Thoughts on Meditation, and Knitting and Crochet Therapy

How many of my followers practice meditation?  I have often thought about giving it a try.  But the more I think about it . . . the more I think, I already do practice it.  I practice through my knitting, and crochet.  So.  I thought I would do just a little research and see what ‘the experts’ had to say on the matter.

I found three articles of particular interest.

The Therapy of Crochet and Knitting

February 25th, 2013 

Please, take the time to read the stories in the comments following the article.  Most of the stories told there moved me to tears.  More than a few of the heartfelt and touching stories hit very close to home, considering the loss of my husband of 36 years last June, who lost his life to a very aggressive cancer only 2 1/2 weeks after we learned of it.

It has been a struggle for me.  At first I lost my ‘faith’ in handiwork.  My heart was just not in it.  However, with a little encouragement, I have embraced my love of creativeness once again.  I have come to realize that knitting and crochet are very useful tools in helping to cope with everyday life, not just my loss.

“Has crafting ever brought you out of a tough time? Often, the meditative and creative aspects of yarn crafts can be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to coping with grief, depression, or that funk you just haven’t been able to emerge from.”

The article goes on to speak of the book Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo.  

Popular crochet blogger Kathryn Vercillo has authored an important book about the health benefits of crafting. Combining intense personal stories with researched information Crochet Saved My Life shows how crochet has helped people heal through a diverse array of conditions including depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, chronic pain conditions and more. Focused on, but not limited to, the craft of crochet this book really demonstrates how HANDMADE HEALS.’

Crochet as Meditation

July 24th, 2013 

“I remember the first time that I tried formal meditation. I sat amidst a group of compassionate people with closed eyes who were letting go of all thoughts, focusing attention on their breath. I felt no compassion for myself as my monkey mind skittered about. I felt self-conscious about my constant twitching and resituating, certain I was irritating the peaceful beings around me. More than that, I simply didn’t enjoy the experience. My anxious mind raced into terrifyingly uncomfortable places. I left feeling that meditation is a great thing…for other people but not for me! Then I found crochet.”

Katheryn goes on to give some very useful tips on using crochet (and I will add, knitting) as a form of meditation.  I am quite certain I would feel exactly as she did.  I, too have an ‘anxious mind’!

And lastly, an article on knitting for health and meditation…

There’s something extremely satisfying about knitting.  Knitters have not really decided if it’s the mindlessness that comes from knitting, the feel and texture of the yarn in their hands, the warmth of the wood needles or simply the shear pleasure in creating something from the heart.  (Continue reading:  Knitting for health and meditation on  April 1, 2009)

It is not lost on me that I have not been blogging with the enthusiasm I once did.  I contribute much of that on the loss of my husband.  I guess, unconsciously,  I did a lot of things because I wanted him to be proud of me???  “Here Honey, look at what I have done…”.  And he was very proud of me.  So, now…I have to find different reasons.  Other motivations.  I suppose.  So.  Don’t give up on me.  

I weep as I write this, still feeling my loss very deeply.  Mickey Joe passed on June 4, 2013.  This month, on April 25th we would be celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary.  May 17th will be the anniversary of learning he had terminal cancer.  I miss him every second of every day.  I am slowly getting back on track…with knitting and crochet as part of my therapy.  I have my beautiful family, and friends, who embrace me.  Getting fit as another form of mental wellness.  Please, wish me luck!  Please, leave your thoughts in the comments below.  I need to hear from you!








Posted in blog links, Health and Wellbeing, inspiration, journal, Knit and Crochet, learn a new craft, My quest to healthy living | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

“Why bother knitting a scarf?” : TreeHugger

Okay, so…I am not necessarily a “tree-hugger”.  But I came across this article and thought it interesting enough to share.  Please, give it a read!

“The act of knitting is a strange combination of relaxation and activism, of protest and tradition.”

Some main pointers of the article:

  • I’m creating a product of high quality.
  • Knitting is a way to reclaim independence.
  • Knitting can help a local industry.
  • Finally, it feels really good to make something by hand.

via “Why bother knitting a scarf?” : TreeHugger.

I really enjoyed reading the comments that follow this article and find that I identify with so many of the stories told there.  Do take the time to scroll through.

Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were avid crocheters and I recall countless hours just watching them create beautiful things.  While they did not technically ‘teach’ me how to crochet, I found it a relatively easy thing to do once I decided to give it a try.  I had no doubt I could do it,  and I thought I was pretty clever.

I remember church Bazaars and Grandmother’s busy hands creating all manner of lovely things to sell.  My Gramma Margaret (my Father’s Mother) would buy Ripple Afghan kits which she would then make and sell for extra income.  Countless hours of crocheting, night after night.  This, after having already put in a long day, at a thankless job, standing in the heat of a hospital laundry.  I can see her now, like it was yesterday, falling asleep in front of the television with that crochet hook in her hand, a beautiful afghan across her lap and legs.

My first projects were simple Granny Square Afghans, which, over time I thought were so passe.  But, look around now, and they are everywhere!  ‘Everything old is new again’.  My favorite thing to do, for years, was to crochet beautifully decorated Christmas Ornaments, using crochet thread and ribbons, to give as gifts every year.  Some of our closest friends have enough to decorate an entire tree.  Now, those same decorations are being passed on to their grown children.  When I hear these stories, my heart just melts!

In the last (what…) two years or so, I taught myself to knit.  Which was a complete surprise to me, because I always said, “I will never . . . “.  Haha,  I still consider myself a ‘newbie’ knitter, and I will probably never become a Master Knitter, but, once I figured out my own way, (which, incidentally, is Continental Style, holding the yarn in your left hand, such as in crochet!) I have fallen in love again.  I am ‘bi-stitchual‘!  And trying to learn more, every day.

