>crocheting and the active mind

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>for my 33rd birthday, i bought myself a gift.  the first birthday gift i’ve ever purchased for myself (and lemme tell you, i was so proud of myself).

i purchased a starter set of crochet hooks, knitting needles,various accoutrement (row counters, markers, huge safety pin looking things that hold your spot like a bookmark, etc.), a bag in which to carry said accoutrement, and lots of yarn.

i have to blame my friend Kimberly for this a little.  she’s is such an artist extraordinaire, both in textile arts as well as paint and brush, drawing, sculpting, jewelry making… i’m telling you, there is nothing she can’t do.  we work together and i would see her constantly with yarn and hook in hand, beautiful creations jumping from her hands while we chatted at lunch everyday.  i wanted to learn how (hence the birthday present to myself when i was scarcely affording anything.  i self-rationalized and justified a self-improvement and expansion of skills purchase, especially since it was my birthday.)

This is my box of patterns.

nearly 2 years later, i am crocheting nearly every day and loving every minute.  it is my active mind meditation.  i can sit, especially if i’m comfortable with a pattern, and just bliss out/zone out and let my fingers fly. crocheting takes my mind off of my daily worries and stresses and allows me to relax.  i can’t completely explain it, but it falls in the same vein of people cleaning house, or cooking, or gardening when they need a little relaxation therapy without taking a nap. i’m also learning that i have a hard time relaxing completely.  i can’t just sit on the couch and veg, i have to be reading, or writing, or sketching, or crocheting.  i’m learning that i’m maybe a little more ADD than i thought i was when i was growing up.

ok, maybe a lot more.

i don’t consider this a bad thing, just a further inward realization of my outward self.

last night i finished the latest in a series of dishcloths.  may not seem like a big deal, but we are going through a big de-cluttering around our house and part of that, is streamlining. how do streamlining and dishcloths go together you ask?

well, i’ll tell you.  in cutting the extraneous out of our day to day, one of the very small things we’ve cut out are sponges.  I’m using eco-friendly recycled yarn to makes dishclothes, so that we can stop buying sponges.  dishcloths are healthier, in that they don’t hold bacteria like sponges, can be washed at the end of everyday. by not participating in the cycle anymore, we aren’t contributing to the need to constantly reproduce this item. yes, i’m aware that one family can only purchase so many sponges in a year.  but, it makes, me feel good to contribute less in this particular aspect.  hopefully, i’m also teaching the kids that we don’t have the luxury of living a disposable life.

 i guess that’s partially what my journey of the last few years have been about.  not being disposable.  not living a lifestyle that favors material wealth or running out to buy the latest greatest… whatever.  being happy in who i am, who we are.
living a homemade life. a life of substance and meaning. by crocheting with recycled materials, and using those to make usable items for my family, friends and loved ones, i feel like i’m contributing to being substantial.
yeah…i like that.
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6 responses »

  1. >I love this. I need to find an active mind meditation practice. I have labeled myself craft-impared and am finding it hard to get past the label. Thanks for the inspiration to get in touch with my creative side.

  2. >I love the way you went from talking about crocheting to using it as an example of the way you're bringing substance into your life and living according to your values. I also crochet (and knit) and I agree that it is a wonderful active mind relaxation activity. I'll have to look into making dishcloths – what a wonderful suggestion. Thank you for sharing!

  3. >I echo your thoughts! I've been crocheting for 10+ years and my favorite yarn to craft with is cotton. These days, I'm using recycled cotton from old sweaters for dishclothes – also one of my favorite things to make. Simple, quick, and able to zone out. And how about a ripple stich afghan – talk about disassociating…now that's relaxing! Thanks for your post.

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