Sorry I was not here yesterday, I have had a serious case of the “Blahs”. It didn’t help that I was also fighting some sort of cold along with my youngest child. So I decided to take a hobby day (or two or three).
Let me tell you about my favorite hobby. I love to crochet. It keeps my hands busy while leaving my mind free. As I create different things out of a simple ball of yarn I find great satisfaction. I “untangle” my thoughts, frustrations and emotions with each stitch.
Because of the seriousness of my anxiety I take my crochet with me everywhere I go, to church, business meetings, family gatherings, social gatherings, etc. I have to keep my hands constantly busy or I cannot sit still or keep my attention focused on the people talking around me. I can also use it as a shield to separate me from people and what is going on around me when I am feeling overwhelmed. Crochet has become my security blanket. I don’t have to do anything with it, I just have to have it there in case I need it.
I learned to crochet granny squares in the children’s program at church when I was 8 or 9. I wasn’t very good at it until my Grandmother took me under her wing. She taught me that there is a rhythm to each stitch and joy in the process. She and I spend many, many wonderful hours crocheting together over the years. Since then I have enjoyed the process of each project more than the finished item.The Process
So many people tell me that they do not have the patience for crochet or needlework in general. What they don’t understand is that any needle craft is as more of a process than a finish item. The joy is in the creation. Each stitch becomes a routine movement. The combination of stitches becomes a dance that can weave stress, frustration and heart ache into something new and beautiful.
Crochet is a forgiving medium. The ability to go back and correct mistakes is very soothing. To be able to pull out an entire project and rewind the yarn for something else is satisfying. Nothing is permanent when crocheting. Even after a project is completed, if I don’t like it I can still pull it out and start over. That is why I find it so therapeutic.
I have found that I enjoy watching people watch me crochet. Some look on in awe and wonder as my fingers go through the intricate dance of yarn and hook. Some smile and nod understanding my need of it. Some glance over and then ignore me. I love watching people’s reactions as I take out what I have made. So many people’s eyes open wide and their face takes on a horrified look. You can see them thinking, “OMG what is she doing?! All that time and work . . . !” I will often look at them and smile as I continue to take out row after row after row.The Completed Project
What do I do with all the things that I crochet? Once the project is finished I give them away. I love the look of delight and joy in the eyes of the person who gets my gift. I actually enjoy giving them away as much as I enjoy making them.
I was sitting in the airport waiting for a connecting flight and making roses. A very tired mom with two extremely active boys and helpful husband sat down by me. As I watched the calm interaction of parents and children I thought about all the times when I traveled by myself with five children. When I completed the rose I smiled and gave it to the mom. “Good moms should always get flowers,” I told her.
We have lots of small children and babies in our church congregation. There is always at least one who is fussy and fractious. This particular day I was making horse finger puppets. There was a little boy behind me who was bored and didn’t want to sit anymore. I picked out a finished finger puppet, turned around on my bench and put it on his chubby little finger. He looked at me warily and then at the horse on his finger. He spent the next 20 minutes totally engrossed in playing with his new horse. The look of relief on his father’s face made me smile and I winked at him.Cheap Therapy
Even though prices are doubling over night, crochet is still cheaper than my therapist. A twin size afghan takes about 6-8 skeins of yarn. At about $3.50 each it is less than $30 for many relaxing hours of therapy. It is also very portable whereas my therapist will not follow me around.
Out of Control Hobbies
Hobbies are very helpful when dealing with a lot of stress. The thing is to not let them get out of control. This will only add to the stress you are already dealing with. So totally not awesome, as my sister would say.
My hobby got out of control only in that I couldn’t give it away fast enough. A friend of mine suggested a shop on Etsy. It was the birth of FunTangled.
I don’t spend a lot of time promoting it, but it is a place for me to showcase my creations and I have made a sale or two. Here are some of the things that I have made over the years:
I am feeling much better after my hobby days. I made a lacy bolero for my granddaughter’s fourth birthday. He mom is a little miffed because it is white. Every little girl should have a cute little white sweater. The problem is, I cannot show you what it looks like because I forgot to take a picture of it. I guess I’ll have to make another one and take a picture of it.