Mindfulness is a state of being fully aware and immersed in the actions of the present moment. When you are focused on the present, you can’t be upset about things that happened in the past or worrying about things that are going to happen in the future. You can only be right here in this moment experiencing what is happening right in front of you. Mindfulness is frequently used as part of the treatment for many mental health conditions including depression and bipolar disorder.

Crochet can be used to practice mindfulness. By actively focusing on the project in your hands, you can stay in tune with the present moment. This gives your mind and body a much needed break from any stressors in your life and can be a terrific part of a total wellness plan. In my new book, Crochet Saved My Life, I’ve shared six different mindfulness exercises for crocheters. I thought I’d share one of them here with you today.

Simple Mindfulness Exercise for Crocheters

Read through the exercise first then find a quiet space in your home to practice the exercise.

Select a crochet hook and yarn that are both easy to work with. Sit still with your work in your lap. All that you are going to be doing is making a long crochet chain. You will slowly work each loop of the chain, counting each loop as you make it. Focus all of your attention on making one loop at a time and not allowing any other thoughts to creep in. Every time that you notice a thought, frog the chain (meaning just take it apart) and start over.

So, for example, you will start your chain … One loop, two loops … (I’m so annoyed that my check hasn’t gotten direct deposited yet, I really need to go to the bank … oops, I’m thinking, better start over.) … Frog, re-start the chain … One loop, two loops, three loops … (I really like this yarn but it seems like such a waste to be using it for a mindfulness exercise. Damn. I’m thinking again.) Frog and start over.

Try to continue this exercise until you have successfully focused on the loops at hand and let all other thoughts pass to the length of a ten-loop chain. When you are first learning mindfulness, you may only be able to achieve a chain length of five or six. That’s okay. Cut yourself some slack. Mindfulness isn’t easy. We have busy brains.

I would love to hear your experience if you try this exercise!


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. quaternityknits Reply

    Crochet is indeed a form of meditation for me. Hooks and needles are the only things that help me clear my mind. I think that’s why I like to learn complex stitch patterns and new techniques. You can’t really worry about whether you paid the electric bill or returned that phone call while you are keeping track of where to put the next ch3 space. To be successful with a new technique you have to be present in each stitch at least in the learning stage. Crochet can train you to be “in the moment” because once your mind wanders to something else, you mess up and have to frog. I guess that’s why I am always looking to learn new aspects of the craft.

  2. I don’t know if I could do this exercise – I think it would drive me nuts. :)

    If you participate in blog awards – I have an award for you on my crafts blog – http://dlyscraftsandstuff.blogspot.com/

  3. Elisabeth Andree Reply

    Oh my, I recognize this exercise, because it looks very much like an exercise that I often did. It works really good, so I recommend it to anyone! Great post, Kathryn!

    • CrochetBlogger Reply

      Yes, it is similar to the one you mentioned to me. I think it’s a crocheter’s twist on a common counting exercise that I think works really well for meditation and mindfulness!

    • CrochetBlogger Reply

      Yes, it is similar to the one you mentioned to me. I think it’s a crocheter’s twist on a common counting exercise that I think works really well for meditation and mindfulness!

  4. Pingback: A simple mindfulness exercise for crochetets | MMM… Meditation, Mental health, Mindful crochet

  5. Hi, I’ve just posted link to this on my blog ‘MMM… Meditation, Mental health, Mindful crochet’ at: http://delemares.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/a-simple-mindfulness-exercise-for-crochetets/
    and also mentioned your book. I’ve downloaded a sample on kindle and intend writing a review when I’ve read it. Reading the list of contents, it looks fantastic.
    Thanks for this post; hope you don’t mind my sharing… Sandra

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  9. How did I miss this post!? I’m so glad to have seen a link to it in today’s post, thank you! As a caregiver, this mindfulness exercise is going to be great to use when I stress about all the myriad parts of my mother’s care. My daughter, also a crocheter, uses crochet as a means of working off a build-up of nervous energy from anxiety and ADHD. She’ll find this exercise very useful as well. Thank you!

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  16. FabianaIacovelli Reply

    please, let me translate it to spanish and share it in my FB page (www.facebook.com/fabytatejidoscrochet) with a link to your page :)

    • CrochetBlogger Reply

      @FabianaIacovelli Feel free to sure and just make sure to link back here or to the main page of my book where it was first featured: www.crochetsavedmylife.com

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  18. aclark3012 Reply

    Hi: I love your articles–I can relate to you when you say “crochet saved my life” I have been crocheting since I was 8–I am now 59 and retired and love crocheting and knitting–keep up the work–you are a great encouragement–

  19. Love this! Will try today. Crochet has recently become a huge part of my mental health self care. I truly believe it helps to keep me well :)

    • Kathryn Reply

      So glad to hear that! I have links to lots of resources if you need any help! HUGS.

  20. What a great exercise! I’m going to do this first thing in the morning to see how far I get. I’ve been saying for ages I want to do some sort of mindfulness and this is perfect. I’m going to encourage all my fellow crocheters to try this one. Thank you x

    • Kathryn Reply

      Thanks! I have five other mindfulness crochet exercises in my book, Crochet Saved My Life, and I’ll be including an entire chapter on the topic in my next book, Hook to Heal <3 I think it's so important!

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  23. A couple years ago, we had custody of our tiny granddaughter while her father… our youngest son… was in Afghanistan. Not only was having him in a combat zone…with the 101st…stressful, we hadn’t had a child living with us since he had been here, and he was in his mid thirties at that time! And… we’d only had boys, so suddenly having the house filled with pink ruffles, purple glitter and Tinkerbelle…yeah…culture shock! To keep somewhat sane, I added knitting prayer shawls to my daily routine. My little Peanut ‘helped’ by picking out the yarn colors and buttons, or ribbon, whatever was called for. Then she’d sit and watch me knit… for hours… just watching my hands…? I had her say the prayers with me for our family member or friends who we were knitting for. One day, she asked me if we only made shawls for sick people. I answered that when someone didn’t feel well, or was sad, it was like giving them a hug they can hold on to. My loving little girl asked why we didn’t make them for everyone, not just sick people, and I didn’t have a good answer. She and I started our shawl project… our Hug Shawls… with the goal of giving every woman in our church a shawl. It may take me ten years, but its moving right along. And it has introduced a different type of mindfulness into my life. Instead of praying as I knit for someone to be restored to health and happiness, I pray for each woman in a specific and positive way. Not because they are sick or sad, but for each of them as a person, for their goals, for them to be the person they are here to be, to experience fulfillment in their lives… to be happy! I always have at least three in the works. And I love being able to walk up to someone, and unexpectedly wrap a shawl around their shoulders, for no reason other than because they are there! My Peanut is living half way around the world, enjoying the next few years being the center of her daddy’s world, and far away from war. I’m hoping she’ll be old enough to help make a few of the shawls when they get back home, so she can learn both mindfulness and the happiness of giving someone else a bit of joy at an early age.

  24. KAY BARLEN Reply


    • Kathryn Reply

      Hi Kay,

      I’m not sure what your question is here but I’d be happy to help if I can. You can also find this exercise, and several others on crochet mindfulness, in my book, Crochet Saved My Life. And there are some other knitting mindfulness ideas online as well.


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