MillWorks: The Frazzled Crafter's Unfinished Projects

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The Frazzled Crafter's Unfinished Projects


A lot of crafters find themselves in this situation. They have five-hundred-and-twenty-two crafts sitting all over the place, half-finished, quarter-finished, or maybe just sitting there as a good intention gone wrong.

Around holidays and birthdays, the crafts seem to have something in common with Star Trek, accumulating like Tribbles. Cute, adorable, possibly fuzzy (due to collecting dust), but overwhelming. Because, frankly, there's no way to get rid of them.

For my own crafts, I have had to tell myself I have "long term projects" and "short term projects." This is probably also called "self-compassion." Short term projects are the kinds of projects you can get finished in under a few days (but probably won't, if you're the typical crafter). On the other hand, long term projects are ones that you have basically forgiven yourself for ignoring, because they take too much time to do.

My worst long term projects are blankets. I have been making the same blankets for I-don't-know-how-long. Fabric quilts have been completely deserted. I have one crocheted blanket craft stuffed in my TV stand. Another one is sitting in a wood box on the floor. A new one--in the form of full skeins of yarn--is crammed inside a carpetbag. Oh, I made the carpetbag. At least that craft got done.

I also have a sweater that has been sitting in a box forever. It consists of two sleeves and part of the back. Knitting one little row of that sweater takes minutes to make. In hindsight, I would have chosen a pattern that used something other than size six and eight knitting needles. Size fifty might have worked.

There's always a thrill when you finish a craft, especially if it's one that took a long time to complete. "I'm done! I'm done!" Then you look down at the item and think, "What exactly am I going to do with this? I think I had an idea of what to do with this three years ago when I started the project. What was it again?"

It's like a Knitting Nellie. Those are cute little plastic tubes with knobs on the top. You keep turning it around and around while making loops. Once you're done, you're left with a big, long yarn snake. I used to make them as a kid. I would make big, long snakes, and then wonder what in the world I was going to do with them. Because, really, even though you were doing a craft for hours and hours, you're just left with a thicker thread than you started with. I never did figure it out. All I ended up with was a yarn snake infestation.

I recently found a new jewelry craft. It involves a snap and a piece of jewelry. You take the snap--a mounted rhinestone or other metal-base design--and snap it into a headband, barrette, bracelet, or something similar.

Maybe I can at least get that type of craft done.

Providing crafts since October 2011. Copyright 2011- and all contents by Melissa. This satirical article was written in January 2013. Resulting products can only be kept or given away as gifts. Always keep safety in mind.