Tag Archives: stitch away stress

Stitch Away Stress Month: Our Self-Care Tips
an illustration of a lemon that says "stitch away stress"

During regular times OR stressful times, nothing is as important as self-care—if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to keep going to help other people. Even if you can only spare only a few minutes a day, it’s enough to recharge your batteries to handle what life throws at you! We’ve gathered together what the WeCrochet staff have been doing to practice self-care over the past few weeks.

Kerry, Outreach Coordinator:

A top-down view of a tabletop featuring a cup of coffee, a crochet hook, ,and a triangular swatch of a crochet project.
Kerry is crocheting the Frida Shawl
A headshot of Kerry

Baking, books, and bold color … for me, self care is about distraction. It’s the opportunity to escape overthinking that I find soothing and restorative. I feel comforted when trying a new recipe. I love getting lost in the pages of a good story. And I truly can’t get enough of brightly colored yarns when I’m stressed. There’s just something about finding the perfect combination of shades and tones and making them work together that makes my jaw unclench, my shoulders come down from me ears, and my heart beat normally.

Sara, Brand Director:

A top-down view of a table covered in crochet projects and yarn: A red top made of Curio crochet thread, a cream-colored skirt made in Curio crochet thread, a tapestry crochet backpack.
What Sara’s working on: writing patterns for these pretty projects she’s crocheted!
A headshot of Sara

I haven’t been doing the greatest job with self-care lately, so the focus on self-care this month is coming at the most perfect time! Eating healthy, exercising, checking in with my loved-ones, and making sure I get plenty of crochet time helps me feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. I love working on projects where I can experiment and feel creative. I especially love working with lace (a lot of Curio crochet thread) and tapestry crochet (a lot of colors in Palette). I’m using this time to write down the patterns for some of my favorite projects. It’s helping me feel caught up AND helping me feel creative!

Producer Sarah, Digital Content Creator:

A headshot of Sarah

When home, every day I try something new. Whether that is a new stitch or mastering a stitch with my eyes closed, I like discovering new techniques and skills. My personal tip for self-care is practicing patience. What feels good to me is learning so I make sure to do a little of that each day. That means I have a lot of WIPs and hobbies which might seem counterproductive. I make sure to be kind to the process and let my learning and curiosity take me where it takes me. Currently my go-to knitting and crochet project is the 7×9 block for Warm Up America. I’ve been playing with different yarns, needles, hooks and stitches to reach the desired size. 

Heather, Marketing Coordinator:

A top-down picture of an avocado-shaped crochet project
One of Heather’s “Crochet Doodles”
A headshot of Heather

Lately I’ve been “doodling” in crochet, which means improvising projects using whatever yarn and stitches I want, without an end goal in mind. Calling it a “doodle” helps my brain disengage from the expectation that I’m going to have a perfect final product, and allows me to have fun with yarn, wherever it takes me. Sometimes my doodles turn into finished projects, and sometimes they don’t, but this method of crochet definitely helps me tap into the “play” side of my brain, which allows me to relax and unwind.

Check out WeCrochet Podcast Episode 9, “Enter the Unicorn-Verse,” to hear more about crochet doodling.

A crocheted easter basket sitting in the grass
Heather used scrap yarn to make Easter baskets for her kids.

How our Crochet Community is practicing self-care:

We hit Instagram to see how you are doing self-care. Here are a few ideas from our crochet community, from the #TogetherWeCrochet hashtag:

Take a silly challenge: Take the #SwimmingInYarn challenge to cheer yourself up! Post a photo of yourself swimming in yarn on social media!

Bust your stash: Dive into your stash to make a dent in your yarn collection! Nicole Chase is making the Rainbow Garden Throw, which is a great pattern for using up scrap yarn.

Join a crochet along: Looking for a distraction? Join our Bobble Diamonds Throw CAL, like @alvaliente2!

Start a big project: Take this time to bite off a bigger project, whether it’s a pretty bag like this one, the Malia Shoulder bag, an afghan, or just a project you’ve been thinking about. Time to jump in!

Share a pattern: Even if you’ve never done it before, now is a great time to share your patterns. If you’re so inclined, write down instructions for your favorite project and share with the community.

