“Changing global health one stitch at a time”

The Craft Yarn Council has launched a new initiative dedicated to increasing awareness about the health effects of knitting and crocheting. We love the idea that simply doing an activity we enjoy can put us on the road to better mental and physical health.

crochet apple
A row a day keeps the doctor away

In their article, “The Truth About Knitting and Crochet,” the Craft Yarn Council describes the increased popularity of crafting for health purposes by saying, “Famous for its relaxing, meditative qualities, knitting increasingly is being used in hospitals, clinics, schools and even prisons to help people lead healthier, happier lives.”

The article goes on to describe the variety of ailments that can be reduced by knitting or crocheting, explaining, “Knitters ascribe all manner of benefits to their craft… everything from alleviating depression, anxiety and pain to reducing boredom and the discomfiting effects of isolation.” They even describe how crafting can improve math skills, saying “Knitting also involves following and recognizing patterns, learning new stitches and using both hands and math, lending it the capacity to improve fine motor skills while also keeping the mind active and engaged. The Waldorf Schools, for example, teach children to knit before teaching them to read in the belief that knitting develops dexterity, focus and rudimentary arithmetic”

How has crafting benefited your health? We’d love to hear your stories, so feel free to share here on our blog or on the Love of Knitting or Love of Crochet Facebook pages.

The joys of untangling

Taking a cue from the Spring 2014 Issue of Love of Knitting, I took a bit of time to organize my yarn stash yesterday. As I sifted through my collection, I found a few skeins I had forgotten about – including one that had somehow transformed into a tangled mess of yarn. Actually, I have a feeling it ended up that way because back when I was making something with it, I pulled my working yarn from the center, letting it slowly become a hollow shell of its formerly plush self. Then, I must have stuck this poor, snarled skein into my yarn closet, leaving it to become more knotted and twisted over time.

tangled yarnAfter finding this tangled skein, I decided that even though it was only a small amount and wasn’t very expensive, I couldn’t bring myself to toss it. After all, it was my fault it ended up this way. Determined, and with nothing else to do that evening, I sat down and began the tedious task of untangling this poor mess of yarn.

As I unknotted lengths and lengths of yarn and wound it into a ball, I realized that I truly didn’t mind doing it. There was something constructive and soothing about taking a crazy, jumbled mess and winding it into a neat and useful ball of yarn. I like to think that this says something about me being a very orderly (hah!) and patient person, but perhaps the feeling of yarn running through my fingers is really what made this job enjoyable for me. In any case, my poor tangled skein is now wound into a tidy ball and ready to be used, and this is a win for any crafter.

This experience got me thinking – I can’t be the only person who enjoys untangling yarn! Are there any crafty tasks that others seem to dread (weaving in ends, turning a heel, seaming), but you secretly enjoy?

Celebrating National Crochet Month

National Crochet Month is just beginning, and we’d like to share a few crafty ways to celebrate. Of course, every stitch you make during the month of March can be considered a mini-celebration of this wonderfully addictive craft, but we invite you to do something special – just for fun.

raspberry tart

Try joining a Crochet Along! We will be making the Raspberry Tart Scarf from our Winter 2013 Issue, beginning on March 14th, and we hope you take this opportunity to crochet along with us and make this beautiful, lacy scarf.

pinwheel blanketLearning a new skill is also a great way to celebrate. Have you always wanted to try Tunisian crochet? Check out this convenient video course from the Daily Craft, and learn how to make the darling Pinwheel Blanket from our Summer 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet!

yarn store

Finally, we officially give you permission to splurge on some gorgeous yarn this month! We know there are tons of fabulous fibers to choose from, so check out our 52 Weeks of Yarn reviews for a helpful starting point. If you’re eager to learn more about some of our favorite fibers, be sure to check out our Spring 2014 Issue when it goes on sale, March 25th.

We know this is only the tip of the iceberg, and there are countless ways to celebrate National Crochet Month! How will you celebrate?

Learn to spin your own yarn!

March is National Crochet Month, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by learning a new skill. Knitters and crocheters alike can take their fascination with fiber to the next level by learning to spin their own yarn! In this helpful online video course with instructor Kim Stone, you’ll learn how to recognize different types of roving and spin it into your own custom-made yarn.

spin yarn

Make your next project extra special by adding to your crafting skills and expanding the meaning of the word “handmade.”