Hello! This is Gergana from Lissanas Fairy Land. Today, I am so excited to share my proven strategies to make more time for sewing or knitting projects. Yes, that’s right – I make time for them otherwise it’s never gonna happen. If you also need to do so, go on and read the rest.
I often hear people saying “Oh, how do you find so much time to knit or sew?! I have no free time at all!” It is hard to answer this question without being judgmental or at least people see it like that. I also don’t have free time in the way people understand it. I have a full time job, not sewing related at all, and I teach fitness classes two times per week. I have a family and walk my dog every morning. I also wish I had more time but we all have only 24 hours per day.
Now let’s see how we can make time. Truth to be said, we have time for what we want to do. Think of how many times you open your email or Facebook account. It takes a couple of seconds only, but they quickly add up and at the end of the day you’ve most likely spend a good few hours browsing on the web. So it is a matter of redirecting our focus to things that really matter to us. In my case, I know that my crafts are vital for my well-being. Thus, I need to find time for them. Otherwise I am unhappy, lose my ability to get mental rest from my daily job and I am totally unproductive with all my other works. Simple as that.
Now let’s look from another angle. Often, when we apply for a job they ask us, “Do you have a hobby?” Why do you think that is? One of the reasons is for the person to see what your interests are. But the other more important reason, in my opinion, is to see if you are able to focus for long periods of time on something even though it is different from your job. This tells the other person that you are more likely to focus on your work too. ;) Smart, isn’t it? When I understood that, I finally started sharing with others that, yes, I do sew, knit, crochet and love photography. I was surprised to see how many people then shared that they love to do those same things or have other hobbies. It is a good conversation starter even if not on the job interview.
So back to the issue. How do you find time for your sewing or knitting? I’ll share the techniques that work for me. You can either adopt them or try something else that might work for you. I'd love to hear what you find useful and what other techniques you use. Some of the tips below work better for sewing and other for knitting for obvious reasons. As “sewing” I mean mostly using my sewing machine. Generally speaking I hate hand sewing. The only time when I hand sew is when I gather my doll parts together. It’s inevitable and thus, it’s ok.
- Start with a project you love. If I don’t like it in the first place, it’s not gonna happen.
- Use high quality yarn and fabric. I fall in love with the materials first. Often, only then I think of what I can make with them. The quality of the material is an absolute must for me. If I am going to spend time on it, it needs to last. I use natural fibers and fabrics. They feel good on the skin and are durable.
- Have a different projects for different parts of your day or place. I have a few constantly near me – in the evenings or in the mornings with my coffee I knit. On the weekends I attack the bigger projects like sewing bags or quilts. That makes the next tip easy to adopt.
- Sew or knit every minute that you can – in the morning before work with your coffee – 30 mins; at the evening while you watch TV or are waiting for the dinner to get ready. When I get back form work I need at least 30 – 60 mins to get the day off my shoulders. That’s the time when I best enjoy my peaceful knitting or sewing routine. You will be surprised to see how much can be done in those little chunks of time when they add together.
- Knit on your way to work – in the bus or subway train (it works better for me than the bus) or in the bus/subway stops. Watch out for your vehicle though, once I got on the wrong bus.
- My absolute best place, though, is knitting at the airport and on the flights. But how to get through the security with your needles? It’s very easy and totally legal – buy a set of bamboo circle needles and put them into your carry-on bag. They are great for almost any project. Last year, I invested about 5-6 dollars in a set of 12 pieces from eBay. Sometimes it’s fun when the airhostess asks what you are making.
- Don’t forget the weekends. If planned right, it can be wonderful time to get a lot done. I love to sew on Saturday morning. It feels like the weekend is extra long and I can achieve a lot.
- This is my favorite one. After dinner, leave the dishes in the sink and get some sewing done. It is ok to have some dirty dishes left if you are going to pamper your soul with some crafting. Well, if you ask my mom it’s not the case.
- Knit/sew at your vacation. Every serious knitter/sewist will tell you they don't go anywhere without their project. Recently, I enjoyed a week vacation on the beach where I could finish a linen tee and even started a second one. You have a lot of time lying on the sand under the sun. But first plan to bring projects that can endure the elements.
- And my final and maybe most important part is – don’t forget you sew or knit because you find it amusing and restoring. Don’t bring yourself to tears because something is not working as it should. If this is the case, stop and take a break. Get some sleep or go for a walk. Get some rest and attack the problem again. Usually, you’ll see that the root of your problem was fatigue.
- How do you find time to knit or sew? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments.