Keeping crafting in check (2 minute read)

karen whole room

Crafting can bring immense pleasure to many people but if not kept in check can create feelings of chaos and overwhelm, as well as gobbling up precious storage space.

With this in my mind I had a chat and cuppa with my lovely neighbour Karen Cunningham, who is a keen knitter, crocheter and contemporary cross-stitcher. Whilst living next door – she’s since moved to Devon (which I won’t take personally) – she was lucky enough to have the luxury of her own craft room. You can check out some of her wonderful creations @marthamini on Instagram.

karen animals

Here are her Top Tips on how to manage and maintain a crafting habit.

  • Do have a level of control – so only buy new yarn when you’ve finished a project.
  • Try to keep your work in progress and planned work separate. It’s good to be able to have your work in progress ready to grab if you know you’ll have the opportunity to work on it when you’re out and about.
  • Be realistic about the time you have to undertake future projects. Karen uses the acronym SABLE – which means – Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy – which put bluntly means will I have time to finish all this before I die?
  • Try to limit your on going projects to two or three – so you can enjoy the satisfaction of actually finishing something. servico karen
  • Be selective about what you buy – there are so many different gadgets but you probably don’t need half of them. If you are tempted borrow one from a friend before purchasing and see if it really does change your life before committing to getting your own.

karen yarn

  • Don’t buy too much wool so find a pattern, then buy the wool – not in the other order. Know your project before you get the equipment which is difficult when there are many so many gorgeous colours, textures and brands now available.
  • Unfollow all the emails for the various wool warehouses who send regular temptation into your Inbox.
  • Try to store patterns digitally by scanning in paper ones but do ask yourself if you are seriously going to undertake the project again.  Or purchase patterns online and keep them your own digital library. Karen also stores them as PDFs on her smart phone so she can access them when out and about. And be ruthless with all the free patterns you get give at shows.
  • Don’t buy too many craft books. Is it worth holding a whole book if you’re only going to undertake a 10th of the projects it contains? Libraries often have great craft books or arrange to swap with friends or within your local knitting or crochet group.

karen jars

  • Charity shops love receiving yarn so be honest with yourself – is it better to have your yarn languishing in a cupboard untouched or used by another crafter who has donated money to charity for the pleasure of using it.
  • Have a digital declutter on Twitter and Instagram of who you’re following – it can get overwhelming.
  • There are thousands of online patterns which show you things to make in order to use up with scrap yarn.



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