What to Make When You Don’t Feel Like Making

I am a resolutions curmudgeon. This time of year, there are loads of blog posts and Instagram challenges about planning your projects for the next 12 months, and I want nothing to do with it. After the mad rush of holiday crafting, I’m creatively burned out; staying up until 2 a.m. trying to finish a scarf will suck the fun out of your hobby. Who wants to then immediately jump into making 2½ sweaters a month? I just barely finished my gifts in time! All I want to do is take a break from obligatory making. Sometimes I don’t want to make anything at all. I want to want to knit, but it’s just not there.

I’ve found the best way to get back into the crafting spirit is to take on very easy, no-pressure projects. If you make a thing, great. If you work one row and set it aside for three weeks, that’s OK too. It’s about letting your creative gas tank refill and getting that spark going. Here are five suggestions for getting back to enjoying your hobby.

1. Dishcloths

There is no lower-stakes project than a dishcloth. If it works out, you have a useful item. If it doesn’t work out, you rip it out and have the same yarn you started with. It’s a great way to try new stitch patterns and techniques on a small scale. Or you can go the opposite direction and make a bunch of garter-stitch squares. Either way, there is no pressure to make a fancy finished object.

There is no pressure here.

There is no pressure here.

2. Hats

Hats have a lot of the same selling points as dishcloths. You don’t have to swatch; if it comes out too small or too big, give it away or rip it out and start over. They work up quickly, so it’s not a huge time investment. Hats are also small, so you can use a super luxe yarn; playing with cashmere is a great way to get your mojo back.

If it fits, great. If not, find someone with a bigger/smaller noggin.

If it fits, great. If not, find someone with a bigger/smaller noggin.

3. Tube Socks

Yes, socks can be on teeny-tiny needles, but once you cast on and get past the ribbing, you have hundreds of rounds of stockinette stitch that don’t take any focus or counting. You just knit in the round until your sock is long enough. Some easy-to-memorize decreases, and you’re done. If you’re feeling more ambitious later, you can always add an afterthought heel.

Around and around and around you’ll go, then you stop and make a toe.

Around and around and around you’ll go, then you stop and make a toe.

4. Basic Shawl

Work back and forth and back and forth and back. . . well, you get the idea. There’s not a lot of thought involved, and it’s nice to have a little lap blanket while you work on it. By the time you get to the edging, you’ll be craving a small challenge.

Choose some fun colors, and you’re off!

Choose some fun colors, and you’re off!

5. Nothing

It’s OK to take a break and just not make anything. Try a new craft like beading or painting. Listen to an audiobook (affiliate link). Go for a hike. Catch up on superhero movies. Take some time away from crafting; it will still be there when you are ready to come back to it. Sometimes the best way to get your creative energy back is to let it rest a little while.

(Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/Ljupco)

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One Comment

  1. Debbie F at 11:14 am January 11, 2019

    You are describing my life right now.
    I’m going for the simple shawl, with the edging later.

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