How crochet makes us better…

Crochet hands, how crochet makes us better

How crochet makes us better

It’s funny to think that something as simple as crocheting could make us better, but the other day as I was thinking about crochet and how it’s affected my life, it definitely has made me better. So, I started to do some research and what I found was how crochet has made others’ lives better also. First I came across this article from Lion Brand Yarn that had their customers answer the question “How knitting or crochet makes you better.” The top answers were moving. I found that it helped others connect, some get through grief and others just found a way to say “I love you” without saying a word. Wow!


Then, there’s Kathryn’s book Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Crochet I haven’t read it yet, but I know that Katherine was on the brink of suicide and crochet gave her the calming peace she needed to find her way back. She’s the brilliant crocheter behind Crochet Concupiscence, a wonderful website full of crochet information and inspiration. Kathryn is doing wonderful things in the community. What a loss it would have been if Kathryn hadn’t found crochet. Our stories don’t have to be dramatic for us to know that crochet has made us better in some way.

When I think about my experience, I find that crochet has made me more willing to make mistakes, learn, grow and move forward. When I crochet I will make mistakes, so I frog and restart as many times  as needed. That has translated into my life. I know I will make mistakes, but without mistakes I won’t learn and grow, so I’m now more willing to accept my failures, learn and move beyond them. Although I could find many other ways to show how crochet has changed me I’d rather hear from you. . .

Your challenge

Tell me in the comments below how crochet has made you better. What have you learned in your crochet journey that has translated to something better in your life in general? At the end of next week (April 5th) I will select the top 5 comments and feature them in a video entitled “How Crochet Makes us Better” on my YouTube channel. I can’t wait to hear your amazing stories!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this post! It makes me happy to hear other people’s stories and know I’m not the only crazy one.

    I am under a lot of stress because of my job and my health. Crochet helps calm me. I find much more often that I reach for a ball of yarn to handle my stress instead of other things that contribute to my poor health. I still have a long way to go, but through crochet I feel like I’m starting a journey.

  2. One of the ways crochet has helped me throughout my life (my grandmother taught me when I was 7 and I’m now 45) is it has made me develop patience. Your hands can only move so fast, that you have to persevere and patiently wait until you finish. It isn’t an easily recognised (by modern standards) instant gratification in that the item is finished immediately, although for me the instant gratification is making each stitch.

    Other ways crochet enriches my life are that it brings peace, contentment and introspection to my days. Sitting quietly with crochet in hand is an excellent way to have time to gather your mental energy, let thoughts flow through your mind and focus on positives. I get great joy out of teaching someone to crochet, then weeks, months or years later having them proudly show me their completed projects they have made for their loved ones.

    Since I take crochet with me practically everywhere, all those little normally wasted moments of time waiting in line or at an appointment, etc have value as I whip out my crochet for a few stitches. Even if it is a simple dishcloth, I’m adding value to my minutes waiting and thereby to my finite time here on Earth.

    • I love this! You are so right when you say it allows your mind to let your thoughts flow and focus on positives. I also love that you bring it everywhere, it surely does fill the smallest of time slots. Thank you for your comment Holly! Happy hooking!

    • Good points, Holly! I also find that crocheting in public is a good conversation starter.

  3. I love crochet for the creative outlet it provides, the sense of accomplishment and capability it gives me, and for the calm & peace I find in it. These are things that have made me healthier, mentally and physically.

  4. Marty Kloc says:

    Ive been crocheting since I was 12….Im now 54, but I rarely finished any projects and only crocheted when everything was calm and I had time….but then in 2007 I lost my husband unexpectedly, lost my job in 2008, had 3 rapid succession knee surgeries and finally a catastrophic illness in which I was hospitalized for 5 months and left disabled. If it werent for crochet Im not sure I would have pulled through….it kept me from being majorly depressed, gave me something to look forward to and beautiful patterns and items to make. I now finish every project, sell my crochet and participate in craft shows each year, receive numerous compliments and have gained a sense of balance back in my life. Each year I participate in Angel Networks at the holidays and the appreciation from others with less…is overwhelming…I get up each day with gusto to see what I possibly can make today and look forward to it!

