How do you find crafting time? That’s the number one question I get from women when I tell them I knit. It’s a simple and a complicated answer. But crafting time is necessary for creatives to unwind after work or a day with the kids.
So I’ll show you a few hacks for squeezing in stitches so it doesn’t take you nine months to knit a sock. And I’ll share the little-know key to finding the right project for your season of life.
The #1 Thing You Need to Do to Make Crafting Time
Carry it with you everywhere. This will not win you hours of uninterrupted crafting time, but squeezing in stitches when you have a spare minute is the way to go! At the end of the day you’ll find you’ve added a few rows or even a few inches to your project and that adds up quick.
15 Ways to Squeeze in a Few Stitches
Knitters and crocheters have the wonderful ability to shove a project in the their purse or diaper bag and take it with them on the go. But also, make sure it’s with you around the house to really squeeze in every stitch you can get.
Crafting Time While Waiting
- For the pasta to boil (or dinner to cook).
- To pick the kids up from school.
- In line at the post office.
- For the red light to turn green. (Yup. I’ve don’t this one.)
- For your Walmart Pick-Up order to be loaded.
Crafting Time During/While
- A Zoom meeting—knit under the desk!
- A phone call.
- An in-person conversation – must be low concentration! (see below!).
- A movie, podcast, or audiobook.
- A walk. (I haven’t mastered this one yet but want to!)
- The end of dinner. If you’ve finished dinner first, pick up your project and chat while the family finishes.
- Play time. (I knit furiously in those few minutes the kids are playing happily together before a massive fight breaks out over who gets to wield the latest bit of noisy plastic.)
- Reading children’s books. (If your kid is old enough to turn the pages, you can snuggle, knit, and read all the the same time.)
- Nap time or after bed time.
- Playing a game—board games and other games that don’t require you to hold cards are great for this!
There are a million ways to fit crafting time into your day if you are looking for it. But just squeezing in a stitch here or there is not the WHOLE answer. There’s actually a little bit more.
The (Little-Known) Key to Successfully Squeezing In Crafting Time & Enjoying It
If you reach the end of the day, look at your knitting and think “I don’t have the energy” then you’re knitting the wrong project. You need to learn how to match the concentration level of your project to your current season of life.
What does that mean?
Concentration Does Not Equal Difficulty
I don’t rate my projects based on difficulty, because it’s too subjective. What’s difficult for me might be easy for you or visa versa. So you may want to ignore those ratings.
(Side note: I promise I will not design intentionally difficult knits. I won’t release a laceweight shawl the size of New Hampshire with 16 different intricate lace sections or a cabled sweater requiring 7 charts which all have different repeats.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
The Key to Joyful Knitting in Every Season
You do need to pay attention to how much concentration a knitting pattern will take you to knit. You will need something different from your project at during different seasons of life or even different times of the day.
When To Grab A Low Concentration Knitting Pattern
When the day is crazy—when I have an important project due yesterday and the baby screamed bloody murder every 8 minutes between the hours of 3 & 4:30 am and every “no” lead my preschooler to a nuclear-level meltdown—I have no brain power. My head is a fog. My stress levels are high and I need my knitting like the good little yarn addict I am.
That is when I pick up a low concentration knit.
What is a Low Concentration Knitting Pattern
Low concentration knitting patterns are simple, basic knits. They usually involve a lot of stockinette in the round or garter flat, or maybe a light knit/purl pattern. These are the best projects to knit on the go and the world is erupting into chaos around you.
Grab a low-contration pattern and let the relaxing, repetitive motion of the knit stitch take hold. Feel your stress unravel stitch by stitch. (The dopamine hit from seeing inches form under your fingers doesn’t hurt either!)
But thank the Lord, not all days or times are like that. So when there’s calm, you might like a bit more texture or color or cables to your knitting.
When to Grab a High Concentration Knitting Pattern
High concentration knitting patterns are great for when you’ve actually found (or bartered for) a calm stretch of time to just sit and knit. The work day is over, the kids are in bed, and you are not completely drained from the day. You’re ready for a rewarding challenge.
What a High Concentration Knitting Pattern In Not
It’s not hard or difficult. It just needs a little bit more attention.
My high concentration knitting patterns are still easy to memorize, but you’ll likely need to look where your knitting. The simple cables, easy lace, or fabulous colorwork a little pizazz to a sweater, cowl, or shawl and a little interest to your knitting experience.
Cause let’s be honest, if I’m not on the edge of burnout, only knit-stitch can get a little boring. So let your curiosity roam and try that new technique you’ve been wondering about.
Mixed Concentration Knits
Some knits have the best of both worlds. Maybe the sweater has a short colorwork edging or maybe the shawl has a few rows of brioche amongst all the garter.
That’s my jam.
And that’s when you’ll see some percentages floating around like: 70% low concentration, 30% high concentration with a notation of when/where the concentration is needed so you can plan for it!
Find What You Need When You Need Crafting Time
Let’s be honest, you can do anything.
Knitting is made up of a finite number of stitches in various combinations. So you can ABSOLUTELY knit that lace or those cables.
But do you have the time? Do you have the concentration?
Only you know how much and when. That’s why I offer both!
Check out the high-concentration knits below or love on the low concentration knits in 35+ Basic Knitting Patterns to find the right knitting pattern to suit your season of life and make some crafting time today!
Low Concentration Knits
High Concentration Knits (% High)
Falling Up Pullover (30%) – small strip of stranded colorwork
Truly Madly Cowl (100%) – easy mosaic motif all over
Cebu Blue Cowl (60%) – lace over 50%
Sunrise Bay Shawl (40%) – simple lace and easy texture in blocks
Fortnight Shawl (30%) – brioche center panel
All links take you to individual Ravelry listings. All patterns are also available in my Etsy shop!