Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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How Knitting and Crocheting Makes Us Better

January 26th, 2010

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We were overwhelmed by the impact crocheting and knitting has had on your lives. It has helped us relax, express ourselves creatively, connect with others, deal with grief, recover from health problems, give back to the community, and more. Because we loved your comments so much, we selected 5 of our favorites, and then we randomly selected a winner from there. Here are our top 5:

Jessica writes: Knitting and crocheting makes me better, I realized when my 3-year-old baby was diagnosed with leukemia this summer. I sat in the corner of the hospital room learning to knit quietly hoping to be invisible so to avoid nurses and visitors questioning me or trying to make polite conversation. On the contrary (and surprisingly!) it sparked MORE questions and conversations. Nurses wanted to know what I was working on and came close to inspect my progress. It became an ice-breaker and though many, many tears were shed, I found that I did need others support and having that knit project in my hands gave me a reason to connect with people when I much rather would’ve crawled under the bed and disappeared.

Kathy writes: How could knitting or crocheting NOT make us better people? We live in our self-created society of “STRESS.” We push ourselves and push ourselves. We all need to relax but how many of us would not have any relaxation if we didn’t have our needles or hooks in our hands? It forces us to sit down, whether in front of the TV, traveling, or listening to audio books (my favorite), so we can get some “rest.” I work in the health care arena – very stressful – no opportunity to create something of beauty and at the end of my day, I need to rest my mind as much as my body. But many of us need to be doing “something” besides vegetate and so we get out our yarn and practice our craft. I think all of us who knit or crochet have an artist within us – that need to create, to make a statement, to give gifts, etc. I have given away everything that I have created. Perhaps it is a way to leave a part of myself behind so someone will pick up an afghan, a sweater, and remember me and the love I put into making it.

Sue writes: Knitting makes me better because it forces me to stop. Stop emailing, stop doing laundry, just simply STOP … and sit, and relax, and drink warm tea, and look out the window at the world … and take a precious hour or two where I just focus on counting stitches, rows, knitting up yarn and starting the next new ball. When I’m knitting I see my achievement grow. I’m busy … but I’m not the constant, fighting, struggling kind of busy that is the life of many Moms. I’m busy growing a very special unique project that knits a little piece of me into every stitch.

Personna writes: Crocheting has taught me that I DO have patience and a creative eye, that I CAN find a way to calm down and relax, and what’s even better is that the people I make things for know how much they’re loved just by receiving something that I’ve made for them. Crocheting makes me better because I’ve learned that if I can make a cardigan and socks from string, I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to. I’ve even decided to try my hand at DESIGNING crochet.

Deb writes: Crocheting makes me better because I can say ‘I love and value you’ without saying a word. It is all intricately woven into the thread or yarn of the gift I have given to you dear and beloved friend (or family)!

Jessica’s entry was randomly chosen as the winner. Congratulations, Jessica, and thank you to everyone for sharing how knitting and crocheting impact your life.

  • Sylvia

    I have always said it keeps me from killing people….
    “Playing with string”, as my son calls it, has helped me keep a modicum of sanity.
    Today, it was so rewarding to have everyone ooh and ahh over a blanket at a shower for a cowarker.
    I have begun to think of all the babies out there that are that are warm because of hats and blankets I have made, and it makes me proud.
    I have begun to make blankets and save them in a cedar chest for any future grandchildren I have. I had both my sons very late in life and worry I will not see my grandchildren arrive.
    Also, for Lent, I set out a goal of forty hats to be donated to a cancer support group. I feel this is better than denying myself chocolate or something equally unhealthy.
    Keep those needles and hooks flying!

  • Jeanette

    I started crocheting because my sister took a class at a local craft store. Well, we have been crocheting with the same group of ladies for the past 3 years. Teaching all day with kindergarten can take a toll on you….after reading your blogs I know that I am truly blessed. Crocheting allows me to unwind and to meet some truly wonderful people.

    There is a lady in our group who has been cancer free for almost 2 years. You are all in my prayers. Keeping knitting and crocheting but best of all keep smiling.

  • Berni Lutz

    I was recently given four boxes of assorted yarn from my deceased Beloved GodMother-She was a master crafter and made many, many lovely things–I have made afghans and baby blankets for her children and Grandchildren-and great Grands-using the stitch she taught me-I will now make her Grandson an afghan using her hook, her yarn and the stitch she taught me–I am so blessd to have had her in my life and now her son and grandchildren have shown the same love she had-. making things using her supplies is so heart warming-it is as if her hands are guiding mine.I have made dozens od chemo caps, neonatal baby blankets and blankets to donate to the local hospital nursery-I try to make sure every baby that is discharged has it’s own security blanket.

  • Joanne Ashford

    I’m in awe! Thank you all for sharing your stories. They are encouraging, and filled with joy and hope…my own adventures with knitting and crocheting began when my mom and a friend let me use the ends of balls of yarn to “practice”…I was thrilled to be able to sit and listen to the wonderful conversations, as only an 8 year old can be. I’m so thankful to be able to pass on the love of these crafts to my daughters…
    I love the Lenten goal from Sylvia…!!

