I’m a Quitter, Not a Knitter

Photo by LollyKnit

I wish I could knit. Maybe I’ll learn how, because I’d love to whip up cute hats for someone to wear.

Laura from One of Three is hosting for Holidays by Hand today, sharing several knitting projects that others have made.

I’ve seen quick video tutorials that can teach you how to knit, purl, and cast on. They make it look easy, and for a minute I thought about getting out my yarn and trying it.

But then I remembered some of my crochet projects that hadn’t gone so well.

Behold, the Crochet of Christmas Past

Unfinished afghanDecember 1997: I taught myself how to crochet from a library book. I think it was titled something like “Easy Afghans to Make in a Weekend”. I don’t know how they come up with these names. There is no way those could be done in a weekend. It took me months to crochet all of the motifs. I didn’t realize how much time it would take to then stitch them together, and so I haven’t finished it yet. I still don’t have an afghan, I have 104 coasters.

hatDecember 2006: I made a baby hat. It turned out pretty cute, but Lane refused to wear it, ever. I thought, maybe… maybe she didn’t like hats.

But that obviously wasn’t the problem.
hat parade

December 2007: I made a little crochet bird. The color was an unfortunate grey. Doug called it a lump of coal. I decluttered it.

In better crochet news, Molly posted a tutorial for how to crochet a metal leaf. (I also love her burlap bird.)

Molly's leaf
Leaf and pear from A Foothill Home Companion
I’m not sure I’ll ever finish the afghan. I think I’m a quitter, and I’m ok with that. Do you have any unfinished projects?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Do I have unfinished projects? haha. I think that if you’ve ever crocheted or knit at all, you have to have UFOs. I think you should go for it and learn to knit. It’s very addictive. Almost as addictive as shopping for the yarn to knit something with! :-)

    Dan´s last blog post..New Items Added to Shop!

  2. yes, I have one in every room.

    I’m not a quitter – it just takes me much longer to finish.

  3. Do you have any unfinished projects?

    Yes! I’ve had to get rid of some of them. (Gasp!) But I am in the process of finishing one I started last year. Just have to sew the ends in and wash the quiviut scarf. (Mom bought me the fabulous yarn on a trip.) Needed something simple and repetitous the other day and the scarf fit the bill.

    Some friends and I started a “Projects Anonymous” group as an excuse to get together and perhaps finish some of these “UFOs” (Un-Finished Objects) we were collecting.

    Avlor´s last blog post..Wii Fit and Blog to Fit Update

  4. I’m a quitter too. And I’m ok with that. I finally gave away some yarn to a friend who I know will use it. I LOVE yarn, but I’ve decided to take pictures of it instead of trying to do something with it. And I passed on last winter’s attempted blanket crochet squares to my children. I never did finish near the number needed to complete the patchwork blanket I envisioned doing. The squares are enjoying their new life as doll wraps, shawls and blankets.

    I can’t deal with projects that have no completion date in sight. If I have too many of those on the go they clutter my mental space. So to clear my mind and my craft closet every so often I purge the unfinished projects and craft supplies (I never did get into stamping like I thought I would). I give them to friends who will use them, pass supplies onto my children for their artwork and activities and donate the rest.

    I feel great every time. I don’t need a huge stack of uncompleted projects cluttering my mind and my limited storage space. And if I start to feel bad about not completing a project I was once excited about I remind myself I wouldn’t treat my children that way so why treat myself that way?

  5. I have a WIP (work in process) cabinet!! All I need is a little time and I KNOW I can finish. Except for my sister’s wedding gift. I ‘m gonna have that thing framed unfinished. It’s 15 years past due.
    I may just attach a note to the back “I QUIT” Now that’s a lovely sentiment isn’t it.

  6. no unfinshed projects here but the photo of your little girl with the green hat and green straw may well be the cutest thing I have ever seen…outside my own photo albums of course ; )

  7. I can knit scarves, because they are long and straight. But it’s never really cold enough for a scarf down here in the south. I have lots of unfinished cross stitch projects, some from elementary school…I don’t even think cross stitch is in fashion anymore. I should get rid of them.

  8. Yep, tried the crochet / knitting deal as well. I’m one of those folks that needs someone close by when trying anything crafty – someone that has a lot more experience than I do. I wasn’t even looking to do anything tricky, just a simple blanket. Still have all the yarn & needles in a box…somewhere. Probably should just declutter it. I also have a 45 yr old Singer sewing machine that was handed down to me from my husband’s grandmother – mint condition – original book, original everything. She used it to make all kinds of things up until she had a stroke a few years back. Still sitting in my closet because I just can’t figure out how to use it – still need someone close by as a guide to help me out. I won’t be getting rid of it anytime soon but I hate that it’s not being used for good purposes.

    And my photos & videos will always & forever be an unfinished project…at least until my kids are out of the house!!

