Over the years, I have found that giving crocheted gifts has been well received. Even my brother has raided my stockpile of crochet items for cowls, hats, scarves, and items to give to his own friends. People love a well-made item. Giving someone something homemade, especially made with love, is priceless.
Here is a quick checklist on what to do when preparing to give a homemade gift of crochet.
Give yourself plenty of time
Start early to avoid stress and pressure of finishing something you are aware has a deadline. Don’t wait until the last minute to start a stack of crochet projects on December 1st for Christmas gifts or a baby blanket two weeks before a baby shower, UNLESS you are a seasoned crochet artist with years of experience and have no worry working under those high pressure deadlines.
Tackle a project or idea that falls within the range of your skill set and time frame, so crochet is a pleasure and not a chore. Even if you want to take on a challenge of something that you have never tried before, having enough time to learn and complete it will remove some of the anxiety of trying something new. That way, if you run into issues experimenting, you will accomplish something doable without the frustration of getting in “over your head” when you have the time to “play around” with a new pattern.
Personally, I have to give myself time. I have good intentions when tackling a project, but I have learned, nothing ever goes quite the way I plan. Even when I give myself time to finish, I find that I am running up to the very last moment of my timeline!
Who is on your gift giving list? Are you tackling a project for one individual or a list of people? Once you answer these questions, make a list of who you are gifting to. Then, decide what you plan to make for each of them. Then, make a list of the supplies needed for each project. Here is where things might get a bit costly. If you have a large list of people you want to make gifts for, breaking down the supplies into smaller purchases takes off some of the financial pressure of doing them all at once. Working on a single or even a couple of projects to completion, and then comprising another list to tackle the rest of your list makes the blow to the pocketbook a little easier to manage.
The next step is to give yourself a REALISTIC and liberal time frame to finish the project. Here is where I always end up in a trap! I always underestimate the time frame I can complete a project. Even as a seasoned crochet artist, I cannot plan for those unpredictable circumstances. It is impossible to prep for the unknown. I can sit down with the best intentions to spend the evening crocheting and friend might drop by, or my best friend who is in the Peace Corp in Africa has an internet connection and wants to have a Skype date! I love crochet, but there are definitely times when my crochet projects take a back burner to other more important things! That is part of life! So always make sure that you allow for those times.
When I was making the G.G. Cardigan, I sat down and counted how many squares I needed to make. Then I planned the time frame it would take to reasonably make this coat. My circumstances are different than most, but the principle still applies. I set a goal of how many squares I needed to do in a specific time frame. I took the total number and the time I planned to make it and divided. Example: If I needed 70 squares, I wanted to finish it in 2 weeks, which meant I needed to do 5 squares a day or 10 squares every other day.
Presently, I have been working on my wedding flowers (tutorials to come). I want to make a variety of flowers for different things, my bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, the place cards with coordinating floral details that are color coded for my menu options, etc. This is a HUGE undertaking. I needed to make 2 flowers each day for the year (we got engaged in March 2017 and are getting married in March 2018). Yeah, that isn’t happening. I have a little over 100 flowers done. I have to really amp up my production if I am going to meet this deadline, and I will, but that means changing my expectations. When I miss a day or two, I will sit down and make up a dozen or more flowers to catch up. It has been pretty successful. Again, so much comes in the way of meeting those goals so be sure to account for that!
Homemade gifts will be treasured for years to come, but remember that the goal of giving them with no pressure and stress is our hope and expectation. Try to avoid that last minute pressure and stress that sends you on a stream of made up curse words going off in your head as you crochet like fiends the night before!! I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me! HAHA! We have all been there and done that!
Are you a plan ahead crochet artist?? Or are you the one that is pulling the all-nighter to finish in time to give a gift? No matter which way you function, I hope crochet continues to bring you joy under every circumstance!
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