I have been asked on numerous occasions “why do you like to crochet?” I always think to myself, why would anyone not want to crochet? Crocheting is a beautiful and relaxing form of art. After really thinking about it for some time, I realized that I just feel better when I crochet. It makes me happy. I shut out the stresses of the day, go into a zone out mode, and before I know it, I’ve made a hat and I feel renewed. I decided to do a bit of research to see if I was crazy or if there is really something to this.

My mom crocheting during one of her chemo treatments.

My mom crocheting during
one of her chemo treatments.

I┬ácame across several websites where others were feeling the same way, and I read that there are new studies exploring the health benefits of crochet, knitting and other forms of rhythmic needlework. They stated that it is an effective way for people to manage stress and can be useful for those needing help with long-term pain management. It’s also beneficial for those who suffer from depression. Another article I read stated the body creates a “relaxation response” when someone crochets or knits which is similar to yoga or meditation.

It really does make quite a bit of sense. We all know that if someone is suffering from a severe medical condition, stress can heighten the symptoms and even cause further complications. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, we found that crocheting during her chemo treatments not only helped to pass the time, but it calmed both of us down and made it easier to handle.

Crocheting has also created a lot of conversations. It was an ice breaker with people in the infusion room. Several nurses told us that if someone was new to chemo or seemed very scared and nervous, they would sit them next to my mom and me because they knew the person would be more at ease and would open up and talk to us simply because we were crocheting. And it worked. I can’t tell you how many times we had conversations and began friendships with people who started out by asking “what are you making?”

So get your hooks out and start crocheting. It not only benefits you by helping to manage your stress levels but it also can benefit others should you choose to donate your items.

If you are not currently a “hooker” I suggest stopping by your nearest craft store to pick up a size I/9 5.5mm crochet hook and a skein of Red Heart With Love Yarn in your favorite color. You will also need a yarn needle, craft scissors and a little patience. Crochet books are great tools for learning but I found the best way to learn is by watching beginner crochet videos on YouTube. Paula Daniele at Crochet Hooks You has several step-by-step videos, from how to hold the crochet hook to how to make your first slip knot. You’ll be a pro in no time and you’ll soon understand the benefits of crocheting. You’ll be a healthier, happier crocheter.