  5. I have also found it to be very calming (mostly, unless I get super frustrated with the piece I’m working on =) ). Having small twins and working part time, life is pretty chaotic, but crocheting gives me this sense of accomplishment when I finish something, especially when it turns out exactly the way I want it. And when other people enjoy the work I’ve done for them, that’s also a great feeling. I call crocheting my catharsis.

  6. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a little girl. Back in the day when there was no cable TV or video games. My sister and I would sew together fabric strips that grandma had cut from old clothing and sheets. We would make rag rugs from those strips. Chain after chain and single crochet after single crochet. I let it go as I got into my teen years and then picked it up again when I was expecting my daughter. I let it go again for years until my daughter wanted to make a scarf for her boyfriend and asked for my help. She ultimately decided that crochet was not for her but it put me on a road to crochet bliss that I had never experienced before. I recently completed a crocheted coat for my mother. My biggest project to date and she has actually worn it! Crochet put me back in touch with the creativity that was dormant for many years and also sparked a desire to tap into other creative avenues such as writing and drawing. I had no idea how helping with a scarf could lead to the wonderful fun that I have been having. I feel like crochet has challenged me to be more patient and the meditative aspect gives me respite from the hectic workaday world!

  7. HookedonCrochet says:

    Hi! Crochet has definitely saved my life! 7 months ago I was raped and didn’t know what to do. I closed myself off and stopped socializing with people. Then, I started to crochet again. I had taught myself to knit and crochet when I was 9 years old, but stopped once I started high school. In college I would just crochet a little bit. However, since my abuse I have crocheted so much! I enjoy sitting down and teaching myself new stitches and patterns. I feel like I’m still important and I can still accomplish something good in my life (like a baby blanket or hat). I love crocheting gifts for friends and family. It has also helped me interact with other women (I’ve joined my local “Stitch and B!tch” Group). Similar to Kathryn, crochet literally saved my life. There is something so special, calming, rewarding, and wonderful about crocheting. I’m slowly but surely healing and recovering because of this craft!

    • Wow! Thank you so much for sharing something so personal. I am so thankful to know that you are recovering and finding that crochet is a big part of that. Isn’t is something when the calming and healing comes from a simple hook and yarn? Thank you again for sharing.

  8. Crocheting has defenitely helped me in several ways. It has helped me deal with my battle with depression. After having my two young children, I somehow lost touch with whom I really am and started thinking that all I am is a great mother. My husband’s verbal abuse has not made it any better. One day, I decided to learn how to crochet and started looking for local crocheting classes but no one was offering them. So, I ended up teaching myself through online crocheting tutorials. As a result, I not only gained a new skill, but improved self – esteem. I thank God everyday for bringing that ball of yarn and hook into my life because it has made me become a better woman!

  9. Christine S. says:

    My aunt taught me how to crochet when I was 5. It was my passion, and no matter how frantic my life would get, I always found time to crochet. At the beginning of 2006, I found myself facing great financial difficulties. Whenever I looked in the mirror, I saw a failure. By the end of 2006, I was in the midst of a foreclosure. I packed as much of my belongings that I could in my little car (including my yarn and my crocheting hooks) and moved in with my parents who lived 4 hours away. I spent most of my days in solitude, away from family and friends, convinced that they viewed me as a failure. The only thing that gave me any comfort was crocheting! I soon had an inventory of baby blankets and began giving them away, until one day someone suggested that I sell them. I had no idea how to do that, so I started out on eBay. The blanket sold within a few hours. For the first time in months, I didn’t feel like such a failure. I began making more items and putting them on-line, and they always sold!!! Soon, as I was holding lessons at churches, designing my own pieces and starting my own side business. If crochet was not in my life, I’m not sure how I would have bounced back from such a devastating setback in my life.

    • What a wonderful inspiring story Christine! Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so glad that crochet has been there for you.

  10. Christine S. says:

    P.S. It taught me the value of perseverance!

