Well Crafted

 I came across an article the other day that encouraged knitting as therapy. In fact, there are knitting therapy groups popping up all over the place. It is even being advocated for weight loss.

Here is the article if you are interested: The Health Benefits of Knitting

All of this made me laugh out loud because, being a knitter myself, I have recommended knitting to patients as therapy countless times over the years and have pondered starting my own knitting circle at the clinic to teach those who are interested. I would call it my Stitch And Bitch group, because of the history behind the name. 

AND because profanity by itself can be a bit therapeutic in its own right. 

In fact, though, it is not just knitting. I have recommended crafting of all sorts. “Find a constructive hobby where you create!”

It will help. 

Maybe?

To be honest I have only had two people to my knowledge ever take my advice. I taught one how to knit a basic scarf during office visits. It did help, they said, at least it helped until they had made all of their extended family Christmas scarves by July and then gave it up, not wanting to try more complicated projects. Often I get the argument that they don’t know how to start or that they don’t have time or that they could never possibly be any good at it.

No worries. We have pills for that….

I have connected with countless crafters/artists here on WordPress. Knitters, crocheters, woodworkers, photographers, quilters, painters, costumers, artists in other mediums… And I wonder, would they consider it therapeutic for them?

Crafting of various types has gotten me through super rough patches in my life. Making jewelry. Knitting and crochet. Sewing and quilting. I enjoy learning new skills and looking back on the beautiful things that have come from the negativity. The sense of pride I get from finished projects helps lift me up. I wonder if Lego would count as a craft?

Do you craft for therapy? If so, what do you craft? If not, if you were going to pick a crafting therapy, what would you want to try? 

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178 thoughts on “Well Crafted

  1. I used to write and paint, but my art creativity is the same part of me that gets a 7 year old boy from a to b, within the timeframe required without killing either myself or him. So, after the school run there’s no creativity left for drawing. But writing is a different part of my brain, my intellect, something that is impressively dormant throughout most of my interaction with other folks so I really enjoy using it quietly, alone. It’s like getting a really sharp sword out, remembering when you were duelling champion of the world and putting it away again without anyone seeing.

    I definitely use creativity to relieve stressful times. That’s when I run to the arms of my characters, and to the imaginary worlds where, even if all is not well at the time I can make it end well in a way it never can here. The harder real life is, the greater my need to write, although sometimes, when life is totally awful, my creativity becomes dormant for a while and I have to stop. Grief is a killer, it’s very hard to write when you’re grieving… that’s when I turn to eyebombing. 😉

    Cheers

    MTM

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like crochet. I also like to color or paint. That is very therapeutic…the coloring and painting. It takes a way some of the “I don’t know where to start” excuses because with coloring the picture is already there. You just have to take it and make it your own with your color choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I taught myself how to crochet last February watching a couple You Tube videos. Within a month I found I really enjoy it! It allows me to give myself time to relax and focus on nothing when I pick up my hook. I look for easy patterns with soft soft yarn so it’s physically pleasing as well. .It’s something I do just for me. As a nurse, educator, and single mom of two teenage boys I have a hard time giving to myself. I have learned to enjoy the meditative state I can go to with a hook and yarn.

    It takes me away and uses a creative part of my brain. Muscle memory has now taken over (did I mention easy patterns?) and I find my self really enjoying watching my hook create beautiful things while my mind wanders…or my mind is just still.

    Yes, everyone I know got a scarf and a blanket. I make hearts for #peytonheartproject by the hundreds and scatter them all over the place. I have even made blankets to be used at BINGO prizes for a nursing home where my niece works!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s been said by some famously dead writer that writers write books to sort out their issues or process things in life that seem to be a mystery. That is why I write. There are so many things that happen during the day that I will never understand. Maybe that is one reason we have art–to be curious, courageous in small amounts, show beauty to others because you can’t hold onto all of it by yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. StiTching. (You made me laugh)
    (I have to ‘fess that this my therapy. Blogging and commenting and exchanging. With people form all over the world. And places a tad more… “civilized” than the place I live. So thank you Doc, for your free therapy.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love knitting…so relaxing…except of course when I’m ripping out row upon row because of a mistake made and not noticed many rows above…sigh…still, it’s the act of the craft, not the finished product that feeds my soul…I’m always a little sad when a project is done…until I see the joy in the recipient’s eyes…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also love to knit and find the repetitive motion therapeutic. I knitted more when I lived in Maine but now in Florida, it is a bit more challenging to find climate compatible projects. Funny how I learned to knit: It was my first job in NYC, a job I desperately needed. I went for the interview and the boss asked if I knew how to knit. Of course I said “Yes” but that it had been a long time so I was a bit rusty -when in fact I had absolutely no idea how to knit. I got the job and then I ran back to my apartment and asked my roommate to give me a crash course on how to knit. I wish I still had those balls.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My #1 passion since I was a kid is taking photos. Being one with nature and a camera is good for my soul. As a child I was always making things, going to our local hobby shop. Now and then I make beaded jewelry. But soap making is another very serious hobby because I love the scents and blending scents, and my homemade soap is very gentle on our skin. My husband’s red flaky patches of skin are gone. I firmly believe that creating something, making something that speaks to your heart is always good for the soul. I post my photography from time to time in my Life’s a Journey… blog (linked to my gravatar).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a really great post.

    I’m a crafter of many years now, and will paint, make cards, scrapbooking, and various other things, as the mood takes me. I find it keeps my imagination running and keeps my mind from troubling over things which I either cannot change or need to just stop thinking about for a while.

    Crafting really is a great help for all sorts of things, in all sorts of ways.

    Again … great post. ~ Cobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I just found your blog, and read this post. I think yes! Is good for mental health. I want to talk to you about my experience:

    I had a job that wasn’t good for me, because it wasn’t my profile, and couldn’t find another, so it was a hard time, because, even though I was good at my job, and worked my ass of, I couldn’t get any better or happier. Then the administration changed, and the new boss was terrible! Typical boss who enjoy extra long hours, working on weekends and get mad if you didn’t obey. So I needed something that make me get mentally away, and started knitting. I started a scarf, and every night, when all the people in the house was sleep, I just knitted and knitted. This help me to relief all the work stress and the stress of starting a new business.

    Now I am working just in my business, the job is all gone, and I still have the scarf. I want to learn more and more, one of my future projects is to make winter mittens with Iron Man style for my boyfriend!

    Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I started knitting for an independent project in college this semester. I’m hoping it will help with my stress. Ha we will see. So far my headbands are not for any human head I’ve ever seen. But it’s okay because I’m having a good laugh at myself for trying. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes! Crafting is extremely therapeutic. I crochet and knit, and we encourage our pain patients and mental health patients to color and do other small crafts while they are in the emergency room visiting us. I didn’t know that crafting could help with weight loss too though. Crafts are amazing! Haha

    Liked by 1 person

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