Crochet to calm the day

With so much going on lately I’ve not done as much crochet as I’ve wanted. This happens periodically so is of no great surprise. But what I have noticed is when I do sit down and get my hooks and yarn out I feel so much calmer. My brain still has lists running through it that nothing will quiet but it’s quieter in there, I can feel it.

So many articles and books have been written about the proven effects of crocheting or knitting when stressed. There are many you can read. I’m not here today to repeat those facts, I’m here to tell you my experience. It’s a personal look into crochet keeping me sane! I find when my brain is super busy and it feels like there are hundreds of people rushing around in there, making lists and running errands, I have two options: really easy don’t-have-to-think crochet or complicated-all-consuming-brain-has-to-focus-on-just-that crochet. What’s included in those two categories is my personal opinion as it reflects how my brain works. For another crocheter it could be completely different.

Don’t-have-to-think crochet for me is simple repeats of either row or rounds. It’s reserved for things such as blankets made of repeats or ruffle scarves. The latter are my new love for simple crochet. See my pink and purple ruffle scarf made using the technique detailed here on YouTube. I don’t often use videos to learn a new technique but I was glad for the videos for this new technique as the ribbon yarns, whilst very pretty, can be a little complicated to work. (I promised to show you how I got on when I mentioned them in a recent post of mine). While the technique for the 3 pattern repeat was quite quick I found the stitches for its big brother (the 6 pattern repeat) much harder as I couldn’t see the stitches as I worked them. I guess this is something you learn and develop a skill for but my biggest crochet isssue is not having time to sit and actually crochet for two hours at a time.

I’ve tried a couple of techniques and this is my favourite which is outlined here on YouTube. It is so simple I love it. You just use 8 loops and then close them with another. I added a chain stitch, which I learnt from the first pattern, as I felt it held better than simply carrying on. 

I could take these anywhere with me too. I didn’t mind loosing a couple of stitches because they could be regained so quickly so taking them to the kids activities such as swimming was great if I needed to put them down quickly and not loose my place in a pattern.

These scarves were so wonderfully repetitive I could get lost in them but yet so simple I could put them down whenever I needed. Although putting them down required a stitch marker. There’s no way you could put this work down without loosing stitches…as I found out once or twice. My solution, rather than putting a marker every time I completed a stitch, was to put a marker after a few more stitches to move it. That way if I dropped the work or needed to attend to a child’s needs and I didn’t have time to move the stitch marker I would only loose a couple of stitches.

I’m so pleased with these scarves. I’ve even modelled them for you below. What do you think? Obviously the Captain America t-shirt is not mandatory. These two scarves are leaving presents for the staff at school. I hope they like them. You can really se the difference in thickness of ruffle when they lie next to each other.

Next is complicated-all-consuming-brain-has-to-focus-on-just-that crochet. At the moment I’m not working on anything like that. The closest I’ve got is this big amigurumi squid I’m making for my son’s birthday (you know the drill, don’t tell him!). You can find the pattern here. I’ve not got very far because my brain needed the simpler kind of crochet for a few days. But I love the pattern and the effect is quite good. So far I only have the body to show you.

My favourite complicated-all-consuming-brain-has-to-focus-on-just-that crochet I’ve ever done has to be two things:

Firstly The Avengers . Whilst there were a number of repeats etc I was altering every one of the patterns slightly so had to think all the way through. I loved making these and the sense of achievement from making them slightly off pattern was great. If only I had the brain power to do that all the time! I’d have the full Avengers collection by now.

Secondly was the Weeping Angel I made for my dad. Now this was a challenge. The yarn was small, the different areas had to fit perfectly together, there was wire involved….but I’d do it again. It’s the sort of accomplishment you are so proud of you want to see if it was a fluke or just your amazing skill as a crocheter (she says modestly).

I’ll leave you with her beautiful image.

I’m off to tackle the to-do list.