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Whether you’re a professional working on a deadline, or you just have to get that one holiday gift done, at some point, you’ll find yourself having a marathon session to finish stitching up a project. Here are some tips for powering through:

1. Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water for good hand health. Avoid caffeinated drinks- they dehydrate.

2. Take Frequent Small Breaks to Stretch Your Hands – I’ll stop every 45 minutes or so and throw in a load of laundry

3. Use Something Else to Keep You Focused – Watching a tv show or listening to an audio book can keep you focused, and your hands working, longer than you might otherwise.

4. Break Out The Scented Lotion – If you feel your energy dragging, break out a scented hand lotion. I find that the aroma of lemongrass gives me an extra kick of energy. (If you do this, make sure the recipient of the piece isn’t sensitive to scents/perfumes, as some might transfer to the yarn).

5. Reward Yourself – The good feeling of a job well-done doesn’t have to be your only reward. Decide to treat yourself to something (a piece of chocolate, a manicure, etc) when the project is done.