    Vicki´s last blog post..Epson Artisan 800 Printer

  9. I love scarves, they always seem easier to finish.

    Laura, I definitely think you should add the “I quit. Love, Laura” note to the back. It’s perfect.

  10. I spent 8 years on a cross-stitch project as a gift to my mother. Eight years. I made the mistake of telling her about it, so every time I thought I was off the hook, she’d remember and ask me how it was coming. I picked a cat design because the cat looked exactly like the one my mom had just adopted. Over the years, I dragged the thing from apartment to apartment, got it dirty, put a permanent circular crease on it by leaving the thingie on too long. By the time it was over, the cat had long been dead, so it became a kind of memorial. After finally unloading it, I quit cross-stitching for good.

  11. Oh wow, Elizabeth! Ok, these stories are really making me feel better. :)

  12. I’ve knitted since I was eight. My aunt taught me, and when I was primary, they used to have the girls knit. So, it’s been a long tradition for me. I also crochet. I think they’re both fantastic hobbies. I took up cross-stitching before it was popular and I have given my sisters (5 of them) each a picture. In case you can’t tell, I love crafts!

    Geri´s last blog post..Essential Oils for Rosacea Sufferers

  13. I recently blogged about my quest to become a knitter and how it ended before it got started because of the horror that is casting on! Thanks for the fun post and for letting me know I’m not alone in my non-knittingness. Love your blog!

    Erin´s last blog post..Can Christmas Change the World [again]?

  14. Oh my… I have the issue of having ‘spurts’. I’ll go through a month or two where I just crochet and crochet and crochet and I get lots done (I even finished a whole afghan in one summer, granted I was working a desk job with very quiet phones and an awesome boss). Then I won’t touch a crochet hook for literally, years. I still have a rose blanket that I started when I think I had been dating my husband for about a year, I wanted it for our wedding… we got married six months ago and celebrated our four year dating anniversary last month. O.o
    I think the real killer for those projects are the ones that have lots of pieces. That’s why scarves (and the afghan I made for DH) were so easy and get done, it’s just one big piece. I think the only other project I’ve completed in a timely manner that turned out well was a kid’s poncho (let me tell you… so friggin’ cute!! You have to make one/commission a friend to make one for Lane, she would look ADORABLE in it).
    By the by, your little one is honestly one of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen, she has the best facial expressions. :-)

  15. I have 2 unfinished cross-stitch projects. They were supposed to be gifts for the 2 sisters of my then boyfriend. We broke up in 1995. Needless to say, they remain unfinished.

    I also buy Christmas fabric at the post-Christmas sales every year with the idea of making an advent quilt. I’ve been doing this for about 5 years and have yet to begin making the quilt.

    Holly´s last blog post..Picture Tagged

  16. *snort* All I HAVE are unfinished projects! Seriously! I want to be a knitter so badly, but apparently not badly enough to really commit to it. I have three unfinished scarves on needles. The only project I ever “finished” actually started out as a scarf and then I got bored and turned into a baby doll blanket.

    I am so thoroughly encouraged to hear that someone as crafty and gifted as you are also struggles in the knitting/crochet area!

    I do have to say the one book that helped me the most is Debbie Stoller’s Stitch and B*tch (sorry everyone! I know this is a family blog! but that’s really the name of the book!!). It has funny, charming, and very beginner friendly instructions. In fact, I may just take up the needles again this winter because clearly I forgot how chilly things can be once you cross the Red River headed north.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Doug, and pretty Miss Lane!

  17. Yes, I boxed them all up and took them down to the local nursing home which gladly takes craft items for the residents, it was fun, as I was carting the stuff in they were all coming up to look at it! I know that they will actually probably get there projects done, and they will probably look better than when I attempted to do them!

    rdzins´s last blog post..The giving tree

  18. You are cracking me up! I am a knitter, but NOT a sewer. I took a sewing course this past January and I HATED it. I mean, really hated it. I do not have patience to do that kind of stuff. I found it to be extremely tedious and had no joy in the making of anything I did. I quit after four classes so I can say I quit that. I love to knit, but I don’t know if I want to ever learn how to crochet now that I know how to knit ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving, Rachel!

    amy´s last blog post..5 Tips for Great Photography Straight From A Pro

  19. I totally regret getting rid of the unfinished sweater I was working on for my baby nephew. I was in college. Had just learn to knit. Put it down in favor of mindless hats and years later gave it – half finished – and all its yarn to the thirft store. He is sixteen now and I have babies of my own to knit for… Just something about that first little sweater is sticking with me…
    Go on… sit on the couch while Dad reads stories to the little one and sew all those little coasters together! You won’t regret it!

    Dawn´s last blog post..Sleepy Slushy

  20. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving today!

  21. Oh my dear! In addition to the bin of unknitted yarn, I have a bin of unfinished projects; I think every knitter does. Most of them are really close to being done, but I lose interest, or feel like I need help.

    I also find that my interest in knitting comes and goes; I enjoy it more when the weather is cold.

