6 Ways to Get More Knitting Done

Getting more knitting done - or how to hide from the family

For some reason my family still haven't grasped the concept that I like to knit, to relax and to craft a little time for myself at weekends. They will persist in the notion that my time is their time and that I should be happily spending my precious weekends grappling with homework, running the little darlings to various social engagements or just generally hanging out in their adorable company.

Now don't get me wrong I love a boisterous game of Pass the pigs as much as the next person and don't get me started on the fun that can be had when over-competitive siblings get stuck into a Monopoly tournament, but sometimes the modern, stressed out knitter just wants half an hour to themselves. Ideally with a hot beverage and some relaxing knitting.

After approximately 8 years of trying to combine weekend parenting and knitting (whilst living a long way from obliging and doting grandparents) here are a few winning strategies to help you craft out some valuable knitting time - you're welcome.

  1. Insist loudly that you have to have the house to yourself in order to 'clean it'. Bundle the offspring out of the door to the local park or to the shops (with an appropriate adult).Spend 5 minutes rushing around with a bin bag, do a quick hoover and the fling yourself onto the sofa, knitting in hand. For this to work it is essential to keep an alert ear out for their homecoming and to greet them, coming down the stairs - carrying a load of laundry for maximal effect.
  2. Round everyone up for a cinema trip - pack your most portable knitting project (a plain vanilla sock is ideal). Load up with snacks (and hot coffee for you) and knit away whilst everyone else follows the latest Disney/Pixlar extravaganza with enthusiasm.
  3. If nothing at the cinema appeals, employ a similar tactic and head to the local soft play area (or park if you really cannot stomach the thought of those germ-filled ball pits).
  4. Barricade yourself in your room for half an hour, with threats of dire proportions if anyone dares to disturb you. This works particularly well in the run up to Christmas.
  5. This one requires a bit of long term planning (and some moderate chaos - but bear with me). Offer to host a friends child for an afternoon for a playdate/cinema trip/park outing. The usual reciprocal rules of parenting will hopefully kick in and the parents of the lucky child will then offer to take yours for a similar date - giving you a child free house for several hours.
  6. Announce that you need to do boring grocery shopping and that you will be far faster going by yourself. Do a super quick whizz around the supermarket and then enjoy a leisurely coffee with your knitting before 'staggering' home with your bags.


A lack of daylight

About this time of year I start to realise that I am not designed to be a nocturnal animal and the shortage of natural daylight starts to be a nuisance. Never more so than now when I am trying to grow my fledgling pattern design business. Photography is an area that I am keen to improve upon and everything I read emphasises the importance of natural light.

All well and good until you consider that my day job has me leaving the house at 8:20 (school run before driving to work) and arriving home after 5pm. The hours of available daylight for photography purposes at home are condensed into a 20 minute slot between 8:00 and 8:20 and not surprisingly lost trousers and missed homework is often higher on my to-do list at that time in the morning.

I have tried carefully assembling my subject matter the night before so that all I have to do is grab my camera and take a few shots (whilst telling a small child to brush their teeth - again) but the general morning chaos isn't really conducive to calm, unhurried work.

My latest cunning plan is to take the photographic subject with me in the car. Arranged on a tea tray - passengers in my car must think I am very odd - and with the car parked in a suitable spot at work I can take advantage of the last hour or two of daylight and do my best to get some good shots.

I found some good tips here and here.
And there are some great "what not to do" tips by A Beautiful Mess here.

It is a constant struggle though and I would welcome suggestions on how you do it. What tips and tricks can you share to help us make the most of those precious daylight hours?