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Soon after I got started on my Vitamin D, I was thoroughly sidetracked by big project with a quick deadline.  I have been crocheting-to-order for a shop that is opening this weekend in Provincetown!  I have been keeping up a quick pace and thought I might share a few things I’ve learned through this process.

At some point we all have put a deadline on our projects.  The most common “high-stress” deadline for a lot of us is during the holidays.  We stay up late, get up early and crochet our little fingers off!  While you are focusing on your goal, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Epiphany #1 – I remembered that my hands are on the ends of my arms, connected to my shoulder, neck and head.  It seems silly, doesn’t it?  But we tend to focus on taking care of our hands and forget about the rest of our body.  Don’t make the mistake of waiting for your hands to get tired to take a break.  While you were waiting, a small knot was tightening in your shoulder and you didn’t notice it until you stood up!  Get up, move around, stretch, at least every 30 mins.  My favorite is to clasp my hands behind my back and and give my chest, shoulders and upper back a good stretch, like this.

Other great stretches for knitters and crocheters can be found around the internet, like this list from Knit Freedom.

Epiphany #2 – I changed how I wound my yarn.  How could such a small change make a big difference?  And how did I not think of this sooner?!  For this project I am working with a worsted weight yarn held double.  There are many tips and tricks for keeping your two balls from getting tangled as you pull from both.  Who knew that you could simply wind the two skeins into ONE BALL and not have to deal with all of that?  Well, most of the knitting/crocheting world already knew but I didn’t even think of it until 10 skeins in.

Epiphany #3 – I should practice what I preach.  I started out on a not-so-nice hook.   When I switched to a nicer one – BAM! – more enjoyable experience.  Remember, friends, the money you spend on a nicer tool will repay itself in the many wonderful projects you complete with it!

I have also been using other strategies we’ve already talked about here on the blog, for keeping me motivated.  I’m setting smaller benchmark goals instead of focusing only on the big end-goal.  I’m watching/listening to something entertaining as I work.  And I’m doing what I can to make sure it stays FUN!  (And I’m looking forward to getting back to my Vitamin D)