All posts by andrea

Easy knit look crochet slopes hat pattern

free crochet yarn cake beanie patternAs the weather has warmed up here in the South I’m still dreaming about snow. I cranked up the ac, put on the Olympics and found this squishy Bernat Pop in my favorite colors. I’m afraid my mannequin (aka “Betsy”) will get more use out of it than me until we visit the mountains again. I am pretty happy to share this free knit look crochet slopes hat pattern here with you, though!

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Free crochet Scarf Pattern for Boys

crochet against anxiety free patternKatie from Salty Pearl Crochet has graciously offered to share her free crochet scarf pattern for boys with us on the blog today. Keep reading to find the free Tide Lines Scarf pattern and her favorite tips on how to use crochet to calm anxiety!

Using Crochet to Calm: 3 tips for Using Crochet to Help Ease Anxiety PLUS the Tide Lines Free Crochet Scarf Pattern for Boys

Hello everyone! I’mKatie Clary, a blogger friend of Andrea’s. We’re both Florida girls who LOVE to crochet even though we only get to wear “winter” gear maybe one month out of the year. You can find more of my free crochet patterns and tips over at my blog,Salty Pearl Crochet. I’m so excited to be sharing a little piece of my crochet story with you today on the Crochet Therapy blog. I hope this simple free scarf pattern brings you the same sense of peace and contentment as it helped me to find making it.

Making the Tide Lines Scarf

Or, How to Use Crochet to Calm Anxiety in Stressful Situations

Have you ever felt frazzled because of external circumstances outside your control? Sometimes it can seem like simple irritations pile up on your shoulders.

“When I’m feeling like my attitude has started to spiral out of control, I use crochet to calm my nerves and help me come back to a place of peace.”

Today, I’ll give you my three best practical tips for using crochet to help you soothe your nerves and maintain your composure in any circumstances! Plus, I’m including a free and easy crochet scarf pattern for boys (or anyone, really!) that you can use to put these tips into practice and find inner peace even in chaotic situations.

Have you ever just wanted to stomp your feet at all the little irritations of the day? That’s the morning I was having this New Year’s Day. We were flying home to visit family over the holidays, but it just seemed like one thing after another went wrong! First, our flight was scheduled for an obscene hour of the morning. I’d stayed up late finishing up our final cleaning, so I was running on fumes. We still had to wake up at zero-dark thirty and dress in clothes for a climate 70 degrees colder than ours. Then, we had to drive to the further of the two local airports- an hour away. Yuck.

My daughter reminded me the day before to buy some cold canned coffee for my husband and myself to drink on the drive over there. Unfortunately, it really upset my stomach. Yikes! The bumpy drive through construction to the airport was agony on my gut. When we got there, our kids’ new suitcases were too heavy for them to pull, and kept getting overturned. When we finally made it onto the airport grounds, the automatic sprinklers were going- completely covering all the sidewalks with spray. My son and husband managed to dodge most of the spray, but my carefree 3 year old daughter happily splashed in puddles while I got completely drenched keeping pace with her. Groan.

After we got our bags checked, I was informed that I had a credit card knife in my possession. How mortifying! I’m SO lucky this happened in Florida where that doesn’t count as a concealed weapon.

At this point, I was just about in tears. I was shoe less, my daughter was wailing to go to my husband, who was happily seated on the other side of the security check, and I just wanted to go back to bed. But the coffee said no. I was up! And so was my blood pressure, I’m sure.

That was intense. I’ll be honest, it’s been an entire month, and my palms are still sweating just thinking of how stressed I was! Here’s a photo of my border collie, Barrett, to help you reset your brain for a second. He’s SO good at that! What a good boy.

Whew. Okay. Better? Great.

When your circumstances press in on your sense of cool like that, you’ve got to have some tools to help you calm down! Here are my best tips for regaining your cool (using crochet!) when you’ve been tipped out of your emotional equilibrium.

