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Putting the Jo(y) back into Crojo

#crocheteveryday

That’s the hashtag I use on a lot of my social media posts. It used to be true. I would hardly ever go a day without picking up my hook and working at least a few stitches. And if I wasn’t literally stitching them, I would be dreaming about my next opportunity to be doing so. But that’s not how I feel at the moment. It seems I have lost my crochet mojo, or what some have dubbed ‘crojo.’ It’s been waning for months now and a small part of me wonders if I’ll ever get it back.

Have you ever felt that way?

Have you gone through a stage where the very thing that once provided joy and inspiration and comfort just doesn’t do it for you anymore?

I’ve experienced short periods of time where I just wasn’t feeling it, but never has it lasted for months on end. While periodic loss of crojo is nothing new to me, this time it feels much deeper.

I think the figurative straw for me was losing Radar after he swallowed some yarn (if you craft with yarn or string, have a pet cat, and haven’t read my previous post, I beg you to read it, please.) It’s been over a month now, and simply the sight of some items in my stash bring me to tears. I can’t even look at the yarn, let alone crochet with it. And let me tell you, this is quite a perplexing problem to have when you are a crochet designer and your job kinda depends on you actually crocheting something every once in a while.

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about why I seem to have lost my joy for crochet, and how I might work at getting it back. Perhaps the ideas I have come up with will help you if you ever find yourself feeling the same way.

#1 Take a break

It’s okay to not crochet.

It may sound stupid, but I was actually feeling guilty about not crocheting as much. Isn’t that crazy?! Then I told myself that 2020 has been a challenging year. No matter where we live or how dramatically we have been affected, we can all feel it. And when we have additional responsibilities, major life adjustments, pressures, or worries, there’s only so much we can handle at once. Allow yourself the grace to have a break.

#2 Start small

When you feel that you are able, try a small project. Taking on an epically sized blanket that will take forever to finish probably isn’t going to get you motivated quite like a quick-win smaller project. The satisfaction of seeing progress and finishing something will do wonders.

#3 Keep it simple

If you have watched my most recently filmed podcast episodes, you will have heard me joke about 2020 being my Year of The Hat – a play on this year being The Year of The Rat according to the Chinese calendar.

This is because my brain simply has not had the capacity of late to cope with anything more complicated.

Working on something that does not require deep concentration has allowed me to fall into the relaxing rhythm of the stitches and help to restore the feeling of calm that I enjoy when I crochet.

#4 Buy something new

Most of us get excited by the shiny and new, don’t we? If your budget allows, why not try shopping for a new pattern or some new yarn. The ‘Oh, the possibilities!’ feeling might be just the thing to get the crafting juices flowing again.

#5 Sort out your stash

While I am well shy of Marie Kondo-ing my stash, a really good tidy up is very cathartic. Order is very good for the mind and you never know what gems you might dig up – perhaps some that you had completely forgotten about. You might discover that you have a perfect trio of colours to go with that pattern you’ve always wanted to make, sparking (get it? Sparking joy – see what I did there?) a wonderful new wave of inspiration and motivation.

#6 Try something new

Are you a sometimes-knitter? Ever wanted to try macrame? Sewing? Baking sourdough? Perhaps it’s distraction that you need.

When we do something we’ve always done, like crochet, we can be so familiar with it that it is no longer keeping our mind occupied enough to stop it wandering into anxiety-ridden places. Doing something different or learning something new might provide the perfect level of distraction while still being something that gives some much needed mental down-time.

#7 Finish something old

Most of us will have a work-in-progress that we never got around to finishing. Why not dig it out?

It might remind you of how excited you were when you started it. And because it’s already partially complete, it’s a whole lot closer to being finished – providing that quick-win sense of achievement mentioned in #2.

#8 Make a gift

A wise man once said, ‘there is more happiness in giving.’

Not many things spark joy quite like the joy you get from gifting a beautiful handmade creation to a friend or loved one. And in these days of lockdowns and isolation, receiving a gift in the mail from a friend is tantamount to getting a big warm hug from them. Pondering on the joy you can provide someone else while you craft can be more powerful than you realise.

Whatever the cause, loss of crojo is rarely permanent. Just because we love doing something one day, doesn’t mean we will feel the same every day. The joy we get from crochet, or any kind of hobby really, should never feel forced. It’s supposed to bring joy, right? Not feel like an obligation.

So, give yourself time. Take a break. Try something new. Do what you need to do to be happy and maintain inner peace in this chaotic, unpredictable world.

And when you’re ready, your hook will be there waiting for you. I promise.

I’m sure I am not alone when I say that 2020 has been challenging. Beyond challenging for some. To anyone here that is doing it particularly tough at the moment, I extend to you a warm virtual hug. Hang in there, my friend. You are stronger than you think.

Much love, Deanne

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