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The Benefits of Mindful Crochet

We’ve probably all got a rough idea of what crochet is, but what is mindfulness and how can crochet be mindful?



‘paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you’.

It goes on to describe the benefits of mindfulness to our mental wellbeing. These include increased enjoyment of experiences, alongside helping with the management of stress, depression and anxiety. As well as helping us to relax, mindfulness can help with increased awareness of our thoughts and feelings, and the possible negative impact they might be having on us, which is an important factor in the treatment of depression.


I first became really aware of mindfulness through enjoying BBC Spring Watch on TV. Each programme on this nature lovers’ series includes a short segment as a ‘mindful moment’ – which features footage of wildlife and nature, including natural sounds, with no music or talking. Paying attention to these natural sights and sounds, even on TV is a very calming experience and it was a great introduction to mindfulness. If you like nature you can find

some of the mindful moments put together on this video.



For me, mindfulness is about focusing on something gentle and soothing that I am doing, or that is around me. All the senses can be used – sight, hearing, touch, smell, even taste (yes, eating and drinking can be mindful!) I can use that focus to calm my breathing and my thoughts, and help me step away from racing and troublesome thoughts, so that I can see things more in perspective.


Crochet provides a perfect opportunity for me to practice this mindfulness regularly, since it can be quickly taken up and continued with just a hook and some yarn. I can concentrate on the tiny details of how the yarn and hook feel in my fingers, the movements of my hands as I make each stitch, the slide of the hook through the yarn loops. I will take time to enjoy the softness and colour of the yarn and its’ texture – whether fluffy, smooth, silky or sturdy. I can also coordinate my breathing with the repetitive movements of the stitches, and this

helps to make me feel calmer.


I am definitely not alone in the feeling of calmness that comes from crochet. An Australian survey in 2018 of over 8000 people worldwide found that 89% of the participants said

crocheting made them feel calmer, and 82% said they felt happier after crocheting.


Additionally, 75% of the participants said crochet made them feel more useful.

That increased calmness is vitally important for relieving the stress which can be so damaging to us, but the benefits go beyond relaxation.


Kathryn Vercillo is an author, crafter and crocheter, and also a psychologist. She has written

extensively on the benefits of crochet and knitting to mental wellbeing, and her post in the

USA based Plymouth Yarn magazine opens with the value of crochet and knitting for

relaxation and stress relief.



She adds that these benefits are enhanced by engaging mindfully with your craft. She also goes further in describing how yarn crafting can actually help people deal with major issues such as anxiety and depression, even with grief and pain. The hand movements of crochet and knitting are rhythmic and repetitive and this is thought to help the body release serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone involved in relieving anxiety and depression. When you finish a crafting project more serotonin is released along with other hormones important to our mental wellbeing. This is linked to the self-esteem that comes from finishing a project (it’s important to note that, in crochet, this can be a very small and manageable project, and an inexpensive one). Kathryn Vercillo also reports that concentrating on a crafting project can help to disrupt the negative thought patterns often found in depression and also in OCD.


Crochet can be a relaxing and enjoyable hobby, which is great in itself, but mindful crochet has the added benefit of being a valuable tool in our mental wellbeing workbox.

Stepping Stones Runs 2 Crochet courses for students. Lead by Hilary Weaver.

One for Beginners and one for an intermediate level.


Easy, mindful crocheting




Course / Workshop Content Intermediate Mindful Crocheting


WHO IS THIS FOR?

This course is for anyone who already knows the basic stitches of crochet (slip knot, chain, double crochet and treble crochet) and would like to learn some more stitches and techniques.


WHAT WILL I LEARN?

We will focus on making a pretty crochet mandala that can be used as a mat, coaster or wall hanging. A mandala is a decorative circular design, found in various art forms – not just crochet. You will be able to practise basic techniques and stitches and learn new ones which combine to make a beautiful crochet mandala. Crochet tends to be worked either from side to side; or in the round – as for a mandala. It doesn’t matter if you have never crocheted a circular pattern before, this course is an ideal opportunity to try it out. During the sessions you will be able to think about how crocheting can be mindful - focusing on little details such as the feel and colour of your yarn and hook, the movements of your hands, the shape of each crochet stitch etc. This mindful crocheting helps to draw your thoughts away from worries and stresses giving your mind a little calming oasis.


HOW CAN I USE WHAT I LEARN?

The crochet skills you learn on this course will be useful not just for mandalas but for other crochet projects too. There are many patterns available to try in magazines, books and on- line and you should feel more confident about trying new patterns. Alongside your new technical skills, you will also be able to continue crocheting mindfully and enjoy the relaxation of mind and body it brings.

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