Monday, 14 March 2016

Craft As Therapy




Relaxing with some watercolour pencils and lazily drawing is a lovely way to unwind...

This tray is not only gorgeous, it sits lightly and sturdily on my lap when hand stitching in front of the telly or outside after a long day, and it holds a cup of tea securely at the same time! Win-win!

I greatly enjoy arranging and stitching my hexagons into 'hexie flowers'

Making hexies is so relaxing!

As a beginner at needlework, I find embroidering to embellish pretty fabric a fun and relaxing way to learn a new skill, while producing a piece of work that is both useful and nice to look at.


We all love craft for many reasons, and one of those would have to be because it is relaxing. I started to teach myself crochet mid 2015, as the pretty blankets I saw dotted around online were inspiring and I wanted a portable craft - something that was easy and enjoyable to do with a cup of tea on the veranda or when I venture further afield.

There is something soothing about cutting out the busy hum of machines and steam of the iron, replacing them with a very hands on craft - whether it is crochet, knitting, embroidery, hand piecing or drawing and painting. It's just you and the work in your hands.

I've heard crochet and knitting likened to yoga and other relaxing meditative practices. Having never done anything like that, I couldn't say. But I do know picking up my crochet or pulling out my pencils or paints, soon sets my mind at rest when I have had a particularly trying day, or am suffering a bit of stress and anxiety. 

There is a rhythm to crochet. Something restful about sketching. Relaxing putting together little fabric hexagons. I never try and do anything by hand when I am flustered or feeling busy. I don't even feel like it, whereas I can get a little bustling when it comes to running something up on the machine if I am working on time I really don't have. However, I can honestly say, I have to be ready to put my mind in that almost restive state to crochet, hand stitch or sketch. The machine is built for speed and can be utilized if need be, I have yet to sit down and try and churn out a granny square in the same manner.

I take deeper breaths, I feel my body unwind and settle into the chair, almost nestling in to the comfort of crochet - where my mind is almost completely focused on the task at hand, temporarily prevented from thinking about long to-do lists or trying to multi-task. It's also incredibly social when in good company - I can natter away to my hearts content and listen in turn. I've tried doing this when concentrating on machine sewing or over locking - what results is usually a mistake or me completely missing almost every word the other person has said.

It's been particularly useful lately when I have been unwell, instead of stressing about all the things I need to get done but aren't up to doing, distracting and calming my mind with a craft is a good way to feel productive and go slowly - something that will speed my recovery more than worrying about everything I can't get done!

So here's to craft being a form of meditation - relaxing your body and slowing your mind is good for both your body and soul. Not only is it fun and rewarding - it's good for your health too!

What's your go-to 'by-hand' craft? Is there something you find particularly relaxing and restorative?


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