All that said, I thought I would just toss this in too.  LOL

Sooo, why bother knitting a scarf??? Or any other thing for that matter.  I believe the sheer satisfaction of having made a thing with your own two hands is well worth the effort.  And when given, and received with love, there is nothing that can compare, as evidenced here.  

Hello Jason!  (I told him I thought the hat was too big.  He said, "I'll grow into it."  Gotta love it!)

Hello Jason! (I told him I thought the hat was too big. He said, “I’ll grow into it.” Gotta love it!)


My grandson Killian, in his new Shark Hat. He wore it for weeks! ALL THE TIME! :D

And here . . .

Posted in Creativity, crochet, fugal living, handmade, handmade gifts, Happiness, Health and Wellbeing, Knit and Crochet, Life, My Favorite Things | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Crochet a Lace Scallop Trim #2 by Gwen Fisher with Doceri Software – YouTube


Just sharing some photos of completed but not ‘finished’ bracelets using Gwen Fisher’s fabulous tutorial video. It is different than anything I have seen before.

I decided, at long last, to get out my nylon thread and beads.  Not having broken into projects including beads yet, here are a few photos of some cute bracelets I made yesterday.  They are not yet ‘finished’.  I still need to weave in the end threads, and add buttons.  Each one took me approximately 25 – 30 minutes to crochet, depending on my span of attention. (ha ha, which can be pretty short sometimes!)  You will find the video tutorial at the end of this post.  I hope you will check it out and give it a try.  You have nothing to lose!IMG_4974

Cute button I found at a local second-hand store.



Gathering my supplies and getting crafty!

Experiment with different kinds of thread, or even yarn. The bottom-most bracelet in this next photo is made using the ‘Navajo knitting’ technique using DMC Coton Pearle 8. Here is a link to my blog post featuring this method.
The upper green colored bracelet is made with size 10 cotton thread, single strand.  The others are made with nylon thread.  This C Lon Beading Thread has superior durability to other parallel-fiber threads. It has almost no stretch. With its 100+ color palette, it is ideal for bead crochet using sizes 6 and 8 seed beads. It is splendid for kumihimo — or braiding — with beads. It can also be used for tatting, as well as loom warping and weaving. Highly recommended for micro-macrame, as well as the trendy ladder-style bracelets. 92 yards per bobbin.  This cord measures a wee bit less than .5mm in thickness.



Here is a photo of a bracelet I have been wearing for probably about a year now. I never take it off. It is made with nylon thread. It is very soft, and very durable. This one is beginning to show some wear, but is still hanging in there! I love it!

And, without further ado, the outstanding video tutorial:

How to Crochet a Lace Scallop Trim #2 by Gwen Fisher with Doceri Software – YouTube.

Well, I hope you will find this post helpful and inspirational.  These cute little bracelets make great, quick little gifts.  ~GMaEllen

Posted in crochet, Crochet Diagrams, Crochet inspiration, crochet jewelry, crochet video links, YouTube videos | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A World Through the Hands (Video) | On Being

Simply a wonderful, four-minute film about the value of handwork and experiencing the world.

To have the skill of knitting, to have the skill of crocheting, of felting, makes it possible for us not only to make something but it makes us skilled in general. The use of the hands is vital for the human being, for having flexibility, dexterity. In a way the entire human being is in the in the hands. Our destiny is written in the hand.”

via A World Through the Hands (Video) | On Being.

Posted in Creative Inspiration, Creativity, culture, fiber art, inspiration, Knit and Crochet, Productive Living, YouTube videos | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Norah’s Knits: Triangulate!

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Originally posted on berroco design studio:
I mentioned this trend a while back, but it seems like a good time to expand on my thoughts. Berroco has caught the triangle scarf bug, myself included. From the start, I’ve been a…

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Pilling is a Pill


A wealth of information. Thank you!

Originally posted on The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts:

Yesterday I posted a picture of a sweater, now 39 years old, that my grandmother made for me. To the left is another picture of that sweater - a close up.  Notice that there are no “pills” on the sweater.

Compare this to close up below (best I could do :() of the cabled sweater I knit from a worsted weight 3- or 4-plied yarn (llama or alpaca) some 15 years ago.  It pills.

So why do some sweaters get pills and other sweaters don’t?

Usually shorter and/or weaker fibers of will protrude above the fabric.  When subject to friction (e.g., rubbing), these fibers catch and create little clumps of fibers called “pills.”

Here is a close picture of a sweater knit from a bulky single ply (lopi).  See how hairy it is?  It pills.

Variables:  How much your fabric pills generally depends on a combination of variables, including: type of fiber (soft yarns pill more)…

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v e r y p i n k . c o m » Learn to Knit a Spiral Scarf

This is another of my very favorite things to do!  This super cute scarf is a very easy knit.  And Staci at has the most wonderful tutorial to help you learn how to knit short rows.  Follow the link below for the pattern and tutorial link.  I have made one previous to this, made in gray.  I added a pink lacey crochet border.  Here are some previous blog posts.  Spiral Scarf Beginnings  and  Completed Ruffle Scarf.

Here, is my most recently completed projects using this fabulous pattern.   Once this scarf is steam blocked out, it is so lovely.  For this project I used Caron’s Simply Soft Yarn.  And it is very soft and comfortable.


Wrapped one time.


Simply draped.


Folded in half and draped.

Spiral scarf

Photo courtesy of Very Pink Knits.

v e r y p i n k . c o m » Learn to Knit a Spiral Scarf. Looks like I am speed catching up on my blogging.  Feeling guilty for the neglect.  *insert sad face*  Haha, hope your weekend is a good one!  ~GMa Ellen  

Posted in completed projects, FO - finished objects, knitting, Knitting inspiration, knitting links, knitting pattern link, knitting projects, knitting video links | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment