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How to Nip Holiday Crafting in the Bud

November 20th, 2013

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Knit Weekend Hoodie Wine Carrier Yarn Crafted Ornaments
Knit Weekend Hoodie Crochet Wine Carrier Yarncrafted Ornaments

Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares her tips for enjoying holiday crafting – avoid feeling overwhelmed as as the season gets closer! Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

It happens every year to the best of us. We get excited about all of the wonderful gifts that we’re going to knit and crochet for everyone we love. Not to mention we want to decorate our own homes with our crafts. It’s thrilling and inspiring but as the holidays deadlines get closer, the cost of the supplies seems more than its worth, the gifts feel like they’ll never be finished, and you haven’t even started the crafts. Suddenly we’re overwhelmed and holiday crafting has become painful instead of joyful.

Don’t let it happen again this year!

Make a List of What You Want to Make

Write it all down on paper: from the crochet wine gift bags to the knit sweaters with a note about who it is for. Narrow down that list with the following steps:

  • Cross off any item that requires supplies that are too expensive  to make the gift itself.
  • Cross off any item that would go to someone you know won’t appreciate your handmade efforts.
  • Cross off any item that you don’t actually want to make but just feel like you should.
  • Cross off any item that you’d really like to make but know in your heart you don’t have the time for.  (Make it for a birthday instead!)

The point here is to give yourself permission to make only the handcrafted items you want to make, can reasonably make and know they will be appreciated by the fact you made it.

Get Out The Calendar

Now it’s time to go through your list and assign an amount of time to each project. Schedule the projects into your calendar. That’s right; actually block out your crafting time as a scheduled appointment. If you can’t make it work on a calendar, you can’t make it work in real life. It’ll just become stressful so that means you have to re-assess and further narrow down your work.

Get All Prep Work Done

Now it’s time to make sure that you’ve purchased all of the yarn and any other supplies that you need. Have everything on hand to make the process simpler.

Make the Most of Your Craft Time

Now that you’re prepared to craft in a reasonable way, relax. Enjoy the process of crafting and make the most of the time. Some suggestions:

  • Use this time to meditate. This greatly relieves holiday stress!
  • Do intentional crafting. Boost the loving feelings of the holiday by focusing on those you adore while you craft.
  • Make it a family affair. Do your holiday crafting while the kids do theirs.
  • Host a craft night. If you have other crafty friends then they’re dealing with holiday overwhelm, too, so it can help to all get together for a scheduled craft night and knock out those WIPs.

If those deadlines get too close and you still want to whip up a handmade gift, check out our list of crafts to make in less than 15 minutes.

  • S

    Please edit that first paragraph of the article/2nd paragraph on the page. It is really difficult to read when so full of typos and bad editing. It is distracting to what is otherwise a very nice article!

    THIS is what I am talking about —>> “It happens every year to the best of us. We get excited about all of the
    wonderful gift ideas that wewe’re going have to knit and crochet gifts
    for everyone we love. Not to mention we want toWe think about ways to
    decorate our ownthe homes with our crafts. It’s thrilling and
    inspiring,. Bbut thenas the holidays deadlines get closer, the cost of
    the supplies seems more than its worth, the crafts aren’t done, the
    gifts feel like they’ll never be finished, and you haven’t even started
    the crafts. the cost of the supplies feels stressful and sSuddenly we’re
    overwhelmed and holiday crafting has become painful instead of joyful.”

    • theencourager

      The human mind is an amazing thing it can auto correct it can understand the content of a paragrapheven with typos and missing letters. Learn to see the positive in things be an encourager rather than a destroyer. Now let’sget to work and create.

      • Pro-Editing

        It’s annoying to read and really unprofessional to publish something like this. The point is not whether or not we are being “an encourager rather than a destroyer”, it’s about what impression this leaves with someone. This is not about typos alone but poor editing and not reading something before hitting publish. If this was my first experience with this company, I would not be returning because I would think if they don’t have the time to proofread a post before publishing, what other errors am I going to find, such as in patterns or explanations?

        It’s one thing to make typos and editing mistakes in an informal e-mail or comment and completely different when trying to promote your business via a blog.

        • Grandma

          Sorry I thought it was someone typing in about how good the product was. Yes I now say it is unprofessional and I would not have done that without editing to the endth degree when I was doing this work years ago. Yes by computer at the end of my working ability.

      • Grandma

        yes typos are annoying but they happen if we don’t look over what we’ve typed but hey some times time or we’ve somehow sent it with the press of a key. I agree our mind is a wonderful thing and can read these things even if we took out all or most of the vowels. I know I’ve had several strokes and have had to relearn everything even swallowing my own saliva. Yes I too agree craft items do get more expensive as holidays approach. Its good to have a stash you’ve worked up when things were cheap/er. I try and do things towards the holidays each year. Unfortunately some years not possible re health. This years that one. Oh well it happens. Live and enjoy the holidays

      • Georgia

        For shame! Let’s do good work and strive for excellence in all we do.

  • Judy

    There ARE many more than a few typos! Not professional at all!

    • Grandma

      I have just sent in a message saying that as I was mistaken. Thanks

  • kathee_m

    The content of this article far outweighed any typos! Thank you, Kathy, for sharing very helpful information!

    • CrochetBlogger

      Thanks! I really hope people will spend the holidays embracing the opportunity to give handcrafted gifts instead of being overwhelmed by it!

      • Grandma

        Totally agree. I hope everyone will also embrace the holiday spirit and have a really awesome Christmas whether its a social or a spiritual one. Peace and happiness too. That’s what I am trying for regardless of my health situation.

  • brenda

    found article interesting and helpful….also found the grammar police responses interesting and helpful…surprising what you can learn

    • CrochetBlogger

      Thanks Brenda,

      I’m glad that you were able to find something interesting and helpful in my article. I think approaching holiday crafting with a plan and an intention to enjoy it really helps make it the joyful experience it should be!

      Kathryn

      • Jane z

        You have some good ideas that bring some clarity to the rush this time of year. I was getting ready to try to complete a craft I had put aside several months ago when I read your article. It has now been formally put on the shelf to complete next year, thank you. One can only do so much in a given space go time!

  • kathryn

    I read this for the content, and I’m going to be sharing it for the content. I really enjoyed it. Perhaps I didn’t worry about the typos because I’m a professional editor and I’m used to receiving documents full of typos. Or maybe I’m just more interested in someone’s ideas than in the accuracy of their typing. Really useful post other Kathryn

  • Pam Lindsey Carlsen

    Great article! I have used some of these suggestions when choosing the items I am going to make each year. Especially removing the items from the list that are just too expensive but really want to make. That one is the hardest one for me, but when you don’t have the funds you don’t have the funds. My family actually expects homemade gifts and are so appreciated. Making a gift comes from the heart. I think about the person the whole time I am making something that is going to them. Thanks for the great article Kathryn Vercillo.