Image Details: ‘Tied to a Chair’ by Hanna-, via Flickr.
Twitter keeps happily reminding me how many days/hours it is until Christmas. As I have mentioned countless times on here, I love Christmas. Nothing pleases me more than rebelliously putting the Christmas tree up in the last couple of days of November. Any excuse to adorn the house with tinsel and yet more fairy lights is a good one, in my book. Unfortunately, all this talk of festive cheer and my very exciting but imminent return to the UK for a Costa minty hot chocolate and a decent curry is getting a bit stressful. How so? I hear you cry. Well, because I am suffering from another craft-related phenomena. One I shall call ‘Project Paralysis’.
‘Project Paralysis’ occurs when a crafter has a large number of ongoing projects with various deadlines. When faced with a period of time in which to conduct said crafting, he/she is unable to get any meaningful work done, as there are so many works in progress that one is overwhelmed with choice and flails around madly, managing to get the square root of not a lot done on any of them. Simple prioritisation of tasks is impossible due to blind panic. The creeping fear in the pit of the stomach can also be prompted when starting another project, which is not as urgent, but yet is more exciting, easier, quicker, or one’s current crafty obsession, such as sewing impossibly cute baby shoes instead of finishing one’s Mother’s Christmas scarf.
Image Details: ‘PRIORITIZE’ by dgray_xplane, via Flickr.
Work with me!
Another aspect to my current bout of project paralysis is the sheer annoyance that I have not made enough progress by now. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am Little Miss Last Minute. I love the stress of the last minute dash to get things done, much to the annoyance of my super-organised friends, I am quite sure (yes, L-R and Sal, I’m talking to you). I feel I work best when under time pressure and if I am early doing something, I tend to subconsciously find ways to procrastinate such that I then end up on the last minute. So, this year I decided to Be Good for a change. I picked out all of my Christmas projects just after I arrived in SA, ready to start once my stash arrived. And start I did. I was being Really Good. But then I got a bit distracted by sewing clothes and cooking baby purees and choosing a colour for our trickily lit bathroom. And then I was bought some really nice yarn by my husband and it just keeps looking at me, in a longing, unfulfilled way, whispering ‘knit me…. knit me…cast me on… go oooonnnnn’ in a manner not at all unlike that creepy polar bear glove puppet on the Bird’s Eye salmon pocket adverts. All the while, I am finding it more stressful that I started projects ages ago and haven’t made much visible progress. And I need to see progress, people. And one of those skeins of yarn is going to be a pair of socks for my long-suffering husband, but I haven’t even finished the other socks I cast on yet and he has huge feet so it will take ages. Argh!
Image Details: ‘To Do List’ by hootnannie, via Flickr’
Unfortunately, unlike knitting perfectionism, I don’t seem to have worked out a cure for this yet. I’m the kind of person that uses the queue in Ravelry as a disorganised mish-mash of stuff I quite fancy doing, which is in no way, shape or form an actual queue, so I doubt making an organised list will help. I think there are two options available to me at the moment:
1) work on one project at a time until it is finished.
2) work on one project a day.
As organised and sensible as option 1 is, I think I will go for option 2, which is kind of what I am meant to be doing now, but not. I think a bit of self-control may be required, but as we are now at the point that we were at when I started Christmas crafting last year, and quelle suprise, it was all done in time, I feel I might have a figting chance if I stick to my usual modus operandi at this stage. I suppose the point I am trying to make on this one is, just be yourself. Don’t try and be all keen and start early if you are Last Minute Annie. Work with the you that you are. So annoying that it may be that I will have to pack a load of stash to take back to the UK instead of some lovely blocked, finished and wrapped objects, I am not going to sweat it. At least I know there will be plenty of space in the suitcase for more stash to take back with me.
And here is my ‘to-do’ list…