Crochet and healing

Why Crochet Therapy?

I love this project “crochettherapy” and I am constantly trying to redefine what makes this idea of crocheting to heal so compelling to me. Lately I have been asking and re-asking myself the question  why I have started all of this in the first place and it is becoming more and more clear that I want to make crochet / creativity for a happiness boost my life’s work.

Focus on Happiness

I have always been fascinated by what makes us tick as humans, but over the course of the last six months or so one field has stood out for me. There is a fairly new trend in Psychology that focuses on positivity. The trend is moving away from pathology and towards a more concrete picture of what makes people happy and what we can do to evoke or strengthen positive emotions in our everyday life. I am immensely grateful for having been in a place where finding happiness again had to become a major focus in my life, otherwise I would have missed out on learning about all of this (and probably would have never started my crochet obsession!)

I am working hard on formulating a few of my core beliefs and would love it if you guys could bear with me, read on and even help a little in the comments!

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Busy crochet hands are happier

I believe that through the course of human history we have always played an active role in the production of items and tools. It wasn’t until very recently that we have seized to manufacture (-make with our hands) the objects that surround us in our day to day lives. There is an old saying, “busy hands are happy hands” and I thoroughly believe this to be true. This proverb has, in my opinion, been misunderstood as it has been taken as a negative comment towards laziness and linked into the puritan ‘all work no play’ ethic. My belief is, though, by not producing, creating or manufacturing touchable, visible objects, we are missing out on a major contributor towards happiness.

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Simplicity can be the best remedy

In my own life I have dealt with depression and anxiety issues and was fortunate enough to receive professional treatment along with medication right away. I was also fortunate enough to stumble across a craft I had learned in grade school. I was gifted an old crochet hook and a ball of yarn. Along with a library book of crochet stitches I sat on my porch in the sunlight and made a scarf. I was blown away by the end, finding I had spent hours without anxiety and the crippling dark thoughts I had grown accustomed to living with every day.

Crocheting is similar to meditation

The repetitive, almost meditative motion of my hand holding the hook, the feel of the yarn gliding through my fingers and the concentration it took to follow the pattern had somehow engulfed my senses enough to make me feel if not normal but at least at peace. This calming effect is one I have heard about again and again from people who have found crochet during trying times and it is real and quite substantial. It is, however only one positive aspect in practicing a craft. I will continue to write about the needle craft – happiness link and share more

Read about Crochet and these happiness boosting emotions it causes you to experience. I have included little pattern round ups in each post that, I think, fit nicely into the different categories!

  • Crochet and Positive Psychology a little introduction to why I believe crocheting can be used as a tool to achieve a happier outlook on life.
  • Crochet and Inspiration part one and two: Did you know inspiration is one of the ten distinct positive emotions that can lead to an increase of your overall happiness?
  • Crochet and Interest: Another little thought of happiness boosting emotion is interest. I love how this plays into crocheting.
  • Crochet and Serenity: Read about the meditative qualities of crocheting and how this can boost your mood.
  • Crochet and Amusement : One of my favorite reasons to crochet amigurumi!
  • Crochet and Gratitude: This is an often overlooked emotion. I have included a little list of charities to donate your crocheted items to because because unconditional giving can make your heart happy!
  • Crochet and Pride: This is an emotion we often feel a little weird about, but we can easily be proud of our awesome crochet creations.
  • Crochet and Hope: I share some more of my story and my hopes of inspiring people to feel good about practicing their hobby. You are actively taking care of your own happiness!
  • Crochet and loss: Crocheting can be such a powerful clutch to hold onto after a loss and here are a few stories

Keep coming back for updates but in the mean time, check out this link to Kathryn Vercillo’s wonderful list of posts on crochet health benefits and

read more about happiness and get inspired here

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Andrea

11 comments

  1. Crochet gives a conection that otherwise for me would not exist. I gift the items I make to others. New Mums. Friends. Others outside who would benefit. It has opened my scope to a new world.

  2. I am obsessed with crochet! And yes it makes me very happy and fills a void that I never knew existed in my life. I crochet (and sew a little) for charity. I enjoy giving to others as God has given so much to me. I make chem hats and healing shawls for patients at MD Anderson and beanies and wheelchair blankets for veterans at VA hospital. It truly gives me joy and happiness to help those going through bad situations.

  3. I started crocheting after my miscarriage; I think as a way to cope with the stress of it all. Crocheting has become my meditation and I find it extremely calming. I love gifting items to my family and friends. I had no idea that others felt the same way. This website is a wonderful. Thank you!

    1. I am so sorry for your loss! I went through a miscarriage four years ago and I feel your pain. Crocheting helped me find myself again under all the sadness back then. Thank you so much for your comment, it really means a lot to me!

  4. I started crocheting when I was 7 – I’m now 61. My most recent binge of crocheting at Christmas was making three “blankets” for my three grandchildren, ages 4, 5 and 6. As I made the afghans with every stitch I thought about about them being wrapped with loved around my dear grandchildren in two other states while I was in a third state. I told the kids it was to remind them how much I love them. Thank you for this wonderful website!

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment! There is much to be said about making something with love in mind. I believe it transfers and your grandchildren will surely cherish the blankets as heirlooms💙

  5. I am a retired Creative Arts Therapist/ Mental Health Counselor (36 yrs. at VA’s). I agree with all the comments above, crochet is very therapeutic in so many ways. I have made big blankets for several of my veterans as well as family members. I’ve also made a lot of cotton washcloths for everyone I know. I’m working on a big blanket out of Lion Homespun like the others I’ve done, this one for my future son-in-law. He asked if I’d make him one and I was glad to. I should have it finished in a few more days, in time for his Birthday. It gives me great joy to make the warm and soft Homespun blankets for my favorite people! Nothing says “I love you” better than a handmade warm and soft blanket to snuggle into in the winter! Crocheting has helped with my long term chronic depression, that’s for sure! I think better than the medicine but it’s probably the combination of the two. I just wish my hands would hold up better, had thumb joint reconstruction on both hands this past year. The Tulip and Clover ergonomic hooks have really helped with that. I enjoy reading your posts and reader comments! Keep up the great work! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I am really passionate about this subject, probably because of it’s simplicity.
      I am sure you are creating an heirloom!
      I am very interested in Arts Therapy and how crocheting could be used within it’s context. If you would like to share some of your knowledge or thoughts, I would really love to chat! Email me at crochettherapy@outlook.com if you are interested!
      Thanks!

      1. Sure! I’d be glad to do that. I really enjoy your writing and your passion for the creative arts and crochet as therapy! I’ll e-mail you!

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