Katie 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’m Katie 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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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 by Salty Pearl Crochet.
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Tide Lines Scarf: A Free Crochet Scarf Pattern for Boys by Salty Pearl Crochet
Loops and Threads Charisma Big! Yarn, or approximately 300 yds of Bulky (5 Weight) yarn like this Mighty Stich from Knitpicks
Dc – double crochet
Lp – loop
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 a handy 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!)
The turning chain does NOT count as a stitch in Katie’s patterns.
To begin, use some 3rd Loop Dc stitches to create some pretty textured “Tide lines”:
Row 1: Dc in 3rd chain, and across. Ch 2, turn.  *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.
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!
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.