Use crochet as a tool during a stressful situation

  1. Plan for What You Know

Now, of course, there isn’t much I could have done to avert all the little crises I faced this New Years. However, I could anticipate that traveling (especially so early in the morning) could cause a good deal of stress for me. So I made sure to pack some crochet supplies in my carry on bag to give myself a positive outlet for all the nervous energy. Maybe it’s strange to carry an entire ball of Charisma Big! yarn in my purse- but it was what I needed, and I am so thankful I did!

I also made sure to plan for our other needs. My husband was kind enough to go buy us some drinks to carry onto the plane. And I had packed breakfast snacks for my kids and myself to take on the plane. (Nothing makes a Clary grouchier than an empty belly!) And of course, I had some treats to entertain my kids and help them behave- they were allowed some extra screen time, and we brought some new quiet toys from Christmas for the plane ride.

“If you know that you often feel anxious, consider bringing a crochet project with you where appropriate.”

Enough to refocus your attention away from the stress that’s bothering you, but simple enough that you won’t be distracted from what you need to take care of. (Andrea calls these projects her “serenity projects,” and I think that’s just the perfect name for them!)

Find more Serenity Crochet Projects here!

  1. Stop the Snowball (Reframe Your Situation!)

Stop the snowball. This advice can change your day, and change your life! (Hang with me for a second, you’ll get it in a moment.) When you release a negative thought in your mind, it has a cohesive effect. If you allow yourself into that negative frame of thinking, you will find yourself thinking even more negative thoughts. You might even start to dread the little tasks ahead of you- perhaps unnecessarily. For example, instead of being happy we got through security at all, I began dreading the long wait, worrying about how my kids would behave on the flight, and generally fussing and fretting. That one little snowflake of an attitude problem had snowballed into some major anxiety about the flight, and I was tense!

Note: for those of you living with more severe anxiety, I realize that there are more biological and physical components to your anxiety than I may ever understand. Give yourself grace, and do what you can to stop the snowball. Perhaps you can’t completely eliminate your anxiety, and that’s okay. Just do what you can to help slow it.

Deep breath. We all go to that place. It’s natural! The trick is, you don’t have to stay there. You are in control of your brain, and YOU can stop it. Stop the snowball.

“I settled my kids, got out my yarn, and instead of dreading the hour wait, I made a conscious choice to think positively. Great! A whole hour to sit and crochet! As a woman and a young mom, I don’t often get a dedicated chunk of time to focus on my hobbies!”

A few rows into my son’s scarf, I was actually looking forward to the flight! I’d get another whole TWO hours on the plane to crochet. Before you know it, you will have built up the positive thoughts instead!

I truly believe that changing my attitude made a huge difference in my kids’ experience on the plane. They did great! They picked up on my calmer attitude, and settled themselves in nicely.

  1. Soothe Yourself

Can I tell you a secret? I don’t often tell people, but I use repetitive counting to soothe myself when I’m feeling stressed. When I was young, I channeled that into piano lessons and practicing my flute. Now, I like to count my stitches. When that last little itch of anxiety just won’t let me go, sometimes just counting, one, two, three, four… breaks the final tug of stress on my mind.

That day, I counted my stitching in a steady rhythm. One, two, three four… and I paused at the end of each row to recount my stitches, just to be sure I hadn’t missed one. (Again, planning ahead! I knew I was frazzled and distracted enough to miss a few.)

“After a few rows, my breathing evened out to match the slower pace of my hook. Inhale, two three, four, exhale… My physiology was responding to my crochet, and soon my attitude adjusted with it.”

Maybe counting doesn’t quite calm you, and that’s fine. Find something that does. Maybe it’s watching the colors in your yarn change. Maybe it’s the way you tension your yarn around your finger just so. Or focusing on the feel of the yarn sliding across your fingertips as you crochet. Perhaps it’s the whole ritual, or the smell of hot jasmine tea steaming on the table beside you.

There you have it! Of course, these tips aren’t the end-all, be-all, but I hope they help empower you to use crochet to help you find some serenity and calm amidst the stress you’re dealing with today. And to help you with that, here’s my Tide Lines Scarf- a free and  easy crochet scarf pattern for boys written bySalty Pearl Crochet.