  • Micki

    So many beautiful stories. I am now, more than ever, interested in knitting for charities. Blankets for babies seems like a fantastic place to start.

    I took a class at a local craft store in my 30′s, so I’m still playing with scarves, but it may be time to expand.

    Thank you all for sharing.

  • lisa

    wow.. love reading all the responses ! so many are full of God and the blessings they have gained through knitting & knitting friends.
    I don’t see mine however.. but still enjoyed the sense of family that all the knitting stories bring.
    Mine was about How knitting helps me to remember to pray for those I know serving in the militarty. Those of my family that are in need.. and to say Thank You also.
    Again.. such lovely woman with some extra – ordinary situations .
    God Bless ..
    lisa

  • Linda Allan

    What wonderful stories! Thank you all for sharing. I was teaching crochet classes at Michael’s Arts and Crafts until they decided to stop doing classes last year. I missed my students so now I am teaching at the local community center. I have learned so much by teaching and have met so many wonderful people to share my love of crochet. It is so rewarding to see your projects, but most of all is the joy of spending time with others.

  • Lorraine Osborn

    I get up at 5:15am, get ready for work, then have my coffee and breakfast and sit and knit or crochet every morning before I go to work. I watch the news or a show I taped and have quiet time before I start my day. By the time I get to work I have already accomplished something by my crocheting or knitting. I feel Great and am not stressed when I arrive at my job! I never ever sit in front of the TV without my knitting or crocheting. I can’t wait to get back to my projects in the evening. And I am always the ONLY one who gives a home made gift at a shower or birthday party and everyone loves them!

  • http://peacefullotus.com April

    I was born with a hereditary illness.(sickle cell anemia) I spent a lot of time reading when I was sick or hospitalized. I got tired of reading and watching television when I was sick. I wanted a hobby something that made me productive and used my creativity.

    Something I could do when I was ill that was not taxing. I learned to crochet and knit as an adult. It has been my savior. I can do it when I am on bed rest. When I am hospitalized or when I just need to relax. It has changed my life.

  • http://extremelifechanges.org valerie andrews

    It seems like we all have a common “thread” that brings us to these pages! We all create beauty for others, and treat our own stress, illness, sadness and joy in the process. I love every story listed, and feel as though you are all my personal friends. God Bless each of you.
    I am just finishing a prayer shawl I am making for my ex-husband who is going through chemo for esophageal cancer. Knowing I am making it out of love for him, and that he will feel that as he wraps it around him, becomes therapy for both of us.

  • dianne

    My mom taught me to crochet when I had measles in 4th grade. Then I got the other kind of measles, and learned to knit. Crocheting and knitting are my therapy. I keep crocheting in my purse, and make a doily with six hearts coming out of the center. The first one I made I gave to a nurse I worked with; she was so touched. She died two years ago from cancer. When she died, I quit making the little doilies. One night when looking at the thread, I could almost hear her tell me “get over it and make some more!” I give them to friends on birthdays, hospitalized patients celebrating anniversaries, and people who are having bad days. It is great therapy for me and helps me to keep from munching all the time. Thank you for sharing all your beautiful stories!

  • Louis

    Prior to my 10th birthday my aunt taught my younger sister and me to crochet. It always fascinated me to see her take a “string” and turn it into something with substance! For many years I did little with my crochet abilities. A few years ago, while visiting with my parents on weekends, I began crocheting squares, using my own pattern. Using a “baby yarn”, white with a shiny thread incorporated into the regular yarn, I made many, many squares. When I started assembling the squares, I would place two squares back-to-back and single crochet them together along one edge, adding other squares, until I had them all fastened together. Because I had open places in the squares, a pattern emerged when the squares were assembled, making the entire project come together with an over-all pattern. By assembling the squares back-to-back, there emerged a crosshatch of raised lines crisscrossing the entire item. Ultimately, this became a bedspread. My wife has placed this bedspread on a bed in a guest bedroom for guests to see this weekend.

    Crocheting does indeed relax. It helps to pass the time when we are traveling (my wife prefers to do the driving). Seeing the finished items also gives a sense of accomplishment. My trouble is: I just don’t want to part with the items after I have spent so much time and put so much effort into them!

    My aunt is long since gone, but I still remember how she was “always crocheting”! All day long she was crocheting. My sister and I would spend a week with her each summer and she was ALWAYS crocheting!!

    We forge memories every step of the way through life – let these memories be good ones: of doing pleasing things, interesting things, honorable things; of enjoying our activities, sharing with others, and above all, thanking our Creator that we have the ability to engage in wonderful, enjoyable, relaxing activities while thinking upon our many great blessings.

    May God grant us peace, joy and happiness in this life!

  • Mrs. Dorothy

    There are so many reasons why I knit/crochet. My great grandmother taught me crochet basics 60 years ago. Now I live on a fixed income and cannot participate monetarily in a number of charities. However, I have knitted or crocheted many, many hats that go to babies in our county hospital, Navajo Indian Reservation, homeless people in my town and in Dallas, to Nairobi, Kenya to a children’s shelter. I’ve made Chemo Hats, baby blankets. All of these brought joy to the receiver but more to me. I can do something.

  • Gramma Janice Kessler

    How awesome it would be to sit together with our projects and swap patterns!!! My mom taught me to knit at 10 years old after my appendix were removed. She would have to “loosen” my stitches every few rows. I literally scraped the blue paint off the needles because the stitches were so tight! She used to knit white “bandages” for an organization. While in college, I knit a sweater that was way too long…I forgot to measure it! Throughout the years I have knit like many of you. My husband of 45 years has had some serious surgery, so my knitting kept me sane. When I am donating blood, the Red Cross ladies always ask what the latest project is. Whenever I hear that someone is headed to the war zone, I try to make a yellow scarf for mom/grandma to keep them warm through our Michigan winter. New babies in the family receive a sweater/hat set. The latest fun project is Fun Fur scarves made by casting on 100 stitches (10 1/2) and knitting 10 to 12 rows with a contrast added in the middle four rows. Hint from a friend: bind off an a larger needle! These are always gifts. Thanks for sharing your stories. We have so much in common, don’t we? How great to have a web site like lionbrand.com Thanks! =)

  • Pam

    Hi my name is Pam and crocheting and knitting saved me from depression and pain. I was diagnosed with Dystonia and was placed on disablity in 2005. I uesed to crochet for hours but at that time I could barely move my hands so it became to difficult to do. When I started treatment for my disease I would try to crochet/knit and every treatment seemed to give me more control over my hands and before I knew it I was crocheting little things and knitting little projects as well. My husband said one day when he was in from work “when I seen you
    crocheting I knew you were getting better” So I guess crocheting and knitting gave me back my life.”

  • Judy

    I started crocheting in 2001 as my therapy when my husband left me. I went to a store and bought one of those books called “Teach Myself to Crochet”. It kept my mind off the hard times and was the best therapy. I felt such an accomplishment when I finished my first blanket and decided to crochet blankets for others. It is such a thrill for me to see the faces of relatives I have made blankets for. I always find someone to make a blanket for. My husband and I have since resolved matters and he now uses the first blanket I made and calls it his own.

  • Gill Stanton

    I live in France and being english – the sight of a teapot standing brewing but at the same time going cold is not a happy one :-)) This is often the case with my lovely french friend (she is 78 years old) who always brews up when we arrive.

    I decided to make her a tea cosy – she had no idea what it was for till I showed her – and that small gift brought a tear to her eye.

    Just like the other writers, it is the pleasure of creation and then giving that keeps us all knitting and crocheting away.
    We also had a little chuckle as she has a crochet hook that was her grandmothers which was ‘Made in England’ – how bizarre is that??

  • Pam

    Wow! What a great collection of inspirational stories!

    I, too, have been a knitter since I was a child. My mother was quite a talented knitter and she taught me. I continue to knit because it brings fond memories of my mother and the knitting club she and her friends used to have every Tuesday night in someone’s kitchen. They would knit, eat, and gossip for hours!

    In my job, I attend a lot of long meetings and trainings. I knit during these meetings. It helps me focus during the meetings, which is helpful. My family and friends are usually the recipients of my ‘sitting through meetings’ projects, but I’m currently working on an Aran sweater for myself (can’t wait to finish it and wear it proudly!).

  • Keri F

    In 2007 I started having severe bouts of vertigo that would last for days. The doctors spent a year trying to figure out what was causing them, and I spent many hours at appointments and in vestibular therapy with nothing to do. My therapist recommended I find a “focal point” to concentrate on when an episode started – one point in my field of sight that I KNEW was not moving.

    My daughter had gotten a set of knitting looms and a bag of scrap yarn for Christmas that year and wasn’t using any of it, so I got them out. I taught myself how to loom knit and soon progressed to crocheting (thanks to the instructions on the Lion Brand website). My current project would become my “focal point” when the vertigo got so bad I couldn’t do anything but sit still until it passed.

    Three years later, I’m still crocheting and am now trying to teach myself how to knit for real – not just with looms. My doctors told me the vertigo is coming from migraines, so I now craft to keep my stress level down and for the sheer pleasure of it! My husband is always amazed at what I have created, and many of our friends and family members have been recipients of my “therapy”.

  • http://elipnick.etsy.com Evelyn Lipnicky

    My mother used to crochet when I was little and I always wanted to learn, but she was a righty and I was a lefty so she could not teach me. However, she did teach me how to chain, but as I was so young, I just could not get it. I lacked the maturity and patience it took. Well I’m 39 and I wanted a scarf so badly but I wanted it handmade, so I bought a needle and a ball of yarn at the Thrift store. I was determined to teach myself. It took me a good month now and I’ve been making so many things and donating as well. I used to suffer from severe Carpel Tunnel syndrome and this has been so theraputic. I’m so very happy and love to crochet. Now I just have to learn to knit… hmmmm.

  • Saarah K

    My father was bedridden for 6 years as a child, with rheumatic fever. His grandmother was a crocheter and she taught him how to turn a hook to create doilies and scarves, etc. When I was about 8, my mother showed me a pineapple doily he had made and I was fascinated. Hie was just out of dental school and had opened his first office but he made time to teach me how to turn a hook. A few years later, he taught me how to cast on and knit one purl one. The my mother’s father remarried and she knew how to do both! She introduced me to design and pattern. OMG! I always had something in the works.

    Using a shell pattern she had taught me, I knit my father a lap robe in scarlet and white. That was 35 years ago. The blanket has always been out on a foot stool, close at hand all of these years. mom called me last week and asked me if she could wash it. ??? She said she had always been afraid to put it in water for fear it would shrink. I had didn’t have to think hard about the answer because I can remember standing in the yarn aisle at our local grocery store and actually reading the labels of the yarns all the while hoping Dad didn’t come looking for me! ” 4 ply worsted weight red heart acrylic. make sure you buy enough in the same lot# to complete a project”.

    In the pas few years, my greatest pleasure has come from being able to make the students at my school scarves and hats because they don’t have them. This year, I branched out to making scarves for these poor students to give to their mothers and grandmothers as Christmas gifts. The kids pick the yarn and oh they are so proud. Better than anything they could have bought in a store!

    Thank you Daddy! Thank you Grandma Bea! Thank you great-grandmother!

  • Becky Kleibrink

    crocheting has always been a part of my life. My grandmother taught me when I was a young girl. Holding my hook and thread or yarn has always been my time. While expecting my first child, it became our time as I would sit in the rocking chair and crochet baby blankets and sweaters or booties. Now as an older person with health problems, crocheting is still the best way to relax and enjoy something that will usually be given to a loved one and think of them and pray for them and provide a lot of love for them. Hoping they will also feel that love when they use or wear that gift.

  • Judy

    My grandmother made beautiful cotton bedspreads for each of her granddaughters. I never thought I could make anything that beautiful, although I have been crocheting for many years. Most of my projects have been made with acrylic yarns. Recently, when I needed to make a baby afghan for a friend allergic to acrylics, I discovered the joy of cotton. Thanks Lion Brand for all the ways you support us yarn addicts! Including this opportunity to share our stories.

  • Vicki D

    I, too, am so touched by all of the stories posted here. I learned how to knit when I was 8, making blankets for my dolls. When I was 12, I was hospitalized for 3 weeks and was very limited on what I could do physically that summer. A wonderful neighbor bought me a sweater kit and taught me how to read a knitting pattern. It wasn’t until college that I picked up knitting needles again, and I haven’t stopped.

    My grandmother always crocheted afghans, and over 40 years later, I still have the afghans she made me. I feel like I still have a part of her with me. I try to continue that tradition with my own children. My first grandchild was born last April, and I gave my son and daughter-in-law the white sweater and hat I had made when I was pregnant with my son over 32 years ago. She wore them home from the hospital.

    I am a basic skills teacher, and this school year, I was assigned to an inner city parochial high school. One of the teachers had started a knitting club about a year ago. The students are required to do community service hours, so the students knit baby blankets for charity. I volunteered to help her out, and it is so satisfying to teach these young people to knit. As we sit each week and knit, they open up to us, and we have such wonderful discussions. I don’t think they would tell us the things they do in other circumstances.

    I am so happy to be a part of a community of men and women who continue to love these crafts of knitting and crocheting. As we pass on these skills, we know that we are instilling the same love to others.

  • Lou Ann

    These stories are so touching and I recently realized how important my knitting and crocheting were to me when, due to a divorce which required me to move and place many of my belongings in storage, I suddenly couldn’t put my hands on the needles and notions that I’ve accumulated over my lifetime.

    My great-grandmother taught me to crochet when I was about 5. This was no small task, as I was left-handed and everything looked upside down and backwards to me, but once I mastered the chain stitch, I covered my room with yard after yard of it! Years later, my mother taught me the rest of the stitches, as well as how to knit and follow patterns.

    Initially, when I couldn’t locate my “stuff” I thought, “Well, I’ll just go to the craft store and buy some more.” But, as I was standing in the store looking at all of the needles, not quite able to find exact replacements of my favorites, I suddenly realized that it wasn’t just the needles and notions, it was the family connections that those things reminded me of – all of the afternoons my mother and I sat and crocheted or knitted; all of the projects she’s made for me that were so big I couldn’t begin to wear them, but loved them the same. Tears came to my eyes and I was suddenly so overwhelmed with grief at losing these simple items that I had to leave the store.

    It seemed that I’d looked everywhere – in the storage unit (multiple times!), in the house I lived in now, I even called my ex-husband to see if I’d accidentally left then behind! One afternoon a few weeks later, my boyfriend called to me from upstairs to ask me if the big box marked “Yarn & Needles” was what I’d been looking for. Seriously! It was right underneath my nose the whole time, but for some reason I just kept unexplainably missing it! I was overjoyed at being reunited with those items, but at the same time, a small part of me was glad to have gone through the experience of missing them. It truly made me realize how important the crafts of knitting and crocheting are to me and how they have fostered my relationships to the women I’ve shared them with.

