As I’m sat here pondering my own new year’s resolutions (to be fair, they’re the same as last year: eat less chocolate, exercise more), I’m wondering how many people will have ones where they want to learn a new craft or skill. People have their own reasons for wanting to learn something new, but I’d thought I’d share some of the reasons why my crochet is so important to me.
I got into crochet properly about four or five years ago when a friend asked me to join her on a granny square workshop. There was chocolate brownie involved so I didn’t need asking twice but at the time I was suffering with anxiety and most social situations were really difficult for me. I remember feeling really nervous about being out of my comfort zone and wasn’t even sure if I’d manage the two hours out of the house.
Considering I spend my days teaching children, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where I’d actually learnt a new skill for myself (not to do with education) and I was completely surprised at how much I enjoyed myself. The two hours flew past and I couldn’t wait to get home and carry on with my granny squares! And soon those granny squares turned into a blanket, and before I knew it, I was trying headbands and flowers.
I started to notice that when I was crocheting I wasn’t really thinking about anything else. It was my own form of mindfulness! The repetitive motion of the crochet had really started to calm my mind and I was feeling less anxious. I decided to take it one stage further and started taking my crochet out with me. Wherever I went – cafes, restaurants, cinema, shopping or even visiting friends and family, I took some wool and a hook with me and the moment I felt the first pangs of anxiety creeping in, I would get out my survival kit and would immediately feel more relaxed. I felt that as long as I had my crochet with me, everything would be ok – and it was.
The photograph I’ve used in this post is an infinity scarf that I made a few summers ago when my anxiety was quite bad. I took it with me everywhere I went and it helped get me through all the social events that make up a primary school teacher’s summer holiday! It’s a tricky feeling to convey in words, but I really feel like I’ve produced something positive during a negative time, and when I gave this scarf to a friend and she really liked it (and wore it), I knew I’d won.