Friday, October 7, 2005

Effects of Environment

In recent discussions on various online groups, and with students in my crochet classes, the topic of staying relaxed while crocheting comes up quite a bit.  Some state that they tend to start off nice and relaxed but by the time they really get into the project they found they are having a tug-of-war with their yarn.  The stitches were getting tighter and tighter and tighter ... well, you get the picture.

My first suggestion, if you fall into this category, is to check your environment and see if it's effecting your work:

   *Are you watching/listening to the evening news?  That always tenses me up.
   *Are you counting stitches and have kids asking you a million questions?  That always messes me up.
   *Are you trying to crochet on your lunch break at work?  Try going to your car or an unused conference room for peace & quiet.
   *Did you drink a lot of caffeine?  Too much makes me jumpy; try drinking more water, or at least watered down coffee (in order to consume less caffeine)

   *Do you have a radio on and the DJ keeps yacking instead of playing music?  Or is the rhythm of the music too fast?  Too slow?  Change the station, or put on a CD for more control.
   *Did you jump right into your crocheting after some stressful situation? (i.e., work) ... try doing some stretches first.
   *Are you in love with your fiber?  A stiff fiber, or 'unfavorite' color are turnoffs for most.  Do a few rows and then reward yourself by working on a more pleasing project for ten minutes.  Then repeat the process.
   *Are you in love with the pattern?  Same rules as "are you in love with your fiber" applies here.

If the above suggestions fail to help relax you -- to relax your tension as you're creating your stitches -- then consider joining a group if you haven't already.  Join an online group, or join a "human" group that gets together every so often.  Getting together with other crocheters (or needlecrafters) and laughing together makes for a great way to release stress.

Here's to hoping your hooking is always happy!

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