Make with Me

Stitches knit in 2018 : 73,260 and counting…

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Recently Sarah wrote a post asking you to read with her more this year. I jumped on that train and will share the amazingly simple change I made that has me reading much more in 2018, but that’s for another post. 😉

Similar to Sarah’s reading resolution, I want to encourage a crafting resolution. Admittedly, I don’t think that I need to craft any more than I already do. Gotta rein in this obsession! But I thought that we may have some new (or old) crafters out there that could use a little bit of encouragement.

Why We Should Make More Often :

Crafting, particularly something repetitive like knitting can have health benefits! I’ll list a few below.

it’s meditative : the repetitive motions of knitting, crocheting, embroidery can induce a relaxing state similar to meditation. Along those lines, if you’re going through a stressful time, the act of knitting can help reduce feelings of anxiety.

sense of purpose : creating something with your hands can give your down-time a sense of purpose. Do you ever sit in front of your TV in the evenings or weekends and then feel sort of blah for “wasting” time? You can rid yourself of those feelings if instead you’re making while watching, or even better yet, making while listening to podcasts or books on tape.

eliminate bad habits for good ones : if your idle hands lead to more eating, nail biting, or other bad habits, then doing something craft can actually help you eliminate the bad habits by doing something productive with your hands.

it’s good for your brain! : continued crafting into old age can help reduce the chances of mild cognitive impairment and memory loss

set an example : crafting in front of others, especially kids, can spark conversations and sets a great example that may encourage them to try a new hobby.

contribute to a great cause : don’t know what to make or who to make for? Think about knitting for a cause. There are often charities looking for donations; it could be your local cancer or NICU ward. This year I’m planning on participating in the Red Scarf Project? Want to join me?!

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Get Into the Habit of Making

So many of these habit-forming actions can be shared between reading and crafting… so I snatched Sarah’s list and adapted it to crafting!

Carry your project with you! That’s rule #1. I like having a smaller project that’s portable and I always keep it in my bag. I don’t get to work on my travel project every day, but it’s so nice to have the security of knowing that I can pull it out if I’m stuck with some unexpected downtime. And then there’s the guaranteed downtime that comes when waiting in doctors’ offices, while the kids play at the park, when traveling.

Get into a crafting routine – When is a good time for you? First thing in the morning? In the evening with a cup of golden milk? Sitting in the car waiting to pick up your kids from school? If you’re having a hard time getting into the habit, find a consistent time to do a few stitches every week or every day if possible.

Create a crafting nook – It may be just a comfy chair in your living room with your craft basket conveniently placed next to it. Or it may be a whole room with your mess of yarn thrown everywhere. Just something that makes it easy for you to do your thing.

Keep yourself accountable – Set broad intentions like a project a quarter or more specific goals like x amount of time per week and stick to it. Maybe you need to write it into your calendar? Create a deadline by making something for someone (maybe a birthday or Christmas gift?). Maybe you want to join that Red Scarf Project?! But remember that crafting should be fun. If your project doesn’t excite you, QUIT IT. Seriously.

Find friends to craft with – Maybe your friends want to learn a new skill? If not, check in at your local yarn shop, many have open craft circles. It’s great to pop in, meet new people, and even get some help if you’re stuck.

Share your progress – Talk about your projects! Share your progress with friends on Facebook or Instagram. This might encourage your friends and family to pick up a hobby or at least ask you about yours. Instead of talking to co-workers about the latest episode of whatever, craft during your lunch break and spark new conversations. Connect with your pals on Ravelry.

Reward yourself – Finished items may be reward enough, but really make your crafting time fun. Buy quality materials; they make the crafting easier and more enjoyable. Spend some time knitting in a coffee shop that you like to visit.

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