Crochet became my outlet during the pandemic. A year ago when we started this journey into a pandemic, we thought it would last a few weeks. The days turned into weeks, the weeks rolled into months, and the months dredged into a year. Within a few months of social distancing, I decided I needed to busy my hands to calm my mind. At the time we were staying with my parents, so they could help us with virtual learning. My mom is an avid crafter, so I went into her craft room searching for something to busy my hands. I found yarn and crochet hooks.
I taught myself the stitches with videos from YouTube and Pinterest and was quickly hooked. (See what I did there? A pun about crochet. Get it? Hooked, because we make crochet work with hooks.)
So far, I have hooked 16 hats, 2 scarves, a pair of fingerless gloves, 2 octopuses, 4 coasters, 4 hearts, 2 zippered pouches, 2 turtles, a kitty, a mug warmer, and am working on a pocket shawl.
Crafting is Good for Your Mental Health
Studies show that art-based interventions have great power to calm and heal. Specifically, they shift your mind from the triggers, such as bad news, to art. Knitting for peace has found that knitting can lower blood pressure, slow the onset of dementia, distract from chronic pain, and combat anxiety. COVID Fatigue occurs because our bodies are in a constant state of flight, fight, or freeze. We must do complex risk analysis every time we venture outside our homes. Yarn and other crafts can help us cope with these feelings.
National Crochet Month
March is National Crochet Month, so what a better time than now to start a yarn hobby. It is amazing what you can do with a piece of string. Since the pandemic began there is a steady uptick in crafters overall. Sites like Joanne Fabrics and Crafters, and Michael’s are showing increases in site visits and sales. Michael’s has a 150% increase in Facebook views from this time last year.
You will need a few things to start a crochet hobby:
3. Stich Markers
4. Darning needle
To me, yarn was the most intimidating aspect of picking up a crochet habit. Go to the craft store and you will see aisle upon aisle of yarn. Where do you even start? The good news, it is not difficult. To start, look at the back of the yarn label. There are numbers (yarn size and recommended size hook or knitting needle.) I have found most patterns call for “worsted weight” yarn. That means size 4 on the back of the label.
You can get the basic crochet notions in a pack on Amazon. I found this one to be great for beginners. It has multiple ergonomic hooks, stitch markers, measuring tape, darning needles, and a cute carrying case.
This is the YouTube video I used to get started, if you do not like this one, there are millions of others to choose from. Just type “crochet for beginners” into the search bar!
If you are already a yarn crafter drop a photo of your last project in the comments.