Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares inspiration for enjoying all of your craft projects from start to finish. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.
I believe strongly in the power of crochet to improve quality of life whether you’re suffering from a serious condition like depression or just seeking to experience more inspiration in your everyday life. One of the key ways that I believe crochet can help is through embracing each stage of the project including the process of visualizing, working on, and finally completing the work.
Many people underestimate the value of this first step of a crochet project but it can be immensely beneficial to focus on it. Truly embrace the process of thinking about what you want to make, how you want to make it, who it will be for, and which yarn you will want to use.
Doing this allows:
Visualizing even a small thing like a crochet project opens up new ways of thinking. This helps stimulate hope, optimism and energy for all areas of life.
Most people focus all of their energy on the process of the project. Of course, this offers many benefits as well including:
The benefits of crochet increase general well-being and quality of life. The more you pay attention to this, the happier your everyday life can be.
When you come to the end of a project, take the time to celebrate what you’ve completed. Remember back to the early stages and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Pausing to enjoy the final project helps to build self-esteem and pride. It also greases the wheels for the inspiration you’ll need to start the next project. And of course, if you’re giving the item to a loved one or a charity then you can celebrate the final project together with the person receiving the gift, experiencing the sense of community that handcrafting brings.
Take the time to immerse yourself in every moment of your next crochet project, from the first steps of visualization through to the final moments of elation upon completion. It may change not only the way you approach your craft but also the way you approach the world.
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This describes me when I crochet.
Do you agree that all aspects of the craft are equally beneficial or do you find one more so than the other?
This is so timely. Friday night I decided to crochet a stuffed toy replica of an animated character.This little guy is the firewall security symbol on my computer at work. I see him everyday and often thought about making him a “real” figure. No pattern, just an idea…A couple hours later, he was sitting on the table. The irritations of the day, noisy people, bad roads, etc. faded away. I fell asleep that night and woke the next morning feeling creative and cheerful. This is so true.
What a great project! And so wonderful to hear that it was so beneficial for you in this way. Yay crochet!!
Colette Hill Kraemer
This hits the nail on the head. With extra time off this fall, I decided to get out the old yam & crochet hooks. It transformed my usually blue mood when cold weather hits. I cheerfully made 3 ponchos, about 20 hats, lots of matching scarves, and now I’m making a bicycle basket for springtime!! I haven’t been so happy & carefree in years!! 🙂
So happy to hear that crochet is keeping you upbeat through the winter months. Your bicycle basket sounds like a great project. What will be next after that?
Colette Hill Kraemer
Thank you. Not sure of the next project…maybe more bike baskets!!
Colette, where did you get the poncho patterns from? I spent ages looking for some on the internet and didn’t find anything….
Colette Hill Kraemer
I tried 2 different patterns, and they’re both cute.
With this one, be careful, as it’s easy to make too big
and, for this one, I didn’t add the cowl (too bulky)
Have fun, thanks!!
Colette Hill Kraemer
With a matching hat!! This is the pattern for the second link.
Sorry crochet is not for meâ€¦I found it very frustratingâ€¦but give me knitting needles and yarn and then I’m all setâ€¦and I can sit and relaxâ€¦my knitting goes everywhere with me!!!
If you don’t crochet and don’t find it as pleasurable as the article above states… why comment on a posting about crochet? Seems like you are just trying to spread your negative thoughts about a great craft onto a highly positive and enjoyable article.
Thanks for sharing, jwb. I think it’s important to see that the means is not as important as the activity of being creative and fully engaged. I’m glad knitting does that for you!
I totally agree that knitting can be absolutely as healing as crochet and didn’t mean to imply otherwise with my post. It’s just that crochet is my craft and I never learned to knit so I wrote it from my perspective 🙂
Vicki Parslow Stafford
Crochet, knitting, beadweaving — I find them all relaxing, stimulating and therapeutic. They all involve the same qualities of focus, meditative activity, creative stimulation and problem-solving. I feel a deep and reassuring sense of connection to my dead grandmothers and great-aunts when I get involved in the traditional “women’s work” of fibre crafts, although I must say that my Cornish grandfather and great-grandfather were very accomplished knitters and crocheters!
It’s the same for me, but the other way around. I love the way knitted projects look, but two needles make my shoulders tense. I take my crochet everywhere with me!
Have you tried circular needles. I find it much more pleasureable to knit that way. It doesn’t make the shoulders tense.
Circular needles seem so awkward to me. I learned on straights and find that loop of plastic to always be in the way. Crochet is my choice.
I starting crocheting when I was 14. It was because of crocheting I was able to get over a very bad depression that lead me to hurt myself in crazy ways. Now I’m 25… expecting my 2nd child and I still crochet off and on with the time allows. It’s been such a long time since I’m actually completed a crochet project. I’ve started many over the year and gotten close but things like life get in the way. This is uplifting and motivating and a good reminder of the pure joy of crocheting.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience of crocheting through depression, a topic that is very close to my own heart. Crochet can get us out of the deepest and darkest places and also just improve our lives in small ways when things are going well. It’s nice to complete projects but just the process of starting and working on them is valuable as well!
