An Empty Project Bag is Full of Possibilities

Sometimes, as an independent designer, it is hard to stay motivated. Sometimes I just feel like my creativity is in a rut and I’m not making any progress. This week was like that. It wasn’t that I didn’t do anything, it was more that I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. The Thing in my Star Wars project bag did not get any bigger.

Project bag from The Knotty Acorn

The Red River Wrap pattern did not get finished. (I still haven’t decided on a border. I think I might flip a coin.) I did not write a blog post, and I did not work on the sweater pattern I’ve been putting off finishing for months. I did manage finish knitting these fingerless gloves, but even that didn’t give me the feeling of accomplishment that I wanted (and I felt guilty for not working on the Thing.)

And then, last night, just after midnight, this happened.

The Knotty Acorn Project Bag

I finished the Thing in my Star Wars project bag! I stayed up past my bedtime to wash and block the Thing so it would be ready to send to Interweave on Monday, right on schedule.

This morning I felt like the taps had been turned back on! I blocked my fingerless gloves and finished writing the pattern, emailed my tech editor, and put all my self-published patterns on sale for Malabrigo March! (They’ll be 25% off through March 12 with the coupon code MM16. Click on the thumbnails in the sidebar or visit my Ravelry Pattern Store to see them all.) Now I have a wicked case of start-itis, but I know my next project needs to be The Red River Wrap.

It’s not the Thing itself that got me into a rut. I love the design and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out, but it just started to drag. Some projects are like that. I love figuring out the pattern, trying out the yarn, watching the thing grow, but usually my excitement diminishes before the project is finished. Knitting is slow. I am really happy that I had a deadline to keep me going, and I met my deadline, which was a week earlier than the publisher’s.

I don’t feel like I have ever been very good at self-discipline, but it is something I want to be better at. When I signed up for the 100 Days of Making I knew that making a commitment to my peers, and to the yarn company that agreed to support the project, would help me to stay disciplined. When I have weeks like the last where it feels like my creativity has dried up and I don’t want to do anything, I need those kinds of commitments to keep me focused. So, I’m off to flip a coin. Knitting The Red River Wrap is on my schedule for next week!

Thank you for knitting!