8 Ways To Practise Self-Care When Crafting
Crochet | 3 min read time
Discover some of the ways you can make your me-time even more relaxing.
Any experienced maker will be able to tell you that taking the time to do some crafting not only benefits your mental health but contributes to your physical and social well-being as well. Self-care involves maintaining a healthy relationship with ourselves, and taking charge of our physical, mental and social well-being. Acts of self-care can look different for everyone: such as journalling, cooking yourself a healthy meal, or reaching out to a friend for support. The more you put into caring for yourself, the better able you will be to care for others.
There's a multitude of research behind the health benefits of crafting: they are meditative, therapeutic, stress relieving, and soothing, making them ideal to incorporate into a self-care routine. When you’re new to crafting - whether that’s knitting, crochet, cross stitch, or something else - it’s easy to put pressure on yourself and turn what should be an enjoyable experience, into a stressful one. So in the spirit of being kind to yourself, we’ve put together a few ways to ensure your crafting time is truly a moment of self-care.
Even the world’s fastest knitter had to start somewhere! Creating something takes time, so don’t pressure yourself to finish within a certain period. While the goal is to produce a finished piece, the essence of crafting is to enjoy the journey. Sometimes complicated stitch patterns or sewing up can take a while, so be patient and enjoy being in the moment.
Don’t force yourself to finish a project in one sitting; learn to take breaks. If you find yourself getting tired or tense, this will become apparent in your work. Fighting with your materials or pulling on your yarn will result in uneven tension. Crafting shouldn’t result in aches and pains, so relax your body, take regular breaks, and if something isn’t working, put it aside and come back to it at a later point. A fresh pair of eyes may be all you need to master that new technique.
It’s okay to undo everything (also known as frogging) and start again. Creativity is about trying something new, making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. Even the most advanced crafters start projects again. If you’re really struggling with something, put it down and take a break from it - point number 2 says it all! Come back to a project at another time, re-energised and with a fresh perspective, perhaps having watched our tutorial videos or asked our team of crafters for help, and you’ll be surprised to find it works itself out.
As a beginner, don’t worry too much about getting even tension, or holding your tools, or yarn, perfectly. If you relax, don’t panic, and just keep going, you’ll eventually learn how to create an even tension and find a way to hold your tools that’s most comfortable for you. So take it easy, relax, and enjoy: Eventually it will all fall into place.
Set the mood
Depending on the size of your project, crafting can be taken out and about, and enjoyed anywhere: sitting in a café, while on public transport, indoors, or outdoors. If you’re at home and carving out a bit of self-care time, then take a moment to set the mood for yourself. That might be by putting on your favourite music or film, lighting a candle, or making yourself something nice to drink while you craft - you do you. If you feel like nurturing your social well-being, why not join a knitting or crochet group?
Ask for helpNever be afraid to ask for help. With crafting there is always something to learn, no matter how long you’ve been doing it for. If there’s something you don’t understand, or would like to learn more about, then reach out to a friend, ask at a workshop, or get in touch with our team of expert crafters!
Break the rules
Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Once you know the basics, experiment with yarns, needles and patterns to make your knitting and crochet projects work for you. If using long knitting needles doesn’t feel comfortable for you, then switch to a shorter pair. If you want to make a scarf wider or narrower, then cast on a few more or less stitches to create the width that’s perfect for you. If you prefer the magic ring method to join crochet foundation chains, then switch them up. It’s all part of the learning process.
Engaging your brain, as well as your hands, is beneficial for your health. If the patterns you’re following are starting to feel easy, then challenge yourself to move up a level. As long as you practise patience, and aren’t afraid to ask for help if needed, then there’s no reason you couldn’t manage a more difficult pattern or kit. Completing a more challenging project has the added benefit of satisfaction at mastering something new.