Arts and crafts, such as crocheting and knitting, are not only healing and restorative, they are also therapeutic in numerous ways.
Crocheting eliminates stress. Crocheting can be a solitary act where the crochetier is able to focus on the repetitiveness of creating stitches for rows on end. When feeling stressed, the crochetier makes time for themselves to be creative with no judgment.
Crocheting acts as a form of group therapy. For people who prefer group therapy instead of one-on-one sessions, there are crocheting groups that meet weekly and monthly where crochetiers gather to talk, laugh, eat, and fellowship, providing the attendees with a sense of community, and takes the focus off the person in therapy and places it on the crochet project. This type of group therapy not only eliminates stress, but it is a great ice breaker for new friendships to develop.
Crocheting can alleviate depression. Because this is a hobby crochetiers enjoy, the brain releases dopamine, a chemical that acts as an anti-depressant and affects emotions. When crocheting, the release of dopamine allows the crochetier to feel happy.
Crocheting can reduce Alzheimers. Studies show that the physical act of crocheting can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 30 to 50%. Practicing crocheting is a cognitive exercise which stimulates the brain. Crochetiers can challenge themselves by learning a new stitch, pattern, or technique. This simple act can slowdown or prevent memory loss, thereby preserving memories.
Crocheting helps with Math. Most crochetiers are creative people who love colors and textures and designs, not numbers. Yet every crochet pattern starts with a number and measurement. Crochet hooks are sized by numbers and letters, such as E4, F5, G6, H8, etc. Yarn is sized by weight from sock yarn, 1, to supper chunky, 7, the larger number the larger the yarn size. To match the yarn with the hook, instructions may read that 4” of single crochets = 25 stitches.
Yarn has dye lot numbers or color numbers. To ensure the color remains consistent throughout the piece, each skein must contain the same dye lot or color numbers.
Each pattern begins with a number – chain 4, chain 104, chain 250, etc. Every row is to be counted as pattern instructions may say repeat rows 2-5 for 75 rows or until piece measures 60”.
Crocheting builds self-esteem. Whether working on a project, planning a project or shopping for materials, the crochetier has an inner sense of productivity and usefulness. Seeing those stitches stretched out before the crochetier provides proof of accomplishment. When the project is given as a gift or sold at a craft fair, that purpose is deeply satisfied, hence generating a huge boost to self-esteem.
Crocheting helps with insomnia. Crocheting is repetitive and soothing, which gives the crochetier a chance to focus on the project at hand, instead of the problems of the world. This soothing effect calms the mind and body allowing the crochetier to fall asleep easier.
Crocheting puts the crochetier in control. By choosing everything from the crochet hook, yarn type and color, pattern, and type of project, the crochetier is in control, giving the crochetier a purpose and direction. This is a way for the crochetier to literally put control back into their own hands.
For the crochetier, the whole idea of creating something new and exciting with their own two hands gives a sense of accomplishment that no one can take away. At the end of the day, the satisfaction of seeing the amount of those stitches growing closer and closer to the completion of a project is priceless.
So pick up your hooks and yarn, and get healthy!