  • Aunt Julie

    I learned to knit & crochet from my mother when I was a very Young child. As the oldest in a large family, I helped my mother keep all us kids in warm sweaters during cold Michigan winters. After I got married & was running my own business & raising my own kids, I kept them in sweaters but did not have time for much other knitting. Then I became disabled in 2001 & had to quit working. That is when I started calling my knitting my mental and physical therapy. Not only did it keep my hands moving and my coordination at leaast partly working, it eased my mind and gave me a way to be worth something to somebody. I started knitting mittens and hats and donating them to elementary schools before Christmas for kids who didn’t have any of their own. Over the past 8+ years, as my disability has progressed, I have donated hundreds of pairs of mittens, many dozens of hats, as well as lap robes to nursing homes, baby afghans to the local hospital for babies being put up for adoption, and all young couples I know that are starting their own families get hand made sweaters and blankets for their babies and I continue making sweaters for all kids I know that want or need a new sweater from Aunt Julie. Every fall I get a new list of who has outgrown their Aunt Julie sweater and wants a new one. Knitting has definitely made my life worth living for me and I thank God for all the stores and individuals that have heard about my projects and donated yarn so that I could continue to donate clothing to those in need, way above and beyond what my financial circumstances would have allowed. Thank you to Lion Brand also for the MANY free patterns I have used!

  • Sandy Parsons

    What wonderful stories. My mother tried to teach me to crochet when I was about 10. Being a lefty and her being a definite righty, she tried, I failed. But later when was expecting my first child (my daughter), I had to stop working a month before she was born, and decided to teach myself to crochet. What I discovered was that I crochet right handed! Didn’t know I was that ambidextrous. Mom was pleasantly surprised. After some initial work, one of my first projects was a table cloth for a wedding gift. Not realizing how much effort was to be put into it, it sure was difficult to give up, but I did.
    I have crocheted off and on now for 26 years. When I stop for months at a time, even years, and then return, I always say to myself, “why did I lay down crocheting?” I love doing it. I am not artsy/crafty, but feel creative whenever I crochet.
    My daughter is now pregnant with her 3rd child and I am so pleased. While I have made afghans for her 2 sons, this one is a grandaughter and I have seen so many things I want to make for that little one.
    Recently a young friend of 18, asked me if I had ever made my own patterns. I said no. She asked why (she does). Never thought of it. At that time I was looking for a lap afghan pattern for my husband’s very special grandmother. I couldn’t find any to suit me. After my young friend’s comment, I made my very first project with my own pattern. It sent a flurry of ideas into my head. Grandma’s lap afghan turned out wonderful, so everyone has said. I felt privileged to give her something no one else will ever have, because she has given so much to our family.
    It won’t be my last “Sandy original.” I love to crochet, and wish I could do it all the time.

  • Gracie

    I have been knitting and crocheting since I was about 8 and I am 51 now.. It is a great stress reliever for me and I love the faces of the people when they get the stuff I create for them. It is a really big part of my daily life.

  • marg

    I have been knitting and crocheting forever! I am 67 and when I retired I made 40 scarves for my friends at work. I had 5 luncheons – and at each one I gave everyone a scarf to remember me by. It was such fun to be the giver as well as the reciever. Now I am working on sets of hotpads – out of Lion Suede – dishcloths and scrubbies – 35 sets for family and friends. I do easy projects so they get completed.
    All of you have inspiring stories – I wish all of you well and Happy Crocheting and Knitting! It is a satisfying hobby – and you can be sure that the people you give things to remember you with LOVE!

  • Jeannie Delamater

    Wow. Jessica’s story made me shed a tear. I know what it’s like to want to be invisible just when you need people the most! I agree, crafts like knitting and crocheting bring us all together just a little bit more. They creat a value in this throw-away society in both the item created and the sharing.

  • Marie

    I started knitting after high school for my son. I found it relaxing while I was on bedrest when I was pregnant, and then found that it helped with my ADD. I always seem to have something in the background of my mind that is distracting from a task at hand. Since I always have a project going, now the background thoughts involve the patterns (K3, P1, rep., next row) so I am able to focus on the tasks at hand a little easier.
    Some of the stories I have read so amazing, so I thought I would share mine.

  • Phyllis Odle

    I started crocheting When my daughter was very young.I made dolls and clothes for them.As she grew,I changed over to blankets and any pattern that I fell in love with.I have a granddaughter now and I try to make things for her.I started Crocheting when I was in my early twentys I am now sixty and still enjoy it.I tried knitting but I could not get the hang of it.