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Holidays by Hand: Stash Knitting Projects

  22. I really like “rdzins” idea of taking the unfinished, or not even started projects to a nursing home–Lord knows I’m never going to get around to all the stuff on my plate I like to call life.

    I absolutely love this site, I look forward to opening my email and seeing…Today’s Feature from Small Notebook. I have so many things on my list of where I want to be with my life and reading ideas and stories from other people has really helped me stay focused on simplifying my life, reducing debt and just being a happier person.

    Thank you Rachel, and all the other people that make comments and posts.

  23. Only the scrapbook I was planning for my brother’s 30th birthday. Yeah, he is 33. Such a quitter (although I regularly claim I am going to “finish” it and my hubby laughs hysterically every time).

    Dani´s last blog post..The One Where My Mom and I Decide to Go Into Business Together…

  24. *sigh* I’m not even in the Knitter Quitter category. To get there you have to at least start, or think about starting a project right?!
    If I want anything knitted or crocheted (like the rug for my best friend’s birthday) I go straight to my Mum- the master of all things you can do with needles and hooks!

    I never ever take any credit for the work, only for the colour selection and pattern choice :)

    I know I should learn (I’m not a patient person…), mainly because it’s a skill I feel needs to be passed on through generations but also because I love the fact that each piece has a story and was made with love, usually by someone you know and love right back.

    Meegan @ Harveys at Home´s last blog post..Conversations with Owen

  25. Hey Rachel. I too have about 140 coasters that I crocheted YEARS ago that have yet to be stitched together to become an afghan. The afghan was for our wedding and we have now been married almost 14 years. I think the colors are out of style by now! Glad to know that I am not the only one.

  26. A friend of mine wanted desperately to knit so she put an add in the freecycle web page – wanted – someone to teach me to knit. She had many replies and now can not only knit but has a new friend as well. just a thought.

    Margaret´s last blog post..I’ve Been Tagged!!!

  27. I have a flyfishing cross stitch project I was making for my husband 15 years ago and never finished. I can’t stand it now. I don’t even like to cross stitch anymore. I need to finish it. Hmmmm, maybe that should be a new year’s resolution and I can finally get that monkey off my back!

    Lisa´s last blog post..Thanksgiving Family Reunion

  28. I think my brother finally caught on to me and quit answering his phone when I’d call because I kept begging him to come over and thread my sewing machine for me. The sewing wasn’t so bad, it was just threading it that gets me every time. He’s an architect so he’s good at translating drawings (from the instruction manual) into reality. Once I didn’t have him around, the sewing machine got put into an extended time-out in the corner of my office/craft room.

    A few months ago a friend called me and said, “Kasey, I am so sorry I’ve had your sewing machine for so long.”

    “What?” I said.

    “Your sewing machine- remember, I borrowed it three months ago?”

    “Oh. You did? I didn’t notice.”

    “Oh. Well, Shari wanted to know if she could use it for something because her machine is broken- can I just take it over to her?” she asked.

    “Uhh…yeah, sure,” I said, glancing into the sewing machine’s time-out corner to see, to my surprise, that indeed there was no machine there.

    “Okay…um, thanks.”

    You can see how much I missed my sewing machine when it was gone. I can knit, I can do paper crafting and scrapbooking, I can do blogging…maybe someday I’ll do sewing. And until then, at least my friends have rescued my poor machine from an indefinite time-out.

    KaseyQ´s last blog post..Makeover Monday: Falling Into the Holidays!

  29. I’m with you. My mother taught me how to crochet and she is really good at it. However I can never finish anything I start. The most I can do is help make the roses for her famous rose blanket. Although, I do have to admit that the reason I can’t finish is because I have rheumatoid arthritis and I crochet very tightly so it takes quite a toll on my knuckles. Also for some reason, I learned to hold my crochet needle in a different way than my mother. However I do still cross stitch, and I can finish those (as long as they are not very long).

    Mel @Mama4Kids´s last blog post..15 Days of Marketing by Jessica Knows ~ Day 1

  30. Do you live anywhere near north Georgia? I’d love to show you how to knit! I’ve never failed at teaching someone yet … sometimes you just need to sit with an experienced knitter! Such a person could also touch your crocheted hat (which really is adorable!) and explain why your daughter didn’t enjoy wearing it. Could be the fiber, the density of the fabric or both!

    Mary´s last blog post..Consider adding a taste of Savannah to your Thanksgiving menu …

  31. I suppose I’ve been a quitter when it comes to knitting and a few other crafts. But I’m determined to learn it for once and for all! I’ve got a “Dummies Knitting” book, and others — plus the necessary gear and advice from someone who knows how to get started. I can kind of make a slip knot and “cast on”. But I may have to go for the heavy back up artillery — FINALLY — TAKE A CLASS! :)

    Suzy´s last blog post..~ Happy Holidays ~

  32. try the knitting and crochet community over at http://www.ravelry.com
    its a great place to meet other crocheters, knitters etc and their work…