  11. Thank you for sharing this. I have crafted (including knitting and crocheting) on and off since I was little. Growing up, if I get angry and threw temper tantrums, I storm off to my room and calm myself down, and when I refuse to come out of my room, I would sit at my little table and either draw, hand sew, or bead seed beads on string or pins. As I got older, my mom taught me how to operate a sewing machine, knit, crochet, embroidery and even tend a garden. I even worked at a crafts store for four and half years in my single years. Shortly after meeting my now-husband, my MIL was so shocked to find out that I do crafts that she sure loved me for not just crafting, but for smartening up my rebellious husband LOL. When I became a mom, postpartum depression got the best of me that not only I do meditate and do yoga, but crocheting, knitting and sewing helped me get through it. Even my sons loved what I make for them (they are never afraid to show off their beanie hats and mitts!) But now that both my mom and MIL are gone, it is just my dad and husband enjoying watching me craft. Even my widower FIL holding the box of yarn for me to pick up.

  12. My mother in law taught me the basic’s of crochet and made a few things for my son when he was little (not so little anymore….6’3″ and 36 years old), It slipped away from me for quite some time, then when my mother was in her late stages of her illness and I needed to stay with her more and more, I picked it up again and it not only helped me keep calm, but I found peace in my heart as well. That was more than 10 years ago and I have not put my hook down since! It has seen me through many disasters in my life…taking custody of 3 of my grandchildren while going through a bad divorce and loosing both my full time and part time jobs! I have started to teach the older grandchildren the basics to help them bring peace to their lives as well!

  13. I taught myself to crochet when I was in my early 20s. I’m left handed so the knitting needles were hard for me to master when everything was written for the right handed person. Crochet was so much easier for me. I put the hooks down for a long time while I pursued my career and raised my two boys. I explored other crafts: tole painting, cross-stitch, stained glass…but nothing was quite as calming and soothing as crochet. I love the feel of the yarn. I raise alpacas now and have their fiber made into yarn for me and have even tried some hand spinning on a drop spindle and spinning wheel. I have begun to develop some arthritis in my hands and the crocheting helps to ease the pain and keep them limber. i have also read that crochet is a therapeutic activity for Alzheimer patients. I have a family history on my mother’s side of the family, so I have that fear. With crochet as one of my strategies, I plan to keep my mind active into my later years. i have also had a weight problem most of my life and recently taken off 40#s. Keeping my hands busy with crochet keeps them out of the cookie jar!

  14. Kim R. Bermudez says:

    How crochet has made ME better? Well as I reflect on my life, I’ve realized that one constant calm during the storms has been my ability to crochet! During rebuilding my life after becoming a single mom, crochet has been a reliable/theraputic/true soothing balm to my soul .And inadvertantly helped me to earn a little money to make ends meet! While I was my mother’s caregiver as she battled Alzheimer’s, crochet brought us close together as she encouraged me, even dared me to be more artistic and brave with my talent! I learned new stitches, created new patterns for myself and designed all kinds of items for family/friends/loved ones. After being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 6 years ago, crochet helped to keep me sane in my cluttered/insane mind! It taught me to live in the moment and get out of my head! Now as I journey into this brave new world fo being Fabulous At Fifty, I have a God given talent that has served me as a cure-all for my spirit! Thank God for Crochet!

  15. My granny taught me to crochet as a young girl. It took a lot of patience on her part since I’m left handed and she is right but she managed. We crocheted all the time and she always marveled over my left handed stitches. It made me feel special. Then around age 12 I developed an allergy to yarn. We didn’t have the variety in yarn back then that is readily available now so eventually I just quit.

    Decades later I was trying to survive an abusive marriage. I began to crochet. It kept my mouth shut, my focus on The Lord, and a sense of accomplishment that helped relieve the failure of my marriage.

    Once I found my way out of that marriage I found my way into serious health trouble. I ended up in a coma. My family was told that I wouldn’t make it and plans should be made for my daughter’s custody. Thing is when doctors first meet you when you are in a coma they don’t who you are or your strength.

    I obviously made it. I had to learn how to do everything again. Swallow, walk, even think in the simplest terms. But no one had to teach me to crochet. I slept little and crocheted a lot because I knew how to do that without help. Only one thing had changed in my crocheting. I now crochet right handed. The doctors can’t explain this but I think I can.

    I couldn’t remember the things I was taught. My granny taught me to crochet left handed but I spent many more hours watching her crochet right handed. God gave me crochet to save my sanity, rebuild my motor skills, reconnect my brain to math, stretch my creativity, offer ample hours to pray, and most importantly, to always know that I am loved and this life is worth fighting for just for that reason alone.