  • Sharon Lightfoot

    In my adolescent years, both of my Grandmothers tried to interest me in sewing, crochet and knitting, but unfortunately, I had no interest in it at the time. Once I was married, my interest in fiber arts began with just a couple simple embroidery kits that I created for my then-young sons. Several years later, in 1985, I was encouraged by friends to try cross-stitch when I suddenly lost a job, and temporarily became a totally unskilled domestic goddess. Cross-stitching resulted in many years of fun projects, including some not-so-current WIP still in my craft closet, anxiously awaiting to be rediscovered!! Creatively evolving, 4 years ago I became inspired by yet another changing life event, and ventured into the world of crochet courageously buying a hook, a book, and a hank of yarn. I was to become a Grammy to my very first precious grandchild, Joshua. And, my very first project, the hooded baby blanket was remarkably easy, fun, beautiful, and undescribably personally rewarding beyond anything I had ever crafted before! I’ve enjoyed making blankets, hats, toys, and scarves for Josh, and his sister, Megan – my 2 1/2 yr old Granddaugher ever since. Crocheting is my refuge of sorts – so very calmiing, peaceful, and gives a really great sense accomplishment and pride in a totally different dimension of life skills. I’m a hooked hooker!! I just bought some knitting books & needles, so here I go again, another new adventure. I’ve found out over the years that there seems to be a unquenchable quest for creativity inside of me that I never knew existed. Of course not working outside the home way-back-when finally provided some time for me to explore what interested me, and experience the depth of contentment and self confidence far beyond what the workplace ever offered. The supposed “tragedy” of losing a career ambition many years ago, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And later, climbing the ladder to Grammy status presented a whole new horizon of creative inspiration. And with retirement now within sight, I may actually be able to experience heaven on earth, and craft away to my heart’s content. My Grandmothers would be so proud. So now, be encouraged, give it a try, change your life.. watch yourself creatively evolve -stitch by stitch!!

  • Marie

    I too learned to crochet young. I am left-handed and it was really hard, but all the “grown-ups” got to sit around on Saturday nights and work with their needles. The ones who could not wield needles had to provide the snacks and re-fill drinks. I wanted to sit with the women and listen to their stories and be a part of their, pardon the pun, tight-knit group.
    When I was ten my brother was diagnosed as having muscular dystrophy and was always in a lot of pain. I would sit up with him and watch TV in the dark until he could fall asleep. And I crocheted so he would not think I was only there to keep him company.
    Later, as an adult I finally mastered the fine art of knitting. Again, my being left-handed hindered my efforts, but I think it made me learn to cope with not only learning to do things left-handed in a right-handed world, but it also helped me to learn to cope with a rather severe case of dyslexia.
    My husband spent many years in the military and I used my crafts to keep me busy in airports, doctor’s offices, and many other times when I needed something to do with my hands. Of course the time my daughter told his commanding officer that I was a needle addict was a moment to overcome!! I sometimes wonder if the man ever really accepted my explanation.
    Now, as my age increases and my body slows down I spend some time every day working the long strands into something others will cherish. My grandchildren line up for my latest creations and my husband keeps saying he will get me the steel wool if I would just knit him a volkswagen!
    I love the satisfaction working with my needles gives me and couldn’t sit still to watch television otherwise. I knit everywhere, even in Sunday school. I knit for everyong I know and many charities and it always gives me more than it gives to those whom receive my finished products.
    I often tell others that I don’t smoke…I knit. It works for me.

  • http://sandrajpetitt.com Sandy

    I was taught rudimentary knitting by my mother when I was a child, and I just recently picked up knitting again. Evening time always includes knitting small items. Each one is unique, and almost all go to charity. When I finish a project such as a warm hat, it makes me so happy to know that it will go to someone in my community who who could use this gift from my heart and hands.

  • Frances Dolph

    My mother tried to teach me how to crochet when I was a teenager, but I wasn’t very good at it. Being the perfectionist that she was, she always ripped out what I had started, telling me that my stitches and tension were uneven. I gave up in frustration.
    Many years later, as an adult, a kind Hawaiian lady who lived across the street from us took me under her wing and taught me how to crochet. She never criticized my stitches, and taught me what she called the “lauhala” stitch–a basket weave pattern. Since then, I have made countless baby blankets for friends and family, using that same pattern. Each one was different and unique.
    On one of my return trips to Hawaii I went to visit this neighbor, only to learn that she and her husband had passed on, and that her son and his family now lived in their former home. We had a nice visit, and her son described his mother as a beautiful lady, which she indeed was.
    When I returned to Nevada, where I now live, I crocheted a set of coasters for her son’s family, using the same basket-weave pattern. I will never forget my wonderful neighbor who gave me the gift of crochet, which has multiplied over the years into so many hand-made gifts made with love and aloha.

  • Barbara Izzard Thynne

    Knitting and crocheting helps me re-invent myself after hectic days while giving me the feeling of being somehow connected to my ancestors. A stream of continuity, if you will. I come from a long line of women who undoubtedly knitted or crochetted as much from need as from pleasure. It was just the only way to get a sweater, scarf, or mittens!

    My Mother taught me to knit, crochet, and sew (including embroider) at a very young age. She also taught my brother enough that he could knit socks and mend them if necessary later in life. My brother is an accomplished fine artist and I have an insanely busy life as a mom and realtor. Without the relaxing time sitting quietly late at night knitting or crochet in hand I often would not be able to sleep.

