Friday, February 12, 2016

Tips for Managing Miserable Crochet Tasks

Crochet: It ain't all sunshine and roses. Like any hobby, crochet has its not-so-fun bits. Instrumentalists have to empty their spit valves, carpenters have to sweep up their shops, and paper crafters have to tend to their paper cuts. There are likely a few crochet tasks that you're not too fond of. Here are a few of mine along with tips to trick yourself into dealing with them in a timely manner. You may even be able to avoid them altogether!

Tip #1: Crochet over your ends.
Whenever possible, I crochet over my ends by laying them along my working row of stitches. So long as you work over at least six inches of tail you should be golden. No ends to weave in!
Tip #2: Don't save them all for last.
Weave in an end here and there, perhaps every time you put the project away for the day. That way you will slowly work through them over time.
Tip #3: Tough love.
So, you've waited too long and now all you have left to complete of your project is weaving in a million ends. Well, guess who isn't allowed to start a new project until they are woven in? You, that's who!

Tip #1: Avoid the base chain altogether by starting with foundation stitches. 
Check out tutorials for foundation single crochet, half double crochet, and double crochet. These will change your life fo sho.
Tip #2: Take mini-breaks. 
Do a little dance and pat yourself on the back every 20 stitches or so to keep yourself enthused.
Tip #3: Pick a decadent yarn.
If you're able, pick a yarn that is simply delightful to work with for this project. That way crocheting into the chain won't feel like a chore.


Tip #1: Don't save up a big pile o' blocking.
Block each project right after it is finished, don't wait until you have several to complete at a time.
Tip #2: Splurge on nice blocking materials.
$50 to $60 up front can cure a lifetime of the blocking blues. With nicer mats, wool wash, pins, and wires you will be able to block more efficiently and come away with a more polished finished product.
Tip #3: Steam block it instead.
Too darned impatient to wait overnight? Get instant gratification by hovering your iron over your dry, pinned project and steaming the heck out of it. *BOOM* Dry in 10 minutes.

Tip #1: Avoid the join by joining as you go.
There are many methods for joining as you go that will circumvent the dreaded joining of a million motifs. Edie Eckman has a great class on Craftsy that includes this and other skills.
Tip #2: Crochet your joins instead of sewing them. 
If you don't mind a slightly raised texture, slip stitches and single crochet are much quicker and less labor intensive than whip stitch or mattress stitch.
Tip #3: Knock it out.
Instead of dragging the task out, find several uninterrupted hours and join everything all at once. Painful in the short term, but it may save you weeks of dreading joining.

Tip #1: Cry.
I'm kidding...kind of. Seriously, tangled yarn can be super frustrating. It's okay to let out a sigh or even a colorful word to acknowledge that.
Tip #2: Be gentle and patient.
Now that your frustration is out of the way, treat the yarn delicately. Lightly shake it to loosen it up instead of pulling. Pulling and tugging only makes it worse.
Tip #3: Outsource it.
You just can't even? Well, there's a group out there who would love to help you out.

Tip #1: Go look at project pages on Ravelry.
Remind yourself of your reasons for choosing this project by appreciating others' finished versions. Get inspired again!
Tip #2: Work up a quick instant gratification project.
It might be that you miss the feeling of completion and pride that you get when you finish a project. Make something small that can be finished quickly to get those hooks moving again.
Tip #3: Be honest with yourself.
Some projects may not be for you. It's okay to appreciate that thread-weight tablecloth pattern without working it up yourself. Try to select projects that you will maintain enthusiasm for. It may take a while to figure out what you're really into.

8 comments:

  1. Great advice on all the topics. Thank you!

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  2. Great tips. I do always try to work over the tail on each row or, at the least, every other row. So much easier in the long run. I need to invest in the blocking items that you suggest. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. You're welcome! It's way more fun to block when you get to push nice, solid pins into squishy squares.

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  3. Love this article - love the format and your style. :-) Good advice indeed!

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  4. Great tips. Thank you for this wonderful article.

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so very pleased when my blog posts are helpful :)

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