Bethany Johnson learned crochet a few years ago and has been enjoying the craft ever since. She shares her story here.
Tell us a bit about yourself …
I am 28 years old from Perth, Western Australia and I LOVE to crochet!
When did you learn to crochet?
I learned to crochet in July 2014. I had tried to do it earlier but I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Then one day O wanted to make a Minnie mouse beanie. I couldn’t knit, but I thought I could finally learn to crochet, so I went on YouTube and practiced until I got it right.
How has crochet helped you?
At first I didn’t think crochet did very much for my health until someone commented on how happy I was. They asked what I had been doing. Shortly after that I was crocheting one night and I realized that I was smiling, and I was not thinking of everything bad that was happening around me. I was calm and happy and noticed that concentrating on my project was what was making me this way.
So then you began to see it as healing?
Yes, crochet helps with my stress and my depression, anxiety, and sleep insomnia. After every project I always look for something more challenging as I like a project that gets my brain off of everything else in life. If it weren’t for teaching myself crochet, I’m not sure what I would do with my time. How one hook and a bit of wool can change a mood is amazing.
Where do you crochet?
I usually crochet while watching tv shows, either on the television or on the computer. I tend to do it at night and during the day whilst looking after two of my three children.
Have you gotten support from others for your crafting?
The support I get is from my friends and family when they ask me to make them things and they give me encouraging words and help. The main support I get is from my husband who will get me anything that I need. It helps with the healing benefit for me as it keeps me calm and happy; I don’t upset anyone with what I’m doing.
Have you ever taught anyone else to crochet?
Yes, I taught my niece to single crochet.
What types of crochet projects do you find most healing and why?
I find blankets the most helpful as they are long projects they can be repetitive but I also like projects that are complicated and keep my mind on task so I can un-busy my thoughts.
Who do you typically crochet for?
My family; it keeps me happy seeing the way they react and are so appreciative of what I have made.
What is one special item that you have crocheted?
I have made a cross bookmark for my niece’s first holy communion. It was her best gift as it was the cross and it was handmade. It was a split second decision make that no one knew about.
What do you do in addition to crochet to stay healthy?
I walk to clear my mind and I try to keep myself fit.
What is the number one reason that you crochet?
It is something that I have found I can do. It has pulled me out of a dark place and now I am seeing that the things I am making are making other people happy. I also find it fun and only I know how to do it at the moment so it’s something special for me.