Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Can You Crochet Away Depression?

December 3rd, 2009

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We received this inspiring and uplifting note from a customer who gave us permission to share it with you.

“I just wanted to let you know how much Lion Brand has changed my life! I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia since 2002, and some days the most I can do is sit still because the pain is so bad. The pain plus the feelings of worthlessness add up to horrific depression over what I can no longer accomplish. However, back in August a friend suggested I learn a “gentle hobby” that I could work on during my flare-ups. I thought of Crochet as a possibility, Googled the internet for the information and quickly found your website. I printed out all the “how to” instructions along with one of the free scarf patterns. It was amazing in that with your help, I was able to learn to crochet in just a few hours. Since then, I have made many scarves and throws as gifts for Christmas, while some people have already requested one of my creations! The best part is that I no longer feel depressed and worthless on my painful days. You have truly changed my life! Thank you so much, I appreciate Lion Brand Yarn more than you will ever know!”

If you would like to learn to crochet or knit or improve your skills we have tutorials on our website including videos and diagrams to help you in theprocess.  It’s all there in the Lion Brand Learning Center

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  • Andrea

    When diagnosed with Breast Cancer, my “kick you in the pants” doctor told me that I needed to find a passion in life and get on with living. I picked up my knitting after 25 years and it was the answer to a huge prayer! It kept my mind occupied and it helped stave off fears that, at the time were insurmountable. I am 5 years past diagnosis and live knowing that I “can” finish projects that I start. Each finished project is another milestone in my “life”. I am a huge advocate!
    Andrea

  • Ilana

    Amazing story Andrea! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • Beth

    Both of these are wonderful stories! I often sit back and think how simple knitting and crocheting can seem, yet how awe-inspiring and powerful they can be. Thanks so much for sharing! You both are blessings!

  • teresa lamorte

    Wow! What inspiring stories–especially at this time of the year. Thank you so much for sharing them.

  • Angela

    I also have a severe case of Fibromyalgia, and picking up my crochet hooks has been a huge coping mechanisim. Crocheting keeps me focused on something beautiful instead of my pain and depression. I never leave home without it! Thanks for your story Ilana, you’ve got friends out there.

  • http://favoritethings.typepad.com/delightful_whimsy/ Teresa

    I have fibromyalgia too! For 18 years. I crochet away the pain… and Lion Brand has been a joy for me too! You are not alone!.. and neither am I … thank you for sharing your story, I’m not so depressed anymore today…
    http://favoritethings.typepad.com/delightful_whimsy/

  • Cheryl

    I, too, have Fibromyalgia, and although I do lots of different crafts, when I am most in pain I always end up knitting or crocheting. About ten years ago I had almost a whole year of severe pain. It was during that time I made seven afghans for my family. (I am so grateful for the size P hook!) They loved their afghans, and making them gave my life the value it seemed to be missing. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories.

  • josie

    I too have chronic pain due to an injury.When I was at my worst time in my life,I decided that I could sit on the sofa and feel sorry for myself or I could knit.I started with baby booties {even though I was an accomplished knitter} because I thought that if I finished something small it would cheer me up.I still have the pain,but I am convinced knitting keeps my spirits up.

  • sue

    I am also disabled due to fibromyalgia and knitting and crocheting are the only things I have found that I can do while down with a flare. I am never without a project by my chair and make my brain try and work by trying different patterns/stitches. Also great to take a small project along to while away the time while waiting for doctor appointment.

    thanks for the sharing your story.

  • Linda

    Ladies, thank you so much. We surely do have blessed habits, don’t we. … For a good six
    months I was unemployed and down to pennies..
    I know for a fact it was my knitting that kept
    me from going over the edge with the depression I
    was dealing with every day. I always say: “knitting just soooothes my soul!”

  • http://yarnovermama.blogspot.com Alisa

    Yes, yes and more yes! I have been using crochet for several years now to help me control my OCD – otherwise I tend to scratch in one place until I break the skin. I think the calming motions of crocheting, plus the joy from finishing something useful or beautiful, help my mental health tremendously!