    • Wow Lora, thank you so much for sharing such an amazing story with us! So thankful God gave you crochet and your very special granny.

  16. I learned how to crochet as a child, but didn’t really have much time for it until I became an “empty nester”. Then I was delighted with making decorative items with the finest threads available. In 2007 I had a stroke and was completely paralyzed on the right side. As soon as I could, I picked up a crochet hook and to my utter dismay I couldn’t do it. So I switched to yarn, and began making baby blankets, muffler scarves and hats, granny squares to assemble into larger blankets and the like. It worked and along with physical therapy, I regained full range of motion, and most of my former strength. I still can’t work with the fine cotton threads, but I can do yarn just fine!

  17. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being an artist. I visualized things in my head that I longed to make a reality, I saw the world and wanted to impress my individuality on it. My mother started me on the hook when I was about 10 years old, in the apartment of my grandmother, who also crocheted in her later years. Crochet came to me the same way that it came to many others like me – as a tradition.

    Fiber arts are so deeply related to human history, and one need only look at our language to prove it. Phrases like “Moral fiber” “Woolgathering” “Fabric of the Universe” are testament to how humanity has learned from working with fiber. Fiber and the human view of the world are “intertwined.”

    Crochet was one of my first skills, and from crocheting I learned to stop fearing my mistakes. It took me a long time to work up the courage to try anything other than a simple single crochet stitch – but once I did, I realized that it was easy and I had wasted time letting my doubts and insecurities stand in my way. I learned a meditative mindset while working with the hook, and I learned that to create big and beautiful works of art takes many hours of hard, sometimes dull work – but that the end result would make that tedious work a very, very small price to pay.

    The fiber itself speaks volumes in life lessons – yarn starts as soft, fragile, easily broken strands, and becomes strong through a series of trials. Yarn has strength because it is individual strands joined together. It’s also a little twisted (and I’m here to tell you, it helps to be a little twisted).

    Working with fiber has given me insights into life, has given me a new element to my spirituality, and has introduced me to new and wonderful people. Most of all, crocheting and other fiber arts have given me a medium for self-expression in creating things that are both useful and beautiful. I think this last reason is why fiber arts has been such an important tradition for countless generations.

  18. I take my crochet everywhere when I think I might have to wait. While waiting for a bus, riding on that bus, waiting at the doctors office, in the unemployment office, the labour office, all those places where one has to wait in line for a long time used to bore me, upset me, make me grumpy, but now all that has changed. Since I take my crochet along, I feel like that stupid waiting has turned in a useful work/pleasure time during which I create something nice. And the secondary effect is that it has become a very good “icebreaker” to start talking to new people, very often strange ladies come and ask what It will become, or even give tips as to how they do it. And even men are intrigued when they see my hook flash past there eyes and then they too start talking to me so it has opened up a whole social aspect. I always feels happy when that happens, when people finally make contact with total strangers and all that with a smile on their face! <3

  19. Sedie, How did you pick just 5 entrys? Every single one was amazing!

    I’ve been doing crochet since knee high. My Mother did it, but a family friend, who knit so gorgeously, tried to teach me knitting and somehow realized crochet was my cup o’ tea. She gave me her books (which I still have her ‘bible’ of stitches) and pointed me in the right direction. My first ‘big’ project was lacy cuffs and collars (!!), which turned out very well. I wore them and made several sets as gifts, too. I made many projects that I put down for years (literally) and have been finishing later. I also have found unfinished projects of other folks that I was able to finish for their familys’ enjoyment.
    I made blankets and hats and sweaters for my kids, booties and slippers and an occasional doily, too.
    Now I make Plarn bags and dishscrubbies, which I have been trying to sell. I was asked to provide some for a consignment store in my town, which are getting worked on (I am sewing liners and pockets from vintage barkcloth and feedsack material into them) this spring. We’ll see how that goes.

    • It was VERY hard to pick just 5 which is why I’m considering doing a book pulling them all together. . . stay tuned!

“Hi! Just wanted to say that you did a GREAT job of explaining the HDC (half double crochet) edging for a single crochet blanket in your YouTube video. Thank you so much! God Bless” - Donna M.
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