When you're starting something new, it can be really hard to stick with it. The idea of the finished item is sometimes enough to get us through a tricky project. However, there are times when this idea isn't enough.
1. Instant success doesn't exist.
We live in an age of instant gratification. Waiting a week for the next episode of a new series is a novelty. We can have whatever we want at the press of a button.
It makes perfect sense then, as to why you feel like giving up on your knitting or crochet dreams just days into learning. It feels awkward, complicated, unfathomable. I get it. The instructions run off the page or run into each other. You keep getting double and single crochet mixed up. Your left leaning decrease isn't leaning anywhere.
We've all been there.
I may be a designer now but I have been practising these two crafts solidly for 8 years. There's barely been a day where I haven't touched yarn. Persevere!
2. Who's judging?
Are you upset about your wonky edges or uneven stitches? There's a solution to everything. Some of us have tight tension, others loose. There will be some projects that you find you have perfect tension for and there will be others that make you work harder.
No one is judging. This isn't Strictly Come Knitting. Enjoy the process. You can reflect on what you've done and you can learn from it.
Ask for help if you know something isn't right. I have yet to see knitters or crocheters not wanting to help someone who is struggling with their craft. Someone will point you in the direction of a tutorial.
3. Nothing worth having is easy.
Think of all the things you have achieved in your life. Did you just walk into them? Did they fall on your lap? Did you just cook food one day and do it perfectly?
If the answer is yes to any of these, well done but I don't believe you.
Before we can walk, we crawl, wobble, stumble and fall. We do the same with all new skills.
4. Every mistake is a learning opportunity.
We all make mistakes. Many of us start our knitting or crochet journey making knots, dropping stitches and creating unwearables. It's just part of the process.
Before you throw away that granny square that became a granny octagon, have a good look at it and see what went wrong. Where did you start adding too many increases? What stitches did you use? Take the time to reflect and improve.
Hiding your shapes of shame in a cupboard for years won't help you to learn. Looking at them with an objective lens will.
5. It's not a competition.
There's no race. There's no pressure to get things perfected by a certain date.
By all means, set yourself some goals if you want to but will they impede your enjoyment?
It can always go in the WIP pile
It's easy to compare yourself to others and be over-critical of your work. It's not easy to knit that jumper or weave in the ends on that blanket.
If that jumper you've been working on for the last 5 months still isn't going anywhere, cast on something smaller as an in-between. Making a pair of socks or a hat can increase your feelgood factor and give you the feeling of finishing something.
Don't be afraid to have more than one WIP at a time. The WIP pile is patient.