    I have a very fond memory from the summer when I was 16 of crocheting a double bed sized Granny Square afghan with my Mother and my Grandmother while she visited with us from Ireland for several months. We used random colours of fine (possibly even Baby Yarn). The pleasure of 3 generations being able to just pick up and crochet together, chatting, creating, and drinking tea is something to truly treasure.

    I also had a special relationship with my Aunt (now deceased) and going to a family dinner always including whatever yarn project in the works being brought along. After dinner with the dishes done we would sit together with needles or hooks flying. My Aunt’s specialty was baby blankets and baby clothes. She would knit and donate these to the women’s auxiliary of the local hospitals or be commissioned by friends to make layettes. Additionally, she made blankets for the animals shelters.

    I inherited all of my Aunt’s patterns (some vintage), yarn (bins full), needles, and hooks, Now I make the baby blankets/afgans for friends and clients when they welcome the new additions into there homes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terra-Dawn-Brown-Miller/1608783467 <fb:name linked="false" useyou="false" uid="1608783467">Terra Dawn Brown Miller</fb:name>

    I was touched to other use knitting as therapy. Several years ago I went through a pretty bad depression while struggling with infertility. I would often sit and pick at my cuticles as I would cry. My mother-in-law then decided to teach me to knit. I found that I would stop crying and focused on the stitches and the pattern. I began knitting wash clothes and gradually worked my way into my first baby blanket for a friend. It calmed my nerves and me think of others before myself.Now, I often carry my latest project with me when visiting people in the hospital, family and friends. It has become my meditation technique and I love to share what it has done for me. Now even my husband has joined in and he uses the knitting looms to makes scarves. Thanks to all who shard their stories as well, what an inspiration!!!

  • Annette

    I learned how to knit and crochet when I was 7 years old from both my Grandmother’s…..that was 40 years ago and Iam still knitting and crocheting today. I have made many projects over the years for family members, friends, knitting stores and craft sales. My projects have gone world wild. There isn’t a pattern I won’t try. I collect knitting and crocheting books and am addicted to buying yarn knowing that I will knit a garnment out of it for someone special. I have tried the most impossible pattern out there, pulled it out numerous times but to no avail continued on till it was completed. My projects go where I go and this hobby has become my greatest passion. Now that I am a Grandmother myself with a 3 year old grandson another Grandchild on the way(maybe a girl)hoping that I will some day be able to teach my Grandaughter what my Grandmother’s taught me… How to Knit and Crochet.

  • Dorothy

    My mom taught me to knit crochet and sew when I was a child. I went to college, got married and had 7 children and did a few knitting and crocheting projects along with lots of sewing. When my oldest child started to dri>e I needed something to keep my hands busy so I wasn’t nerously gripping the armrests, something I could do and also pay attention to the road. That is when I began to crochet a lot more. I started making afghans for my children, then for wedding and baby gifts, and for my nieces and nephews. I was also in a prayer pals group at church. One year I returned from a trip with a broken ankle. My preferred position was on the bed with my feet up. If I was on my bed my family left me alone. I made an afghan for my prayer pal while I was laid up. That was when I began to use my time alone crochet time to pray for those for whom I was making the afhgan. Now my afghans are made with prayer.

  • Teri M.

    There’s always a glimmer of hope when so much in this world is going wrong,upside down,unraveling and just messed up that those of us that have the talent for knitting,crocheting or any other calming craft can teach others.I think this world would be at peace if everyone who knew how to knit or crochet would or could teach just one person.Pay it forward and see the smiles on the faces when they accomplish their first project.GOOD LUCK to all of you lovely people with talent! Thanx :)

  • Jane

    I learned to crochet about 2 years ago at the foot of a precious lady from my church. Our church started a prayer shawl ministry and I wanted to be a part of that ministry. I have made many prayer shawls since then.
    One memory I have of my mother knitting that is such a comfort to me is when I was in High Risk OB when I was pregnant with my 20 year old twins my mother would sit by my bed and knit. There were times when I was very, very sick and could not really wake up but i could hear, and the sound that comforted me was the clicking of my precious mother’s knitting needles, I knew she was there, knitting and praying.
    My mother has since gone on to Heaven, but the memories of her knitting stay with me! I do regret never learning to knit, however my daughter ( my mother’s namesake) has taught herself to knit, so I can still hear the clicking of the needles.

    Memories, and ladies thanks for sharing you stories, they are such an inspiration.

  • barbara sansone

    I just finished reading all your lovely stories and comments and enjoyed them all….What a great idea Sylvia had for her Lenten goal of making 40 hats to donate to charity…there’s a lady I would like to know!!! I was really interested in Bobbie Bushey’s “swinging therapy blanket” – it sounds like something I could use for my son – how could we get her pattern?? Knitting has been a savior and an escape for me – as a single mother of two adopted children, one of whom has anger and physical aggressiveness issues, knitting helps me to “escape” and instills a sense of peace in me, giving me time to “regroup” from the stresses of the day…. Thank you for sharing with all of us and God bless each and every one of you……

