Monday, 11 July 2011


I saw a blog the other day about rambling (the outdoors type, not my type). The blogger apologised to her audience for not finishing one walk sooner, but she had a backlog to clear.

If you have a backlog of walks to do, you're not enjoying walking. What would be the worst thing that you could do about it? Stay in bed? It's not like all these untrodden rambles are cluttering up the countryside, gathering dust in the meantime...

My hobby, on the other hand, is completely out of control. There, I've said it. Not content with moving house to somewhere with a wool room, then getting a 9 foot wide pan-dimensional craft cupboard to go in it, the craft still cannot be contained. It creeps, like a silent woolly guilt demon out of the cupboard, down the stairs, into my handbag, everywhere. Yet it never seems to diminish, no matter how much I stare at it, think about it, get uptight or overwhelmed by it. Sometimes, the craft pixies invade my brain and I come home with even more STUFF that I don't know what to do with, or how to do it.

The worst ones are the ones where I've spotted a nice bit of fluffy/sparkly something, don't know what to do with it, have created a project around it, usually necessitating several hundred other purchases, and then I'm too scared something might not go to plan to do anything about it.
God bless Lidl- £1.99 for three balls. There's enough there to knit a cover for the house, but I still went back for more. I did actually make and finish a jumper, and am now struggling with a matching cardigan. And to think it was originally going to be a knitted cagoule.

The other worst ones are the ones where I try to be proper creative like a designer. Where I go on a knitting holiday in France in 2007, stay in the Monet Room, get a postcard with a waterlily on it, see a wraparound top and some buttons and decide the world will be a better place if I can combine all these elements into one item of knitwear. After buying another project hamper, and enough wool to crochet a ladder to the moon, then about 1,800 beads, just in case, and one ball of wool from before the turn of the millennium, just to prove you must never throw anything out, I am ready to start.
4 years later, one sample piece, a quilting attachment for the sewing machine, and some soluble plastic, I'm ready to start. Oh yes, and I got a loom and learnt to weave, to do a border. And a flower making gadget to put flowers on the border. And so on. And I can't admit defeat, burn it all and move on with my life, preferring to suffer the guilt of incompleteness over all reason and sense.
It took six hours just to get to this point, before any actual weaving. I could have fled the country in less time.

And this is but one of many, many half-finished, half-baked projects. I simply can't go on like this. I was going to put a hall of shame up here, but there is too much shame. I could dedicate an entire blog to my failure to see anything through to the end. Instead, I'm going to put up a list of EVERYTHING I have on a separate page and make decisions on it- whether to sell it, ditch it, or stitch it. It might help. It might tip me over the edge.

The hard bit will be parting with things that I've never felt compelled enough to do anything with, but which have become part of the furniture (sometimes literally), over the decades.

This might not look much, but this has moved house with me several times- I hate the colour, hate the scratchy wool and stopped knitting it as I wasn't sure if it would fit, or if I had enough wool to make the sleeves. Solution? Do nothing until I am at least two sizes fatter and it's guaranteed too small. Rich made sure I didn't try to unravel it and keep the wool. It's a step into a more spacious world.
But what's to become of the monkey? Started so long ago, it was the digital monkey long before Tetleys got hold of it. I'm so pleased I've just remembered it.

The stash has a value while still in its wrapper and unused. The stash has no value when a half-made rainbow origami jacket, from a French pattern with a different sized wool. I didn't buy any extras for this, unless you count the PhD in particle physics I took to work out how to convert the pattern. With hindsight, some might say this was all a terrible, terrible mistake.

My thoughts at the moment are that if I manage to part with the surplus craft, and even get some cash for it, I can consolidate it into one more manageable craft.

Like quilting- I've always wanted to quilt, ever since I just thought about it a moment ago. I mean, why wouldn't you want an American Pie ?


  1. Sell what you can, stitch anything remotely useful and burn everything else in a cerimonial bonfire to the god of good intentions.
    Then go for a ride!

  2. Ah, the guilt at the unfinished projects stashed away all over the house - know the feeling well. With all your unfinished knits and my unfinished sewing, we should open a museum - or a therapy centre .....

  3. So very well written and funny. Not the point of the post I'm sure but it made me smile. Can we vote on the fate of the unfinished projects when you list them please? ;)

  4. Thank you!
    It's a relief knowing not everyone else always finishes their projects and never end up with tonnes of little bits to start with :)

    The only solution I found to my ever expanding crafting was hiding everything craft related, but some burst of creativity always make me fall back into my old ways...

    If you want better advice one of my friends found a good way to get rid of her projects (I'm not that strong, still can't get rid of even the hideous jumper I started out knitting for my brother before he was born and then failed finishing when expecting my son 8 years later).

    She started taking all her beloved little yarnends and even unravelling some half done items and is now crotcheting toy pastry and food, ebaying or selling them at garage sales. How she manages not to follow the urge to spend the proceedings on more crafting mats I don't know.

    PS Keep up the good work, this blog has given me many feel good smiles already :)