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!









About gmaellenscraftycorner

I am a recently widowed, mother of three wonderful, grown children, G-Ma (Grandma) to seven beautiful grandchildren. I work full time at a nearby grocer as the Pricing Coordinator. In my spare time, I craft and blog. Crochet is my obsession, my compulsion. My best friend, my therapist. I also have learned I love to knit! Who knew??? I may never be a master knitter, but I am a happy knitter. :D Work, family, Women's Pool League, crafting and blogging. Pretty much takes up every waking minute of every day, but besides that I love movies and music (which I can enjoy while I am crafting!). And here I thought I didn't have a life! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog. I appreciate every click. :D My Etsy
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16 Responses to Thoughts on Meditation, and Knitting and Crochet Therapy

  1. I lost my husband on May 10, 2013. I miss him every day and suspect I always will. We were married 26 1/2 years, not as long. And he faded away from me for several years with dementia before he died. But I still mourned his loss. I did not knit for a long time, but have begun again. Knitting is a form of meditation, I believe, in that it allows us to settle and our minds to be present, perhaps to wander around gently. I am reminded when I knit, of the way stockinette consists of knits stitches and purl stitches, and that purling is also the slow rippling or murmuring sound of a brook, or gently moving water, much the same way our thoughts meander and purl while we knit.
    I wish you luck and grace as you find your way through your grief and also hope that you can find some solace in the meditative murmuring of knitting and crochet.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Mardel. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you also, for your analogy. I love it!
      My story might sound like I wallow in my grief day in and day out. But, that could not be farther (?further? haha) from the truth. I try to get up each day with a grateful heart and an optimistic outlook on life. Missing someone you loved so long just sort of permeates everything you do…
      Again, thank you!

  2. Chickee says:

    Just recently I have been calling crochet my Zen. I slipped into a depression and life got the better of me when one seemingly small bit of personal loss added to the rest of it all threw me into a tailspin. It was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I could not focus. I was in tears constantly. I was beginning to focus on ending the pain forever. I had stopped crocheting, heck I had stopped everything. BUT, I had a few crochet commissions that I had to complete. I forced myself to pick up my hook and at first I could only do a few rows and then I’d stop. Slowly I realized, the only time my mind was silent was when the hook was in my hand. I began smiling again. Slowly I am emerging from this dark place and crochet has helped me tremendously. It’s a time for me to either allow the thoughts to flow or I can quiet them and concentrate on the fabric I am creating.

    I look at my projects as life. Here I am with a big long string full of possibilities. It begins getting knotted and twisted seemingly beyond repair when looking at it closely. But if I step back and look at all the twists and knots as a whole something beautiful emerges. ❤

  3. This is a very inspiring post! I lost my son Stephan while I was pregnant with him and crochet helped me through that loss! Thanks so much for your post and you are in my thoughts and prayers with the loss of your husband!

  4. Deborah says:

    I practiced zen meditation for many years. I don’t find knitting– and I have done a LOT of it– quite the same thing. To sit in meditation, without anything and stripped of action and ideas, is different than working with craft, which is usually working with some idea and has the joy of physical action and tactile impressions. However, knitting has the ability to relax and create a temporary respite from troubles and/or pain.

    My heart goes out to you. All the best in the days, weeks and years ahead, for life still has so much to offer. Blessings….

    • Thank you for your comments Deborah! Zen meditation. Sounds very intriguing and that it would take a lot of discipline??? I think that is where my problem would lie. And, as you said, knitting (crochet) does have the ability to relax and ‘get away’.
      Thank you for your well wishes, life does have a lot to offer. I try to wake each day with gratitude. I like to think I appreciate life, and relationships so much more after my husband’s passing. Do not take anything for granted!

  5. I knitted through the cancer battle of my husband for 3 years. Then I knitted through the grief of losing him. Then I knitted through the loss of my mother, the loss of my stepfather, the estrangement of my son, my own battle with cancer and now I knit through the fibro fog of fibromyalgia. I also knit through the joy of a wonderful remarriage to my knight in shining armor, the birth of my grandson and the joy he brings to me, and the triumphs of my daughter as she puts herself through college.

    Knitting keeps me together, keeps my hands moving. It is for good times and bad.

    • Hello Kate, your story is very extraordinary! Although, probably more people than we like to think have, and are, going through the very same kinds of battles. It is how we choose to deal with our struggles and battles that counts. You are certainly an inspiration! Here’s to Good Times! Thank you, thank you…THANK YOU

  6. I think of you often and am glad to hear from you again. Crochet and knitting helped me through post natal depression. My story has just been published in a local paper. I will put up the link when on my computer later. I am a firm believer in how it helps us through tough times but also know how hard it can be to get started. You have to give yourself permission and make it a priority. Running was of course my other saviour. Hugs.xxxx

    • Oh…thank you so much for responding. It really does mean a lot! Hearing other’s stories helps me feel like I am not alone, like . . . we are a universal circle, held together through a strand of creativity. We all struggle in ways no one else can understand, and I believe that sharing those stories can be therapeutic in and of itself. I am eager to read your story, thank you again!

  7. “Anxious mind” describes me too, and crafting serves a similar purpose for me. There’s juuuuust enough to focus on to keep me from worrying about other things, without (necessarily) being so much it becomes a stressor itself. Exercise serves a similar purpose. I’ve missed your posts and hope you’re feeling up to sharing with us more often soon! Definitely put your own needs first though, of course. ❤

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