The Tale (& fate) of Unfinished Projects


Who is honest enough to owe up to the fact that we have ‘Unfinished Projects’?

I really think there needs to be a support group for everyone that hoards all those unfinished projects …. I know that I definitely need to get my unfinished projects under control…. So this is a tale of one such unfinished project …. Just ONE …. And every good tale starts with ‘Once upon a time ….’ and ends with ‘Happily ever after’ …… so will this tale end on a happily ever after?

So get comfy with a cuppa (& piece of cake) and listen while I tell you the tale of the Unfinished Project and maybe you will be able to relate the tale to your own crafting habits.

Once upon a time …. There lived a crafter who loved making handmade gifts and gifting them to family and friends. All the best intentions to make gifts that are made & given with love to someone special who appreciates and loves receiving handmade gifts.

This crafter loved starting new projects and thrived on making them with a set deadline in mind. Deadlines help to keep the mind focused, knowing that something needs to be finished by a certain time, for a certain reason …. It is harder when you decide to make something just because you want to with NO set deadline or purpose …. Those are the projects that have more chance of finding themselves in the Unfinished Land. We all have those …. And we kind of want to ignore those ones …. If we do not acknowledge the pile of unfinished projects that we started just because we wanted to …. then maybe, just maybe, they do not exist. But that is not true, those unfinished projects come out and taunt us, try to make us feel guilty about how many we have started and just not finished for some reason or the other …. These are the ones that remind us that we should be finishing them, maybe fixing that small mishap that stopped us from completing the project ….

Well, this crafter decided to make a lovely crocheted blanket for her daughter’s birthday, a blanket that the daughter chose, so we know that the blanket would be cherished and welcomed with open arms. The promise was that it would be made for her birthday – June 5th. That was grand, there was plenty of time till the birthday deadline, there would be no pressure to get it finished. So the yarn pack was ordered online and it arrived quickly all packaged in lovely organza bags, along with the pattern. The crafter was motivated and eager to start the challenge of creating such a lovely blanket. There was time enough so there would not be any late nights.

The progress started well. The first part of the blanket was started and following the pattern was pretty straight forward. It was fun and complicated enough to keep the crafter interested and motivated to keep going so she could see the blanket progressing and coming together. There was still plenty of time to get it finished. So how did this lovely project turn into an unfinished project? Both the crafter and the receiver were looking forward to the finished project, there was a deadline. So what happened?

Maybe I should have started this tale with ‘Once upon a time many, many years ago …’ and there is the answer…. MANY, MANY YEARS AGO …. There was no reason or justification about the blanket morphing into an ‘Unfinished Project’ …. It was just one of those things…. The blanket kit was brought well in advance of the birthday deadline. It wasn’t 2021! But …. OVER four years ago.

So, come the birthday (long ago), the crafter had to find another birthday present and apologise that the blanket didn’t get finished, BUT it would be ready for Christmas! Another deadline! But which Christmas?

So, with most things in life, life got in the road. Things came up, things that needed to be done, things that were more important than this lovely blanket. Many would say, what would be more important than finishing a birthday blanket? Truly?! The crafter had no answers.

The half completed blanket, along with the wool was placed lovingly into a plastic container where it would be kept safe and be finished when the crafter could make time. The blanket lay safe in the container, in the craft room so it was in plain sight, ready to be picked up and finished. The very so patient blanket.

The years quickly past without the blanket being lifted out of its plastic prison. There were times over the years where it was moved as things had to be sorted and organised. I guess, it was acknowledged and the crafter spoke (ever so slightly guilty) to the blanket and vowed that it would be finished soon and sent to its new home. But it seemed that it was just words that were spoken when the container was noticed. But as soon as the container was left in its new spot, it was quickly forgotten, amongst a mess of stored boxes and containers in an unused log.

Years later, the time came when the crafter had to clear out the log cabin to make room for a new addition. It was then that the crafter noticed the container and actually made an important step and moved it back into the house vowing that the blanket should really get finished as it was just a waste. So another move again and the blanket found itself placed on the floor of yet another room…. But something was different this time round. The container was in main sight and was noticed every time the crafter went into the room. What was different? Maybe this time the crafter really felt guilty and realised the words/thoughts ‘I really should get that blanket finished and give it as a birthday present’ really were important. Why now?

The crafter realised at the same moment of uttering those thoughts, that today was the start of June! The birthday was on the 5th! If the utterance was genuine, then there was five days to make that promise come true and also make an unfinished project, finished. It could be done. But was the crafter true to her word?

Armed with a cuppa and clear head, she picked up the plastic container and took it to a comfy chair where she took the lid off, dismissed the smell of something that has been stored for years and carefully (& somewhat lovingly) took the blanket out, feeling overwhelmed. She had no idea where she had stopped part way through the pattern! There were part balls of wool not able to give any clue on what was last worked on. Thankfully the pattern, ever so worn but still readable, was able to give some clues. The crafter quietly praised herself for having the foresight of marking off the rows as she had completed them so she could remember what part of the blanket she was at.

She then made a vow to the blanket that it would no longer spend its life shut away forgotten in a container feeling unloved. She made a promise that by the end of the week, it would be finished and given a bath to freshen it up so it could begin the next journey in its life – to be lovingly used and enjoyed. I also have to make it known that the completion of the blanket did not go without any sighs or other such unspeakable expressions. It was not a creation done with total devotion, BUT, it was a great sense of achievement when the last stitch was finished! The crafter felt great pride in a sense of achievement THAT she had finished something that had spent many, many years as an unfinished project and she had saved it from a life of laying forgotten in a container. The crafter thought of the many other items that were lying about as unfinished projects, forgotten and hidden away in cupboards, shelves and containers …. Maybe this blanket could be the start of a new set of goals …

By now, you are probably thinking (if you have made it this far) if the tale of the poor forgotten blanket has a happy ever after …. Shall we continue?

Once finished, the crafter weaved in all ends and tidied the blanket up. She then gave it a lovely wash with comfort, laid it out to dry and feel fresh. She then lovingly folded the blanket up and placed it inside the washed organza bag that the yarn had arrived in, all those years ago.

Then on the daughter’s birthday, the crafter handed the organza bag to her and they both laughed and remembered the beginning of the blanket and the promise that it would be for her birthday. Well … the blanket was gifted on her birthday … just NOT the birthday it was originally for all those MANY years ago.

The blanket was off to start a new journey filled with lots of use, and not to be left forgotten.

So, I guess that you have now come to realise that the crafter I am writing about is myself …. and that this is just not a fairy-tale with the ‘once upon a time’ and the ‘happy every after’ ending. You would be correct, this tale is about myself, but rest assured, if we are honest, it could be anyone of us, those that have the pile of unfinished projects lurking around in the dark corners, forgotten cupboards and drawers …. I have heard that there is a rare breed of crafter that does not know what an unfinished project is! And never starts a new project until they have finished the current one. I have yet to meet that crafter but have been told they exist.

Well, this is the tale of ONE of my unfinished projects and it is a great sense of achievement to actually finish an item that spent so many years forgotten in a container. I have so many unfinished projects and maybe, just maybe I can set myself some goals of getting them finished …. Or even a couple!

So, I now ask of you …. Do you have such a tale to tell? Do we need to form ‘An unfinished Projects’ Support Group? Maybe we could help support each other to give those forgotten unfinished projects new life …..