By Imogen from Crave for Crafts: My Mum sent me an article from the New York Times on the health benefits of knitting and crocheting.
Mum is always sending me articles and I love getting them, knowing she has hand picked things for me to read. This was a particularly good one, thanks Mum! (Click here to read it).
The benefits of craft:
If you don’t have time to read the article (though I suggest you do), it goes into great detail and provides links to studies about the positive benefits of knitting, crochet and craft in general to:
- Manage chronic pain;
- Deal with mental health issues including stress, anxiety and eating disorders;
- Quit smoking;
- Control weight; and, to create a calming and social aspect to children in primary school and even those incarcerated in jail.
It further discusses the possibility of knitting and crocheting playing a role in maintaining cognitive health as we age. The article rang so true to me.
Some blankets I have crocheted over many years
My grandma taught me to knit as a child, but I was slow and only ever made wonky scarves. My mum would often find a half-finished scarf lying around the house and have a go herself, dropping and picking up stitches as she went. They never turned out well.
I started crocheting in 2006 when I saw the movie ‘Stranger than Fiction’ starring Will Ferrel and Maggie Gyllenhaal. There was a scene in the movie where there was a crocheted blanket draped over the back of the couch with these beautiful flowers. I knew I had to make one just like it.
My grandparents lived interstate, my parents overseas, I didn’t know anyone locally who could teach me, and so I tried to find a class. It was impossible! In the end I paid a local yarn shop to bring in one of their regulars and teach me over a weekend.
The beginning was difficult, trying to work out the form, how to hold the hook and the yarn and how to read the very complex pattern (I don’t like to start with something easy).
After a bit of practice though, the stitches just flowed. It still took me four years to finish the blanket, but I did get it done. And once I completed it, I was hooked – literally.
My very first crochet blanket
Hooked by a crochet hook:
I haven’t been able to put down a crochet hook since, finding myself particularly drawn to crocheting when I am stressed. It really does do something good for your mind. I feel focused, centred and mindful and at the end of it I always have something beautiful to show for it. Why don’t you give it a try?
My current project
Imogen is one half of the Crave for Crafts team who established a crafting business in 2014 with Ana Garcia del Barrio, as a way of making craft workshops accessible across Brisbane and surrounds. Crave for Crafts has successfully undertaken many workshops, both independently and in collaboration with other makers and institutions, including the State Library of Queensland Distant Lines exhibition. Crave for Crafts also offers private events organisations and crafty parties.
Master crocheter, paper crafter, sewer… Imogen can do everything crafty! Imogen and Ana came together through their love of crafts and pretty handmade things. They desire to share their passion with as many people as possible, and make new friends along the way.