Yeah, that’s right. You can’t stick me in one little crafty box. I knit, crochet, sew and needle felt. I’ve dabbled in wheel-throwing (pottery), metal-working, quilting, spinning, locker hooking, embroidery, beading and tatting. And depending on your definition of ‘craft’, you should add baking, cheese making and gardening to the list.
I’m irresistibly drawn to making things. But do you know what? If you’re not careful, being involved in oodles of crafts can be a messy business. What do you do with all of those tools? How do you find the time to do them all?
Here are my 6 tips for managing your multi-craftual-ness… follow these, and you’ll be crafting with ease!
1. Accept that your work won’t be perfect
If you’re multi-craftual, then you’re only spending a small percentage of your crafting time on any particular skill. So, if you show up to a quilting group, don’t worry that your skills aren’t as advanced as some other people in the group! They’ve probably put more time into practicing!
Instead, be proud of yourself that you’re trying out something new. Chances are, because you have so much crafting experience under your belt, you’re doing great for the level of quilting experience you have. Enjoy the learning process!
2. Be careful about stashing
If you’re a knitter, then it’s fine to buy and stash beautiful skeins of yarn. But what happens if start stashing yarn and fabric and beads and…
When you’re multi-craftual, it’s extra important to reign in your stashing. Focus on making purchases when you have a project specifically planned.
3. Allow your skills to transfer, even if it makes you ‘different’
I began my needlework like as a crocheter. This means that I tension my yarn with my left hand. So, when I began knitting, it was natural for me to knit ‘continental’ (holding the yarn in my left hand).
As a beginner, a number of people told me that I should learn to throw (also called knitting ‘American’ or ‘English’), because it was easier, and learn ‘continental’ later. I ignored that advice, and I’m happy I did!
You see, I was already comfortable holding my yarn a certain way… why not roll with that? When you’re multi-craftual, you need to let your experience from other crafts transfer, even if it means you’re learning ‘a little funny’. Follow your gut!
4. Divide your crafting time
Some crafts are better to do at certain times. Maybe crocheting a washcloth is easy to do in front of the TV, but your intricate beading is best done under the good lighting in your bedroom. And your sewing is easiest on weekends when you can commandeer the dining room table for your machine.
Think about when your crafts are most suitable to do. And if you work on crafts when they’re easiest, you’ll find that less frustration comes your way.
5. Know when a craft needs to leave your house
I told you I dabbled in metal working. Did I buy a soldering iron and drill press? No.
I took a class at my local arts center, where renting the equipment was part of my class fee.
Not all of the crafts you do need to be in your house. Look for opportunities (including renting a sewing machine hours at a sewing shop) to do them outside of your living space. Not only will this provide a social opportunity, it saves space and a serious investment of money when you’re still just dabbling.
6. Find various groups
If you’re multi-craftual, it may be hard to find others who share all of your passions. But having others (either in real life or online) who support your crafts and inspire you is important to stay motivated and keep learning.
You may need to join a knitting circle and find a sewing forum online to meet your needs. Look for groups that meet infrequently, since joining multiple weekly groups would be a serious time-commitment!
What are your crafts?
Are you multi-craftual too? What crafts are you into? Any tips for managing them? Do share!