Noorain over at Noor’s Knits has these self-care ideas:

  • Take a social media break
  • Color
  • Physical boundaries – find a place to be alone for a few minutes
  • Dress Up
  • Put on your favorite TV show and crochet!

What are some of your favorite ways of practicing self-care? Let us know in the comments or on social media with the hashtags #StitchAwayStress and #TogetherWeCrochet. And join the community at the Facebook group WeCrochet Family.

#StitchAwayStress with Community Over Comparison
A drawing of a lemon with Stitch Away Stress written on the lemon

Has the crochet community heard? WeCrochet is partnering with the Craft Yarn Council for the month of April to help us all #StitchAwayStress! This year, the CYC is focusing on how we can all foster creativity at home during these weird times. This week, we’re focusing specifically on how comparison can kill your creativity. Here at WeCrochet, we’re all about community over comparison, so that is a message we can get behind!

Comparison Kills Creativity

We are all on our own crochet journey. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. That rockstar crocheter you’re tempted to compare yourself to? You don’t know how long they’ve been working on something, how much help or coaching they’ve received, how much time they have available to work on their craft, or how their brain works. You’re different crafters. You’re on different journeys. We’re in this to have fun and support one another. Forget about comparison as soon as you pick up your yarn. This time is for YOU. (We know, this is easier said than done!)

A woman tossing a crochet pillow in the shape of a lemon in front of a green couch covered in knit and crochet lemon pillows and the words stitch away stress on the wall.

Community Inspires Learning

If you’re wanting to see what other stitchers are up to, look to them for inspiration over comparison. The crochet community is filled with some pretty awesome people. If you’re admiring someone else’s work, ask them: How long did that take? How did you learn? Do you have any tips for me? You’ll find most crocheters are there to lift everyone else up. Don’t tear yourself down, start a conversation so you can feel that support from your crafty community. Use other’s work to inspire you as much as you can!

a hand holds an in-progress crochet granny square and casts a shadow on the wall

Celebrate the Wins, Share in the Challenges

I’m on week 5 of working from home with my partner in the next room. Every week he has a meeting with his team where they’re encouraged to celebrate each other’s wins and share in each other’s challenges. I’m pretty lucky to have found a crochet community here that celebrates my wins (nothing better than showing a new finished project) and share in my challenges (listen to the WeCrochet team share some of our crochet challenges). Don’t let comparison steal away your crochet joy. Find community that encourages you instead!

A woman crochets with yellow yarn next to a leafy plant.

Tips From People We Love

We’re pretty lucky to work with some thoughtful and talented crocheters. Here are some of their top tips for finding community over comparison:

“My best tip for connecting with community through crafting is to keep “community over competition” front of mind. I have seen so much tears, heartache and sadness from people within the community being hateful to one-another saying this person’s design is too close to theirs, blasting them publicly on social, they copied me, don’t follow this copycat… things like that. It’s awful and can tear apart this community faster than anything else! It breaks my heart. There’s really no need at all to be in competition with one another. Each maker/designer is 100% unique. The way you write patterns is unique, the way you explain stitches is unique they colors you’re drawn to is unique! A rising tide rises all boats…. community over competition is the only way to be.”  Ashley from A Crafty Concept

“Connecting with community: Spend some of your extra time reconnecting with makers and accounts that you love. Comment on their photos, share them in your stories, and mention them in your posts. You may help others find new accounts to follow.” Toni Lipsey from TL Yarn Crafts

“Being able to teach your peers or others within your community how to crochet is a wonderful way to connect and grow the fiber community as well. Being able share this gift of meditation and ability to make something out of yarn for yourself or someone else is a gift that will continually always grow and be the gift that keeps on giving.” Jessica from The Hook Nook

“Since crochet is a solo activity, it’s so much more fun when you find others working on similar projects! Whenever I start something new, I always check Instagram hashtags for the yarn I used, the pattern name, the yarn company, and almost always find other people’s projects that are similar to mine. This is an easy way to find other people who are working on the same type of project you are, and in addition to making new connections, it helps to find new ideas for yarn you already have in your stash! “
Janine from KnitsNKnots

“I have met many great friends both online and in person. I also have the pleasure of reaching people every day with my designs. This is all made possible because of crochet. Crochet has given me the opportunity to connect with people that I probably never would have known otherwise and I think that is truly special. I enjoy sharing my craft with others and having them share their creations with me! “ Ashley from TheStitchinMommy

Join the Conversation

Do you have any tips for avoiding comparison while crafting? How are you working to #StitchAwayStress? Follow along with WeCrochet and the Craft Yarn Council and join the conversation! Weigh in on creativity and stress with this survey!

