I love making an afghan every now and again. While I usually knit or crochet accessories and other small projects, something about spending weeks or months with the same project appeals to me. I love getting to know the ins and outs of the stitch pattern so I don’t have to think (or worry about shaping) during my crafting sessions, and my hands know exactly what to do. Also, since I typically make afghans as gifts, I like picturing the recipient enjoying the blanket I made them on a chilly day. As a bonus, if I’m knitting or crocheting an afghan in the winter, I get to stay warm and cozy under it as I work.
As much as I relish a good afghan pattern, it can sometimes be difficult to muster up the level of commitment a handmade blanket can require. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few methods that help me keep my stamina up during these marathon crafting projects.
- Remember, it’s not a race (even though I just used a racing metaphor). Whether you finish a month from now or a year from now, you win – and the amazing handmade blanket you created is your prize! If I don’t feel like working on my afghan for a while, I allow myself to set it aside. Then, I start to miss it, and I’m more energized than ever when I return to it.
- Stop to weave in your ends occasionally. If you need a break from actually knitting or crocheting, weaving in your ends allows you to make progress on your project while doing something a little bit different. Plus, after doing this, you can truly admire your work-in-progress because you’ll get a glimpse of what the finished blanket will look like and save yourself some finishing work at the end. There is nothing more motivating than a taste of success!
- Finally, take breaks… by working on smaller projects. Don’t feel guilty for getting momentarily distracted by a quick toy or cowl. My busy hands want to stitch, even though my mind may need a break from a repetitive blanket pattern. Stopping to whip up a hat or pair of mitts isn’t “cheating” on your afghan, and it can actually be a welcome intermission that will leave you feeling ready to dive into your blanket pattern once again.
Knitters, if all this talk about afghans has gotten you in the mood to make one, check out the Stash-Busting Throw, Blanket Buddy, and Scottish Glen Blanket! Crocheters, take a look at the Mondrian Throw, Yuletide Throw, and Frozen Falls Throw.
How do you make an afghan? Do you break up the process by working on other projects intermittently or give the blanket your full attention? We’d love to hear the methods that work for you, so leave us a comment here or on Facebook to let us know!