  • melinda rooney

    I’ve been reading these wonderful posts and am so moved by how each and every one of you, struggling with your own personal pain, finds joy and meaning in something that is not only about your own creative pleasure, but about giving joy and comfort to others. It really does make life more bearable, doesn’t it?

    I just think that is an amazing thing. You could be curling up in a ball and giving up, you could be railing and yelling at the world, you could be pursuing hobbies or interests that are all about you, but you don’t. You give something to the world, and in doing that you give something to yourself. You certainly gave something to me..! I am filled with admiration and gratitude for all of you.

  • Vanessa

    I also suffer from Fibromyalgia and depression and crochet and knitting, as well as Lion Brand have been a Godsend! I too had been feeling worthless and not knowking what I could do.

  • Mary Lenoir

    Learning to crochet and having access to LionBrand and free patterns has been a blessing to me. Had a stroke and am grateful I can crochet. Lionbrand site has so many interesting articles . Thank you

  • Michele

    I, too, have shared the same experience with knitting!
    I was given a death sentence by doctors and was told to take it easy and not too dwell on what may be but the here and now.
    I was very depressed and nonetheless scared. But I started to knit – anything and everything! I wanted to leave my daughter a piece of me after I was gone. So I just sat daily and knitted. After so much time went by I realized that I knitting helped keep my mind off of the thoughts of death and think about living.
    Yes, I too believe knitting can cure the ‘blues’ and besides I am still here – so maybe it works miracles too!

  • http://www.twitter.com/nguerra94 Norma Guerra

    Crocheting helps me with my depression and fibro pain. It’s my therapy.

  • Jennifer

    Great article Ilana!! I too suffer from fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, neck and lower spine problems, arthritis and the list goes on. If it were not for crocheting I think I would have lost my mind. It’s very rewarding to be able to still accomplish something during the bad pain days. Hats off to all you folks that have jumped in there and pressed forward. Attitude has so much to do with our pain and depression that goes hand in hand with chronic pain. I’d be open to starting a group of some sort for those of us that enjoy Lion Brand yarn, patterns, etc. It could possibly be a good source of even more encouragement for us.
    Gentle hugs,
    Jenny

  • Anna

    Hello!

    I have fibro. too. But, we need to do stretches at times. Crochet and knitting used to be my hobbies as a young child into adulthood. Now it is my therapy. Art is another theraputic work.

  • Ilana

    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. There may not yet be hard evidence for it, but it seems that knitting and crocheting can be a vital element in the healing process. Jenny, thank you for the idea about a group. We’ll look into how it might be possible for us to facilitate getting it started for those of you who want to continue connecting.

  • http://thoughtsNspots.blogspot.com Linda Kennedy

    I have panic attacks. Crochet helps me avoid them completely! I always have some yarn and hooks in my purse and wherever I go, they come out.
    It begins many conversations! And I get lots of smaller things done this way. Hats, toys, agahan sqares, etc.
    I am always happier when I can keep those panic attacks away! My whole life is better.

    My husband is legally blind and has learned to loom knit hats. He admitted that his stress goes down when he knits. So we sit in bed at night and do our handwork together. We both love the charity work we do with our handwork!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Pahud/599077791 <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="599077791">Margaret Pahud</fb:name>

    Great to read your story, Illana. I too suffer from fibromyalgia, and by forcing my hands to knit and crochet, I believe I can overcome my body’s will to cripple me completely! Although at times the cramping and pain is great I carry on – one stitch at a time! Congratulations on finding your way to ‘stand up’ to this crippling disease!

  • Helen

    I’m glad to see so many others use the same “therapy” that I’ve used for fibromyalgia. I’m a knitter and, as Linda (message #9)says, it soothes my soul. I just finished my 7th Wool-Ease hat to donate to our homeless coalition. I found a great sale on “Guy” colors, greys, blues, greens and browns and bought a bunch. Simple watchcap type hats that knit up quick and will warm the head and hopefully the heart of someone going through rough times.