Stitch Away Stress in April with WeCrochet and Craft Yarn Council

April is National Stress Awareness Month and WeCrochet and the Craft Yarn Council want to share how you can stitch away stress and UNWIND with crochet (and knitting.)

An infographic that says "Stitch Away Stress -- Read more about all the amazing health benefits of these crafts. Learn more (click on image). A woman sits on a yoga mat in a meditation pose. Underneath, text that says "85% of knitters and crocheters experience reduced stress with their craft." Another woman is knitting a block, and text above her says "93% experience a feeling of accomplishment."

Crocheters: Take the
Stitch Away Stress Survey Now!

Click here for the Survey!

Craft Yarn Council research survey of 3,100 crocheters and knitters reported that their craft contributed to:

  • 93%: a feeling of accomplishment
  • 85%: stress reduction
  • 68%: mood improvement
  • 56%: a sense of confidence
  • 43%: better concentration
  • 27%: better problem solving
  • 23%: increased memory

Harvard Medical School Study led by Founder of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Herbert Benson, found that the repetitive motions and focus of needlework elicit the famous relaxation response (a calming, meditation-like state that causes heart rate and blood pressure to fall).

Read more about the scientific research behind the therapeutic benefits of crochet at the Craft Yarn Council’s site.

In an article on Interweave.com, “Therapeutic Knitting Is a Thing,” author Suzan Colón wrote: “There’s a scientific version of a swatch that shows how effective repetitive motion can be at calming the mind. ‘Repetitive motions and focus of needlework elicit the relaxation response [the opposite of the stress, or “fight or flight” response], a calming, meditation-like state,’ reported researchers at The Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School. More proof was all around them; a 2010 Harvard Gazette article counted over 20 knitting circles on the Ivy League university’s campus.”

“People start to knit and crochet for different reasons—a family member taught them, or they’re naturally drawn to crafts—but the meditation association is universal. “Knitting is a way to chill out, but also tune inward . . . It’s very meditative,” says Krysten Ritter, star of the Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones and knitwear designer.”

“’Knitting is rhythmic and calming and entirely in my control, even when the rest of the world feels like it might not be,’ says Alanna Okun, author of The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater. ‘I reach for it to quiet my brain and prevent myself from fidgeting, like on the subway, during movies, even in some of my work meetings.’”

#WarmUpTogether to help people while you crochet

A green background with the Warm Up America Foundation logo ("The charity that warms peoples' lives.") and text that says: Let's Give Back. Want to learn to crochet? At WeCrochet, we've got you covered. #WarmUpTogether

WeCrochet is teaming up with our sister company Knit Picks to encourage people to stitch up 7×9″ blocks to donate to Warm Up America.

Learn more about #WarmUpTogether.

Use hashtag #WarmUpTogether on social media to share your projects!

Crochet Patterns to Help Reduce Stress

WeCrochet has many free crochet patterns for you to download, but here are some that will bring a smile to your face as you stitch:

An image of a crochet block with a lemon design on it. A crochet hook and scissors.

Lemon Block Pattern by Twinkie Chan

When life gives you lemons … crochet one! #StitchAwayStress this April by crocheting a cute lemon blanket block for your donation to Warm Up America and bring awareness to National Stress Awareness Month.

Catfish Purr-Maid Pattern by Brenda K. B. Anderson

A crocheted toy with a white cat body on top and a dark green mermaid tail on bottom.

It’s just so hard to choose between mermaids and kittens, but now you don’t have to! This super-cuddly catfish purr-maid is practically begging you to hug her, but be careful—once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

Glimmer Sisters Unicorn Slippers by Brenda K. B. Anderson

Two feet model a pair of crochet slippers that look like unicorns.

These super cozy, extra squishy slippers will transport you to a magical place where you can indeed be a unicorn… actually you can be twin unicorns and what is more magical than that?