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Knitting as stress relief

Lime & Violet’s Daily Chum » Blog Archive » Answer Me This: Comfort

I wish I had knitted more as a student and when I was working - when I was the most stressed. Personally it is a meditation, something for my hands and subconscious to do when I veg in front of the intarwebz or TV and a better use of time and achievement than doing nothing while I do said vegging. Read the comments on the above post/link. Very interesting.

Also interesting is that, personally, I find crochet less relaxing. I can knit by feel with my eyes closed (as long as it is stocking stitch or a nice 2x2 rib - although I have been known to slip into that zone when knitting Monkey (my all-knit Monkey on Ravelry - that I gave away to someone who was an online friend) - a simple lace pattern). When I crochet I have to look at what I am doing to see where to put the hook. I cannot read or watch TV when I crochet. I actually end up having to concentrate pretty hard and, although that is a pretty 'zen' meditation in itself, I am less able to just glaze over and relax.

YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) but this is my experience and opinion. What are your thoughts about yarn-crafts, other crafts and relaxation/stress-relief?

P.S. I forgot to add that crochet makes my wrists and finger joints hurt and that knitting does not seem to - maybe it is the knitting method that I use (one of many)...



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
I haven't knit for YEARS - but when I did, I fount it very relaxing and it gave me a sense of accomplishment when I was just watching the TV. I could never knit and not look though - even when I wasn't doing a pattern or color changes. Never got to that point. And crocheting? I could never learn to do it. Many tried to teach me. My hands could not master it despite hours of trying.

I keep thinking I need to start knitting again... I need some help relearning, though.
Jan. 22nd, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
VERY much stress relief!

Maybe it is what you started with that you feel most comfortable with. I can crochet pretty quickly, and only glance down to see the hole as I jab it. With knitting, since I learned it only recently, I have to watch most of what I'm doing so that I don't drop/slip a stitch without meaning to. It's getting better, and I've gotten really good at breaking it down to teach people who are just learning. It just means it isn't as relaxing for me as crochet.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
Actually, I learned to crochet first as a kid. Maybe it is something to do with my MS - I don't know...
Jan. 22nd, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
MMV (My Mileage Varies)
(this comment is way longer than your post is. yikes!)

I don't knit, so I can't compare crochet and knit, but I find crochet relaxing. It helps me focus during talks/meetings/everything and keeps me from chewing/picking at my cuticles. Sometimes when I can't fall asleep, I imagine myself doing the repetitive action of an infinite row of dc stitches.

The only time I'll watch tv without a project in my hands is when my wrists hurt and they need to rest. If I'm deciphering a new pattern or stitch pattern, I might need to pause the tv here and there, but then I go back to watching (I guess before I had tivo/dvr, I focused on the hard stuff during commercials til I got it down). I can't crochet without looking at the piece, so I've generally stopped watching foreign films since I'd rather crochet then read subtitles. The weird thing is that closed captioning has always helped me watch tv, and even though I look away from the tv all the time, I still use/read the closed captioning -- it makes Scott crazy!

I've been crocheting in al-anon meetings to help me focus for 2.5 years. Many people tell me that they find watching me to be relaxing or comforting. When my ball of yarn keeps falling off my lap or is tangled, a few of my friends think it's relaxing to hold it for me and pull out the working strand as I need it. People always recognize me at meetings, even those I rarely attend, as the girl who crochets. As a bonus, crochet acts as an ice breaker with people I don't know, since people ask me what I'm making today or last week.

So far the only time I've tried to crochet without looking was during the newest James Bond movie. I generally have a hard time keeping up with action movies, so I thought it might focus better with yarn in my hand. Unfortunately I hadn't planned ahead and what I had on me was a sport weight micro-fiber, so my stitches were extremely hard to feel. I kept doing increases to make the rows longer, since figuring out where to the put the first stitch after a turning chain was impossible, but all it did was make my piece look even more wonky.

Next time I just want to play around with yarn, I should try not looking. I imagine it to be like the process for learning to type without looking -- slow-going and taking a lot of focus until I hit my stride. I have to admit that it would be nice to watch foreign films again. :)
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: MMV (My Mileage Varies)
So, you don't crochet without looking? It is not just me then! ;-p

P.S. I forgot to add that crochet makes my wrists and finger joints hurt and that knitting does not seem to - maybe it is the knitting method that I use (one of many)...

Edited at 2009-01-23 03:51 pm (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Nat S Ford
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