Before you get started, be sure to Pin this pattern to Pinterest or Add to your Ravelry Favorites so you don’t lose track of it!

Some of the links are affiliate links. The products you purchase through these links earn me a small commission and help keep the website running, Thanks!

Tide Lines Scarf: A Free Crochet Scarf Pattern for Boys by Salty Pearl Crochet

crochet against anxiety free pattern

Materials needed

Loops and Threads Charisma Big! Yarn, or approximately 300 yds of Bulky (5 Weight) yarn like this Mighty Stich from Knitpicks

Ergonomic K / 6.5mm Crochet Hook

Scissors

Yarn Needles

Abbreviations

Ch- chain

Dc – double crochet

Lp – loop

Special Stitches

DC through 3rd Lp: Yarn over. Insert hook through the 3rd loop behind the stitch. YO and pull up a loop, complete dc as usual.

******Here’s ahandy tutorial on Katie’s Blog if you’d like more pictures of this technique!********

Gauge / Finished Size

Gauge is not crucial for this project. Your finished scarf should be approximately as tall as the person who will wear it- Mine was 52” for my son who is 47” tall. (I needed to finish the pattern repeat!)

Notes

The turning chain does NOT count as a stitch in Katie’s patterns.

Instructions

To begin, use some 3rd Loop Dc stitches to create some pretty textured “Tide lines”:

Ch 22.

Row 1: Dc in 3rd chain, and across.  Ch 2, turn. [20] *Note, the stitch count remains constant at 20. 🙂

Row 2: Working through 3rd lps, Dc across. Ch 2, turn.

Row 3: Dc across. Ch 2, turn.

Row 4: Working through 3rd lps, Dc across. Ch 2, turn.

Rows 5-8: Repeat Rows 3 and 4 twice more.

Add some plain Double Crochet to give it some space:

Rows 9-16: Repeat Row 3.

Then add two more “Tide Lines” with 3rd Loop Dc stitching:

Rows 17-20: Repeat Rows 3 and 4 twice more.

Continue in pattern:

Alternate repeats of Rows 9-16, and Rows 17-20, until your scarf is within a few inches of the intended length.

Finish with more “Tide lines”

Repeat Rows 17-20 once more to make the scarf completely symmetrical.

Finishing

Cut your yarn, and weave in all ends using your yarn needle. Then you’re all ready to cozy up in your new scarf! I hope you enjoyed this easy and quick free crochet scarf pattern. My son LOVED it, and it kept him warm on our visit to Illinois. The outside temperature was -6 degrees for this photo!

crochet against anxiety free pattern

Read more about crochet as a self care tool in this collection of articles and be sure to hop on over to Katie’s blog to see all of her beautiful, free crochet patterns!

Katie is a busy mom to two kids (and the world’s fluffiest border collie) and proud wife of a U.S. Marine who swept her away from their Midwest roots to the faraway coasts of the East China Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and lately Tampa Bay.

When she’s not combing the beach for seashells, she’s using yarn to send her love back home like a message in a bottle to her loved ones who stayed behind.

You can find more of her free, beach inspired crochet patterns on her blog, Salty Pearl Crochet.

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crochet against anxiety free pattern

7 Valentine’s Day Crochet Hat Patterns

Valentine's day crochet hat patternsNow that I’m a mom I love Valentine’s Day. Not actually for any romantic reasons (although they are always good too!). I love Valentine’s Day because my daughter is born a few days before and I have the BEST girly Birthday decorations to chose from. I was not exactly a girly girl when I was growing up but getting older I feel more drawn to pinks and purples. While I enjoy crocheting heartsy decorations (check out my guide to easy crochet hearts in three sizes!) I was intrigued by Valentine’s hats this year. I hope you find a sweet hat to make in this roundup of seven Valentine’s Day crochet hat patterns. Continue Reading

