A lot has been written about the benefits of crafting. Crafting keeps your memory strong. It helps reduce stress. It can even be used as physiotherapy.
Today I want to talk about one of my absolute favourite crafts, crochet.
Crochet can look impressive. The intricate lace tablecloths and blankets can be daunting. Crochet looks impressive but it is actually quite easy. The key is how many times you wrap the yarn around the hook and how you wrap it.
For a long time crochet and knitting were dying arts. Several years ago I looked into why there was a sudden increase in patterns, pattern books and yarn shops. This was before I even knew about the internet sites. It seems that younger women and men were tired of throw away purchases and decided they wanted to make things that would last. I am eternally grateful for this shift.
The following is a quote from my favourite wellness publisher Rodale. “A crochet pattern with a repetitive motion helps to instill a soothing feeling in the body and mind, serving as a form of meditation.”
For anyone that has crocheted this is a given. There is a certain peace in doing a repetitive pattern. You slip into a place where there is no time or space. Only the next stitch has meaning. A repetitive pattern can include intricate lace so it is not boring.
Serotonin and Physical Benefits
In addition to the meditative quality of crochet there is a physical quality as well. When you crochet your body releases serotonin. This is a powerful pain killer for things such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
Crochet keeps you from thinking about the pain because you will be following a pattern. It has also been recommended for depression because it keeps you out of your repetitive thought processes.
Crochet keeps your hands limber. The constant movement of crochet helps keep your hands flexible. About 10 years ago I badly shattered my baby finger. When it had healed, sort of, I was sent to a hand specialist to decide on my physiotherapy routine. He asked me to close my hand. When I did he was stunned. I had 100% range of motion. When he asked what I had done I told him crochet. He was impressed.
A study done in 2011 by Yonas E. Geda at the Mayo Clinic showed that knitting and crocheting can help stave off mild cognitive impairment and memory loss. There is a great article in the New York Times here. Although this talks about knitting, the study was on knit and crochet.
Giving and Getting
Crochet has many benefits
One of the greatest benefits is that you have a tangible result. You have a scarf or blanket or hat or basically anything you want to make. These items may be kept, given as gifts or donated to charity.
The other interesting thing that is popular is yarn bombing. This is where you make a cover for a car, a plane, a tank, a statue or some other item that is public. Even buildings are not immune to yarn bombing. Check out images for Yarn Bombing by googling yarn bombing.
My favourite yarn bomb is a recent one. Making scarves and hats and tying them on trees, statues etc with notes saying, “If you are cold and need this take it”. A great way to help others!
Once you are hooked (haha) on crochet you will become like a golfer. Nothing stops you. A friend said she worried about what would happen if she couldn’t knit anymore? I told her that I will keep crafting if I have to learn to do it with my feet or my teeth.