  • Frances Campbell

    My Aunt taught me to crochet when I was 16 years old and passed away shortly after. I have always relished the thought that I had something to remember her by. Since then (40 years)i have made afghans, laprobes, baby sets (1 baby set in 1 day when a friend of mine said I need a baby gift tonight and I have no money) but I had lots of yarn on hand and all day wohoo. Door handle covers all kinds of crazy animals, a nice warm jacket for when I was pregnant and couldn’t afford a bigger coat for just a couple of months while I was big. There is just so much you can crochet. Squares for comunal afghan projects that go to shelters or overseas to troops. It just warms a soul to give and with something that helps relieve stress “Bonus”. I have just been dianosed with rheumatoid arthritis in April last year on top of osetoarthritis. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to crochet anymore cause I can’t bend the top knuckles of both hands but I still can (sigh of relief)maybe not so good on the tension but I thing that I’m the only one that notices. So keep knitting and crocheting like all of you I hope to have a hook in my hands right to the end.

  • Cherie McCune

    What inspiring stories! I too have knitted and crocheted since I was a under 10 – now in my sixties. Recently I was on a long distance train ride and knitting baby beannies and nearby was another lady knitting squares. Naturally we started chatting about what we were doing. I had discovered your wonderful website not long before this when looking for a pattern to crochet a cardigan for my granddaughter (which I did by adapting one of your patterns). My travelling was making a rug using squares of patterns she had found on your website. What a coincidence!

    Thank you so much for your never ending projects and patterns.

  • Judy Montel

    I haven’t even finished reading all the comments above and am almost shaking from the amount of courage and strength I have received from you all. I have always “just” crocheted, but after reading about several of you who learned to knit, am wondering if it isn’t too late for me to knit well (as opposed to the dreadfully messy things I made when trying to learn as a child). I have inherited lots and lots of very thin knitting needles from my husband’s late aunts. The fact that everyone in his family thought I ought to get them moved me very much, but I thought it was a waste since I don’t really knit. Now I’m having second thoughts and renewed faith in my own abilities – thank you for allowing me into this amazing community of yarnworking folks!

  • Marian

    I learned to crochet from my grandmother when I was about 6 or 7 years old. She first taught me the chain stitch and gradually I learned more. We would sit together, her in her rocking chair, me in my little chair, and crochet for hours, just the two of us, not speaking a word, quiet, lost in our thoughts, no television, no radio, just the two of us. Presently, I crochet almost everyday, and I think about those moments with my her, peaceful, quiet, and so safe. I love the things I make, the things I create, they are full of my thoughts about my grandmother: I smile … She was poor, took in the neighbor’s wash for a living. Her name was Emma Jones.

  • Linda

    I have knitted since I taught myself while in college. Many afghans, baby outfits, purses and other projects later, I realized that I cherished the peace that knitting and crocheting brought to me in stressful times.
    Many people have asked me to teach them to knit and I would always keep some cheap needles and yarn ends with me just for this purpose.
    My favorite student was the premed student who was waiting to take his last medical exam. He was cutting paper into smaller and smaller squares when I suggested he try knitting. He was game! His project was a hat for his sister’s newborn boy. This hat was perfect! It helped him get through that test and wait for his first acceptance into med school, all without cutting paper into squares!
    I know he will be an excellent surgeon because the stitches were all even and not a mistake showed.
    I have such good feelings when I think back on this experience.
    Keep up the good work, Lion Brand and keep some cheap needles available!

  • Loretta Nelson

    I have kidney failure, after a long deep depression I found I need to make contributions to the world in some way. Crocheting has worked very well. I have a large family and so I have many people to crochet for. My favorite projects is foa a nieces Kelly dolls. Another family of neices have some We dolls. They are shorter and stockier than the barbie. I also enjoy crocheting for them. I made a baby doll outfit for a niece’ birthday. She loved it! We are expecting two babies this year and as soon aswe discover sexes I will start working on things for these babies. All this has helped beat the depression and keeps me excited about doing something!

  • Julie S

    I am right-handed and was taught the very basics (chain and single) of crochet by my left-handed Gram. It was a bit frustrating, but fortunately we both got a lot of laughs out of the experience.

    Mom later taught me more stitches, but I never really made anything but patches of stitches that I would then rip out and start all over with. I used the same ball of yarn until it was frayed and untwisted and unusable. Then teenage years got busy and I put it aside.

    Finally, in my early 30s (I’m almost 38 now) I picked it up again – and this time I learned to read a pattern. The first thing I made was a large afghan that featured a beautiful spider-stitch. I put it down for another couple years, and then my Dad died three years ago rather suddenly.

    In my shock and overwhelming grief, I returned to crocheting. It kept my hands busy so my mind could process things. I very gradually went from having to pause to wipe away tears of sorrow to pausing to wipe away tears of laughter, as the pain eased and I was able to recall the fun, happy memories of my Dad.

    My “therapy” took me through a full-sized bedspread, four shawls, two scarves, three Project Linus blankets, two market bags and the beginnings of a few other projects before I ran out of steam. Now, as the third anniversary of Dad’s death approaches, I find myself looking for the next afghan pattern. I guess I have some unfinished ruminating.

    Now where’d I put that J hook….

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