colors were spread out. So I felt like I couldn’t join as I went because I wouldn’t be able to lay it out and see the whole thing. Joining the squares was so tedious and also results in even more ends that need to be weaved in.
So this blanket has been there just haunting me. I haven’t touched it in probably a year and occasionally will notice it, stuffed in a box, and feel guilty. I feel guilty that I haven’t finished it. I feel guilty that I have no desire to finish it. I feel guilty that Evie still hasn’t gotten a blanket from me. I feel guilty starting new projects knowing it’s there.
This creative funk I’m in has me thinking about the project even more and after a lot of thought I’ve finally decided it’s just time to call it quits. I know I’ve put in a ton of time and if I really forced myself I could finish it, but I really don’t want to. I learned a lot about what not to do on a project and now I need to just wipe the slate clean on this one and start something new.
I packaged it all up, the partially joined blanket, the finished squares, the extra yarn, and the crochet hook I was using. I also wrote a thank you note to whoever adopts this project along with an explanation of what I was doing and what needs to happen to finish it. I’m going to drop it off at Goodwill and hope someone comes across it and finishes it. I debated leaving my email or blog information so they could get in touch, but in the end I decided I just needed to cut ties from this project. I truly hope this blanket gets finished and someone enjoys working on it and the finished project, but if they just want to cannibalize it and use the supplies for something else, that’s fine too. I just don’t want to hear about it.
Now I feel like I can finally start planning a new blanket for Evie. I don’t think it’s going to be crochet though, I think I might try my hand at making her a quilt. She can help me pick out fabrics and bug me to finish it and get me excited about something again.
Have you given up on a project? Did it leave you feeling guilty or with a sense of relief. I’m kind of somewhere in the middle right now.
Check out my past TSNEM posts –
January – Woodburning
February – Sashiko Embroidery
March – Macarons
April – Foundation Paper Piecing
May – Biscornu
June – Log Cabin Pillows
See What Other Bloggers Tried:
- Stephanie at Swoodson Says tried foundation paper piecing
- Kristy at Simply This Life tried sewing curves with drunkard’s path quilt blocks
- Rebecca at Hugs Are Fun tried knowing when to give up on a project
I applaud you many times over!!! If it doesn’t bring you joy, stop. Creating is all about life and joy. Both are too short to continue if you aren’t happy with what you are doing. Now, move onward! (I also love that you donated it instead of throwing it away. Goodwill and senior centers put unfinished projects to great use! I am so proud of you!
Oh a senior center would have been another good idea! It’s far enough along that I wouldn’t want to throw it away, I just hope it finds a good home!
Kristy G. says
Oh, I know that feel. I have tossed a ton of projects after getting tired of looking at them half finished. I’ve even finished some big projects and ended up donating the completed pieces because I just wasn’t in love. Crafting is nice that way though, that you gain experience and not just an object. If you learned from this piece (like weaving in as you go!) then, personally, I think it was worth it.
You helped give me the push to ditch it and I thank you for that. It’s easy to get caught up on how much time I’ve spent working on it, but really it’s time to just move on to something else. It was definitely a learning experience and now I’m onto new endeavors!
Yes! It’s amazing how much the guilt of unfinished projects can weigh you down! I’ve started to be ruthless. If it doesn’t make me happy – I get rid of it. That goes for unfinished projects, craft supplies I’ll probably never use, and even books I’ve started that I’m not loving, but that are keeping me from starting something I WILL love. These are all free time projects – not things I’m contractually (or morally) obligated to finish. Ditch the ones that don’t bring you joy and move on to something that will. 🙂
My next plan is to tackle supplies. There’s a local craft swap every year and I plan on going through everything and getting rid of it. I have always been bad about buying things I see on sale or clearance just in case. I need to just be realistic and start purging!
I would love to find those packages at a goodwill!! When reading your story I kept thinking… I wish I could finish it for her! I have a ton of wips and know how you feel! I figure I’ll get to the eventually!! Now on to a new project!!
I never considered it until someone else mentioned that they’ve donated unfinished projects. Now I want to start checking Goodwill for ones other people have cast aside!
I’m getting better about not keeping things “just in case” or “just because” if I don’t even like them that much -what a burden off your shoulders to have this GONE! I love that you included a note, too.
I’ve been getting better at resisting buying supplies that I MIGHT come up with a project for. But now I need to get rid of all the things I’ve acquired that way…
I’ve thrown away a couple of projects, but they’ve all been for me (I’m a rather selfish knitter!) I think it’s something we all need to do once in a while!
I hear ya! I have a sweater that I knit before my 2nd daughter was born (she’s now 8) and it’s still in pieces.
I love the pattern and colors of the blanket, soIf you haven’the given it to Goodwill yet, I’d love to finish it!!! I can pay shipping costs.
I definitely have one of these projects. I’ve been ‘working’ on it for years, and not making progress. I love that you are donating the unfinished project so it can have a new life somewhere.
I started a similar pattern when I learned to crochet back when I was 10-11. The weaving in of the ends really was off putting so I would keep putting it away feeling discouraged. I also developed carpal tunnel syndrome and it was no longer a pleasure to crochet. I finally finished it 25 years later because I hadn’t yet learned to just let something go.
I too am now ready to let go of all those bargain supplies that I am never going to use.
Growing old is not great physically but we do learn wisdom slowly.
Last year I started purging supplies and what a burden it lifted! My sister-in-law works with developmentally challenged children in her local school. I asked her if they could use my stamping/scrapbooking stuff. She was THRILLED to get it and I was happy to know it was going on to a better place
Rebecca Ledford says
I did a purge not long ago, got rid of maybe ten percent of supplies. I thought I would let go of more, but that little but did help me focus my interests. I still feel overwhelmed sometimes by how much I haven’t done, but my rule is only to create things with love and joy. If you don’t, it will show and end up being a sad sack of something that leaves you feeling like you wasted time and materials. Igg.