I was recently interviewed about crochet, health and my new book Crochet Saved My Life by Nicole Ramage of The Portland Examiner. One of the questions she asked me got me thinking about which types of crochet patterns or techniques are most healing for people.
Nicole asked me:
“Was there a specific pattern or thing you crocheted that helped you the most?”
“The most healing thing for me is usually a simple repetitive stitch pattern that doesn’t require much focus or though. I crochet a lot of large granny square blankets, beispielsweise. This allows me to get into a very meditative space, offering my mind a break from ruminating on its problems. It serves as a path to mindfulness, which can be so healing and refreshing.
I will say, however, that there are times when a more intricate pattern is required for me emotionally. In some cases, my mind is just going crazy, and in order to get my mind outside of itself I need a detailed pattern that requires a lot of attention to not make mistakes. I rarely work from patterns but when times like this arise I will do so.”
Simple vs. Complex Projects
So basically what I’ve said here is that sometimes simple patterns are best for me and sometimes more complicated ones are best, depending on exactly what I’m going through and what I need. To elaborate …
I think simple projects are most healing for me when:
- I am in a relatively calm state and want to use crafting to reach an even more meditative place.
- I have a problem I want to mull over. I can physically do the stitching while my mind wanders. There are times when this is a good thing (and times when it’s exactly what I don’t want, so I have to be careful!)
- I’m seeking a serotonin boost. The repetitive nature of the craft releases serotonin, a natural anti-depressant and natural painkiller.
- I’m crafting with others. Crocheting in a group setting can be super healing because it’s a terrific social thing. It’s easier to do if the project your working on doesn’t require too much attention.
I think complex projects are most healing for me when:
- I am in a hyped up or anxious emotional state and need a focused project to take my mind off of itself and bring me to a calmer space.
- I need a self-esteem boost. Learning a new crochet technique or stitch or project type makes me feel good about myself in a way that making one more granny square just doesn’t.
What Do You Think?
I would love to know what other people think about this … what types of projects do you feel give you the most healing benefits and why? Share your answers in the comments!