  • Ilana

    Thank you for your comments and for supporting through your experiences, the fact that knitting and crochet can have a healing effect on fibromyalgia. I did want to clarify that the original story in this blog post is a quote from a customer who gave her permission for me to share her experience with others. It is not my personal experience.

    We have received tremendous anecdotal evidence that for many, the crafts of knit and crochet can be powerful antidotes to pain.

  • pat

    Crochet is so relaxing and it can provide a wonderful gift for another. It is a good way to put aside your troubles for a bit. Great ego booster when someone says how great your work is. It can make you feel useful. Some cancer centers use knit and crochet to distract and relax those receiving chemo. It is the best addiction anyone can have. I have arthritis of the hands and one hand was injured a few years ago crochet helps keep my hands flexible and was a good adjunct to therapy.

  • Patti

    When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I had lost a lot of my fine motor skills. I used cross stitching to help me through that time. Now, when I’m too achy to do much else, I know that I can pick up my crochet hook too. It makes me feel productive and helps get me through the flare-ups. Aren’t crafts wonderful?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Candace-Yvette-Johnson/1267682649 <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="1267682649">Candace Yvette Johnson</fb:name>

    I am also a Fibromyalgia sufferer & seeing this lifted my heart. I too crochet to lift my depression and it has worked wonders. I just wanted to say to the person who’s message was shared you are NOT alone. FMS is truly ravaging to the mind, body & spirit. However crocheting truly changes your outlook on life. You can now do something worthwhile and encouraging that someone will love even if youcan’t move.

  • Ilana

    Hi Friends,
    I looked around the internet for an online forum for people who crochet and want to discuss fibromyalgia. Here is the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Fibromyalgia-Crochet/
    Please read their guidelines about how to participate before you join. You can probably just “listen” to others as well. Hope this helps.

  • Debbie

    I enjoy crochet and knitting…and have learned to stay calm even when things are not going like I want them to….Sound familiar? Or maybe I almost want perfection….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lori-Samples-Tworek/1523465994 <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="1523465994">Lori Samples Tworek</fb:name>

    It helps a lot, keeps my hands busy. When I have nothing on the agenda to make, I will work up my leftovers for blankets for the dog shelter. They love them and don’t care if the colors match, or if I drop a stitch.

  • Sue Ellen Johnson

    Hi Everyone,

    I too suffer from fibromyalgia, arthristis and stenosis of the spine. If it weren’t for crocheting and knitting I would not survive the most painful days. It seems that the crocheting or knitting makes me concentrate on something other than the pain. I have been making little doll clothes and let me tell you, those little dolls add even something else to your creativity. You have to keep going….after all, those little dolls need some fancy and cute clothing don’t they?

  • Jane Tellner

    All of your stories are heart-warming. I have turned to knitting and crocheting to help me through depression and anxiety. It truly is therapeutic and I intend to continue with various projects that can be of use to persons less fortunate.

  • Fran Paulman

    My higher power sent me here to this blog today. I have been looking for a way to share my gift as compassionate knitting & crochet teacher to the world around me, and you ladies have inspired me so much today. Thank you for sharing your stories. I send blessing to all of you — you have helped me so much today.

  • Lisa Hook

    It’s amazing to know that I am not alone when I say “I too have spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease”. Crocheting has taken me through the rough spots in life. Without it I probably would have lost my natural mind. My family knows that if I am not crocheting there is a major catastrophe occurring. Thank you Lion Brand for all your free patterns.

  • Linda Hernandez

    My teenage daughter suffers from depression and bi-polar disorder and panic attacks. We have spent the last few years in intense therapy to deal with these challenges. Before we faced these challenges, I taught her how to knit and crochet and it became a great outlet for her. And for me,it was a great time to crochet while I was waiting for her. Several parents and I would meet at a coffee shop and crochet. By learning to crochet and knit it gave her a sense of self-worth and she then wanted to try different forms of art.

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  • Emma Duffy

    I suffer from depression and chronic pain, and crochet helps me a lot! sitting here with my yarn and a hook, with music playing, is how i survive most days. :)

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