The best thing that came out of publishing my book Crochet Saved My Life was that I started to hear from even more people who had experienced the power of the craft to heal. As these stories come in, I always ask if I can share them here, because I believe that in sharing our stories we help ourselves and we help others. Today I share with you Ineke’s story of crocheting through CFS and fibromyalgia.
The Beginning that Felt Like an End
Ineke had to quit her job about a year ago when her CFS and fibromyalgia got too bad to bear. She had loved her job and was saddened by quitting it but a severe pain in her knees made it impossible to keep going. She was able to eliminate the pain with medication but the meds made her extremely tired, more so than she already was with CFS.
Ineke explains her two conditions:
- CFS not only makes her very tired but also means that she has a low immune system so she’s constantly catching every cold or flu that goes around. She regularly has to cope with infections in kre kidneys, bladder, throat and eyes.
- Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that causes her muscles, knees, angles, elbows, shoulders and fingers to all hurt a lot. She says it’s at its worst when it’s cold outside and can render her unable to walk. She has to stay at home and sleep a lot.
Ineke spent about six months drowning herself in TV series and movies but then she says, “I got tired of doing nothing and started looking for something to keep me occupied and that would make me feel less useless. I started crocheting.”
Crocheting For Others
In the beginning, Ineke made a crochet baby blanket for a friend who was about to give birth. The baby blanket was a white blanket done in waffle stitch. Ineke also crocheted a beautiful pink dahlia flower (using a pattern from YouTube), which she sewed on to the blanket. She was surprised to find that everyone was complimenting her on it. She was proud of the work and excited to be able to create something in this way.
“All of my friends who were at the hospital when i gave the blanket to the friend who gave birth were like ‘OMG it’s so cute, make one for me when I get pregnant!’ So I already had to make a second one! This got me thinking i wanted to make something else.”
So she continued to crochet …
Ineke recently decided to try to make her crochet work even more useful by opening an Etsy shop called LittleStitchingWitch where she sells crochet scarves. She was encouraged to do so by her boyfriend who she says has been very supportive of her crafting and very encouraging about her work.
Ineke says that she wans to start making boots and bicycle bells with crochet around them. She would also like to try to make big blankets with granny squares and lots of crochet flowers. She says:
“I don’t hope to make a fortune on Etsy. I keep my prices fairly low. I would also like to trade on Etsy. I just want to keep busy and make nice things that others can appreciate. I want people to know that everything I make is made with so much love; I just put all of my heart into it and it makes me so happy to see the final result and think that someone is going to want it and see the beauty in it.”
Ineke had learned to crochet as a child and has always been a creative person. She got a diploma in interior design but in the early stages of her CFS she began to get allergic to nearly everything (although she didn’t know about her CFS at the time). Paint, latex, nuts … allergies seemed to come out of nowhere.
Ineke says about crochet:
“Crochet helps me because it keeps me occupied. I have a result to look at, so it seems like I have acomplished something. I feel less useless, and it’s just fun to do. I like looking up fun things to make and to try and to learn new stitches all the time.
My favorite things to crochet are scarves and hats. I’ve started crocheting freeform jewelry now and that’s fun because you never know how it’s gonna look in the end. I can choose whatever I want to do with crochet; it’s just so free.”
It’ll be great to see what Ineke works on in this new year!