Lovely Crochet Slouch

crochet hat for valentines day, free patternLove, one of the easiest and most complicated positive emotions. Please read this post to learn about the “Positive Psychology and crochet” link and find out more about why our favorite hobby makes us so happy. This year I want to write patterns with happiness in mind. When I set out to make a hat for this season it was COLD! My mind immediately went to creature comforts. The free crochet slouch pattern has a double brim that I made to keep my loved ones nice and toasty. I am a mother of two and it makes me very happy to know my kids are comfortable and warm. Lion Brand’s Wool Ease seemed perfect for my mission to create a snugly slouch as the animal fibers will retain heat better than solely acrylic yarn.

The free crochet slouch pattern is for adults and teens below. If you’d like to find the printable PDF in sizes Baby through adult go to my Etsy shop here or my Ravelry store here!

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crochet ribbed brim tutorial

crochet ribbed brim tutorial

When I first discovered the ribbing stitch it felt like a revelation. I love to crochet but sometimes my pieces (especially my hats) had serious knit – envy. Once I incorporated the ribbing stitch I feel like we can easily keep up. The weather finally got cooler here and I wanted to design something extra warm. Keep reading for the crochet ribbed brim tutorial. Starting your hat with this will keep your ears nice and toasty! I used Lion Brand’s Wool Ease for my newest hat design and the wool content really adds to the warmth as well. Even though the hat is not for him, I think you can see that my little man approves 🙂 Continue Reading

Teatime Textured Cowl

caron cake free crochet pattern cowlWouldn’t it be wonderful if your favorite past time was actually good for you? Research suggests that crocheting and other needle crafts are just that – good for your health. Your physical health and your mental health can improve just by working with your hooks. This year my pattern focus will be on feel good projects. The Teatime textured chunky crochet cowl is designed with happiness in mind. Read more about the healing powers of crochet on this site!

This crochet cowl pattern was one for all senses. I bought the Caron Tea cake Yarn for it’s squishiness, used my wooden bamboo hook for an organic, earthy feel and made a bumpy variation of the half double crochet stitch for texture.

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Simple Crochet Cable Beanie

free crochet cable hat patternThe pattern for this simple crochet cable beanie has been floating around my hook and computer for almost a year now. When Lion Brand’s Heartland Yarn joined the mix, I couldn’t wait any longer to share the free pattern here. If you are new to crocheting cables, check out this post for a photo tutorial. The pattern below is adult medium woman’s size. Hint: make this without the pompom and get a classic cable beanie for men

Download the ad free, printable PDF in sizes Baby to Adult large from my Etsy store here, or my Ravelry shop here! Continue Reading

Free crochet pattern Striped Hat

black and white crochetI set out to make a striped hat but somehow it did not dawn on me that my stripes would turn out vertical until I started 🙂 . How fun is the vertical illusion that the moss stitch brings to this project? You will work this striped crochet hat from brim to crown. The pattern is really very easy and would be fun in any colors. This is one of those stitches that can work for super chunky yarn and sport weight alike. It always creates a cohesive, almost knit look fabric and I definitely will use it again for a hat.

Follow the free crochet pattern for a medium (woman’s) size here or go to my Etsy or Ravelry shop and find the ad free, printable PDF ($2.50). The printable version comes in five sizes, toddler through adult large! My Etsy shop , My Ravelry store

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Straight crochet edge tutorial

crochet hack

When I first started to crochet regularly I made Afghans. Simple double crochet Afghans. I was excited about the colors, I could tell I was improving my stitch quality over time but one thing always left me puzzled. My edges were messy! They were wobbly or holey and not appealing at all. The same happened with my scarves and all other double crochet (even half double crochet) projects. After a lot of trial and error and some research I found Tara Murray’s Crochet Hack. (If you don’t know her, you need to look at her amazing patterns here!) This is a game changer! The simple trick cleans up your edges and even make it easier for you to crochet a border around double crochet projects. Below is the straight crochet edge tutorial. Use this tutorial to learn the fake double crochet decrease stitch and love your edges.

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