The unfinished blanket

It’s a blanket that I began to crochet eight, maybe nine, years ago. Granny squares, in the type of autumny colour scheme that I love, from balls of wall I bought for 2 kina each at the town market where we were living in Papua New Guinea.  Almost finished: all the squares stitched together, and a border almost all the way around the edge. But my first baby was born and I never managed to pick it up to finish.

Shoved in a bag in the cupboard – someday I guess I’ll finish that – many days, years, of unfinished. Other unfinished projects have lingered also. Some I have had no desire to complete, and I have parted with those permanently. Some have been looked at and then put aside for another day.  Some have been finished or repurposed. 

This blanket has been put aside many times. I’m not even going to attempt that one now. I have finally brought it out again this week. I will complete this blanket. It’s not really big enough for a bed, just for putting over your legs on the couch, or maybe just for a child. But it is beautiful and I made it.

So many unfinished craft projects linger in my cupboard.  It is hard to part with many of them. They were an idea, an attempt to realise that idea, a desire to create and to express something of myself. They are mistakes, mis-measures, a demonstration of my limited abilities: proof that I can’t do everything. Sometimes humbling, sometimes heartbreaking. They have made me cry and have made me throw them across the room. Naughty children, out of sight until I’m ready to face them again. 

There are others for which the time just ran out. The ones that by the time I get around to completing them, after my time has been divided up between my husband, children, extended family, church, wasting time on the Internet, and finally I return to find the inspiration has gone, or I’ve forgotten what on earth I was even trying to do with this one. 

These all sit with the un-started.  The boxes of card, stickers, wool, paint, fabric, beads, dye, calligraphy pens, stamps and ink, patterns that all lie in wait of my beginning the task they were intended for. Some have been waiting a decade or more. 

I’ve learnt that I can’t make everything, nor do I even desire to beyond my imaginations. I have parted with most of my beads, and I’m waiting for opportunity to finish my scrapbooks so I can part with cutters and stickers and cardstock.  I’ve parted with a lot of fabric, patterns and wool.

Gradually, I’ve been accepting that I cannot realise all my grand ideas.  I must finish the last one first, or just write it down until such a time that I might be able to start and complete the task. I stopped buying fabric many years ago, with exception of needing it to finish a project. Once my stash has dwindled, then I can buy more, one piece at a time. 

But for now, the project is this blanket.  Discarding whatever the original intention had been, a border of single crochet just to complete it, that it may be admired and used, rather than languishing in a bloated collection of ideas and aspirations. 

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The problem of too many free samples.

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This is not all of the samples hanging around my bathroom. I don’t know where I have acquired all of these, and I know that some of them have been lingering a long time. Perhaps there is a tiny cosmetics sample factory in my bathroom cupboard? 

I’ve saved plenty waiting for the right opportunity to use them. This will come in handy when we travel next time, to help keep our luggage down. Yeah, right.  Some of those sample packets have been with us to Brisbane and back too many times to count! I don’t really use as much as is in a sample sachet when we travel, or I know I will use more and so just take the bigger one. Or I plain forget. 

So, here’s my advice to myself, and to anyone who is overflowing with samples.  Use them. Don’t wait for the perfect time. Use them so they are gone but not wasted. 

What’s your samples hoard like?