The Sneak-off Projects

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There are chores to do…washing up, laundry, weeding, hoovering, a wipe round of sinks. Oh my why am I making this list? It all needs doing! Opening doom laden brown envelopes…sorting school uniform… all stuff that needs doing…some that really does need doing now… and what would I like to do? Yes my current crochet project is calling me. Rather loudly I might say.

My current project is the perfect kind of project – a sneak-off project. If you are a regular crafter you will immediately recognise the type – or have memories of the feeling.

Let me explain. There are some craft projects that you start full of enthusiasm, full of vigour and then…then you make a mistake. Suddenly all that ripping back and remaking takes the shine off a previously captivating design.

There are some that quite frankly just plain boring. They begin to languish in a hidden project bag. In fact to assuage the guilt – you begin to hide the project bag. But it begins to peep out and stare at you from the corner of the room. You can’t quite decide whether it would be easier to rip it all back and use the yarn for something else – or just leave it for another 2 months, 6 months….2 years.

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Then there are ‘promise-to’ projects that you seem to be a slave to – often a sort of loose commission – a jumper, hat, baby blanket that needs to be finished for the imminent celebration or arrival. Knowing that you need to knuckle down and finish the gift, you begin to find distraction techniques to avoid having to get on with the make. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, cleaning the oven seems the most important thing to do rather than your relaxing hobby. You mutter to yourself…’never again, never again, I will never make a blanket for another relative however much they flatter me with … Oh but you make them so beautifully… I will retort…buy one from the supermarket!’ You don’t of course, but only remember your previous resolution when you hands are aching again from the almost sweat-shop speed of crafting.

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But the goal – the ‘once a year’ rarity is the ‘sneak off’ project. This is the most joyful combination of relaxing familiarity with enough interest in it to keep you inspired. You will like the colours and and the pattern. Once you have done just a little you will enjoy setting it down on your lap to admire the pattern and the stitches. You will enjoy this so much that you might admire your progress perhaps once an hour, maybe more. You will know immediately that once finished this item will not be gifted to anyone else. This is a ‘me’ project. Then it will start to happen, you will begin thinking about sneaking off and working on your project when really you should be doing something else – quiet joyful satisfaction. Outside lockdown you might be invited to a social occasion and think twice about whether you want to go…because you had planned a whole evening of crafting.

I have a ‘Sneak-off’ project at the moment. I know aren’t I lucky? It is a growing stash-busting hexagon blanket. The motifs are standard enough. A plain treble hexagon of 4 rows. I can’t conjure up what prompted me to start. What I do know is that I wanted to make something pretty – go to a pastel place. I have called it ‘The Spring Garden Hexagon Blanket’ – it has a freshness of the the early garden season. What is unusual and shouldn’t be shared is that I am combining two different yarn weights; 4 ply and almost as sports weight DK. I had a rather expensive hand-dyed 4ply sock yarn languishing in storage for too long. The base colour is a rather joyful pink, but there are flecks of green and yellow which peek through. I decided it would make a beautiful centre of the motif – and it does. I then have used some Stylecraft yarns Bellissima and Bambino which is in my stash for the following rounds. At this moment in time I am not sure how large I will make it. Perhaps the size of a British Single Bed – but that works well draped at the bottom of a Kingsize bed. This weekend I plan to sneak-off several times to add a few more rows. Utter bliss.

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What are you sneak-off projects? Do you have a favourite from years past? Perhaps all your crochet or knitting fits into this category. I would love to know.

Yarn Colours – The sock yarn is a discontinued colour – but an equivalent would be West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Flamingo. I have also used the following colours in Stylecraft Bellissima – Single Cream, Mellow Yellow, Double Denim, Overly Olive and Precious Posy. I have also used Bambino (it is the same yarn) Little Boy Blue, Heather and Sage.

Have a Happy Crafting Weekend!

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