I’m blessed by knowing Kathryn, and her thoughtful ideas have inspired me in every aspect of my life. To experience the textures and colors of yarn as we make useful artworks is healing in every way. How lucky we are to have such a sensitive and mindful spokesperson!
I am so touched by your comment Jeanette. Thank you!
Well I don’t have any comments about crochet but I do about the ladder. I need another quilt ladder my ex husband would not give me mine after the divorce like he was supposed to. Did you buy it made or did someone make it for you? I like how you can adjust the width because of extra thick quilts. I would like to make me one if you made it may I buy a copy of the pattern? If you bought it may I know where so I can get one. I’m not having any problems with my crochet right now, please email me at email@example.com Thank you
I learned how to knit in grade school, and as an adult to crochet, I
think that both are equal as “therapy” to unwind see what 2 hands
can do and be proud of, Marti
"e: Lee - The Crochet Loungeâ„¢
Hi K! Love this blog post – visualization is so important in all aspects of life – utilizing it on crochet projects that are much shorter than most life goals projects brings a great way to train those brain cells to think differently!
Visualization also allows you the opportunity to celebrate the small victories as different parts of the project is completed so when applying the same concept to life goals, you would already have the sense of accomplishment that the process works.
It is a huge part of my pattern designing and plays a major role when I am picking a crochet project â™¥
Thanks for the post!
I dropped crochet approximately 38 years ago. Three years ago, while undergoing chemo and radiation, I took it up again and became consumed. My first major project was a queen size blanket randomly composed of four colours. It didn’t stop with the blanket or the chemo. I have about 70 items crocheted out of a variety of wools and cottons. I don’t use any synthetic materials. Scarves, toques, shawls, wraps, throws and matinee jackets, I have been very experimental with my variety and creative in crocheting my own designs. The marvel is, I am 67 years old, semi retired and a man; a crochet addicted man.
Vicki Parslow Stafford
My grandfather was a skillful knitter, and while confined to bed with thyroid disease and emphysema, he made us beautiful socks and gloves.
It’s my medicine. 😀
I completed 30 lap throws for nursing home residents in my community. It was so heartwarming to see their expressions when we gave them the throw with a ribbon attached. This message was so on point for me. I shall print and keep so whenever I get in a dump, I will read and get reenergized.
I knit and crochet both, generally alternating between them. If I’m making a gift for someone, I focus on that person during the project. When I was working, I would knit or crochet to relieve stress from the job during evenings at home. Now that I’m retired, I knit/crochet while watching TV.
Geez……maybe I should never read these lovely comments about crochet, because I am a knitter? I, too, am confounded by crochet…….but can handle knitting quite well. I have tried to crochet, as my mother could……but it seems harder to me and I become frustrated.
Can’t we just appreciate and respect all aspects of handwork?
I recently completed an 8 week course entitled “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction”. Your description of the reasons to embrace each part of a crochet (or other hand craft) project very much supports the ideas I learned through my course. Thank you for validating this type of creative art.
I thoroughly believe Crocheting has helped me through the gloom and doom of Cancer, a fall that took away the ability to walk, and my Daughter’s death. I learned to Crochet when I was a child. I thank God my grandmother taught me to Crochet. I take a project with me every place I go. I thoroughly believe Crocheting has been the catalyst for the many accomplishments I have had in life. I have taught many Crocheting classes. My students thank me for giving them the “Crochet Bug”. To all you “Hookers” out there, keep the “Crochet Bug” alive.
It makes me feel soooo good that I can create something that I can give as a gift and the recipient truly appreciates that I took the time to make something special with them in mind.
Early 2013 I decided I needed a creative outlet in my chaotic life. Pre-requisites were 1) calming, 2) portable, 3) creative. I’ve done all painting & am an accomplished potter & have done just about every other craft. I decided on crochet & knit. It’s astounding how much the art has progressed. When I needed stitch advice I stumbled on a group of local yarn artist who have become the delight of my life. We’ve stitched, created, shared, donated & laughed a lot. My annual blood test results came in last week & I am soooooo in the normal ranges that my Dr called & asked how I did that at age 73. I laughed & told him he wouldn’t believe me if I told him!
I totally loved this article and will try to use it to better my experience and my projects. I do love giving away my project especially to charities. At Christmas time I make loads of Christmas pins and give them to charities and also I love to hand them out randomly to perfect strangers! I get lovely reactions and it always makes my day. I suffer from a lot of anxiety and this article will definitely help, thank you.
Kisakushi Mari Degard
Does anyone know where the pattern of the hourglass-like afghan is? I can’t stop thinking about it and it looks beautiful, I really want to make it.
I would like the pattern for the bicycle basket. I just bought a bicycle at the holidays and that sounds like a fun thing to do for it. I haven’t ridden in a LOT of years and I’m looking forward to some outdoor adventures.
Watched the video on how to begin a project w/o chain sts. Usually I have no problem transposing a pattern, etc. but this one has me stumped. You see I am left handed and crochet from right to left and clockwise when crochet round like a granny square. Any site that may have this video for us southpaws?
Watched your video on how to begin a project w/o ch sts. Usually I have no problem transposing patterns but this one has me stumped, just like the magic ring. You see I am left handed and crochet from left to right and clockwise for circular items like a granny square. Any idea where I can see a tutorial for us southpaws?