In these times of lockdowns and socially distancing ourselves, so many people are searching for something to help them get through the days, something to take their minds off the fear constantly scrolling across their tv screens & social media and something to help them feel productive and accomplished when so much of our lives and our ability to control our lives has been taken away from us.
There have been a lot of people picking up new hobbies and trying new crafts in lockdown and crochet has been one of those for good reason! Personally I helped 2 of my local friends learn crochet during lockdowns in 2020 in Melbourne.
A key in making crochet in particular relaxing and mindful is to choose the right project. If you are a learner there is no benefit in choosing an intricate project where you need to learn new stitches, if what you want to achieve is a relaxing moment in time, immersing your mind in the project and just letting your hands do the work.
Choose your project wisely – as I mentioned in my last blog post – not all WIPs are created equal.
So I thought I would put some of the books in my collection to good use and review them for you if you had been eyeing them off for some extra reading or extra inspiration but weren’t ready to commit the dollars in these uncertain times.
(*Disclaimer – this blog post contains affiliate links to each product*)
Crochet therapy – 20 mindful, relaxing and energising projects by Betsan Corkhill
Actual information, exercises and visualisations on how to be mindful with your crochet. Ie. How you can get the most benefits from crochet. This book is super useful and gives a range of different exercises for a variety of different ailments you might be seeking to address with your making.
It has a range of different projects, both functional wearables and aesthetically pleasing projects.
It also has a good technique section to remind you of important tips including for working in the round (as a lot of these projects are)
Mandalas to crochet – 30 great patterns by Haafner Linssen
This book contains a good introduction to mandalas & their uses historically. It has a good selection of both solid & lace mandalas. Plus it includes a few projects you can create using all or part of these patterns. You could also learn how to use parts of patterns to start creating your own unique projects.
Crochet to Calm – Stitch and De-stress with 18 simple crochet patterns by the Editors at Interweave (various designers)
Featuring designers like Adrienne Brigham from Mangomum.net, Julie King of Gleeful Things Crochet and Kate Dohn from The Good Shnit. This book includes wearables like house slippers that you could make and wear during lockdown. Also home décor items to give a fresh burst of colour to your surroundings during lockdown.
Crochet yourself calm – 50 motifs & 15 projects for Mindful relaxation by Carmen Heffernan
This book contains more projects than any in depth text on the topic of crochet as therapy or using crochet to relax. But it has a great range of different projects, motifs and stitch patterns you could use to start creating your own projects.
Hook to Heal – 100 crochet exercises for health, growth, connection, inspiration and honouring your inner artist by Kathryn Vercillo
As the author says in her introduction: “I’ve created this book so that people of all levels in crochet can utilize the craft to heal their inner wounds, nurture their inner artist and bring the full flowering of their own creativity into the open for the world’s benefit.”
This book is incredible and while not a ‘learn to crochet’ book with different patterns, this book and it’s exercises are designed for all different skill levels of crochet. This book gives you exercises and activities within the craft of crochet to help you work through different areas that affect people including letting go, self-esteem building, facing fears, creating abundance, giving back, balance and artistic development.
If you need to do a bit of a deep dive into yourself and your soul and you feel that crochet can be the tool to help you do that, then this is the book for you.
Personally I think this book is brilliant and I wish I had written it.
And a few extras I love
Craft for the Soul – How to get the most out of your creative life. By Pip Lincolne
I read this book not long after it was initially released, and it has become one of those books you can read over and over again. Pip has such a warm way of writing where it feels like you are just having a chat with a friend over a cup of tea.
This book has recipes throughout each chapter, the type of recipes that invoke memories of special moment with a loved one. It also contains plenty of craft patterns and tutorials to help stoke your creativity and bring joy into your every day.
It is well worth a read, and it will help you see moments in your day where you can embrace your creativity.
The Neuroscience of Mindfulness
If you are interested in the actual science of how our crafts and hobbies help us relax and unwind, this is the book for you. It isn’t overly scientific or heavy to read through. I found reading it with a highlighter really helped me focus on the important points and absorb the scientific facts. It covers the topics of Mindfulness, wellness, the mind body connection and more.
I’d love to know your favourite mindfulness themed crochet book so I can continue to grow my own personal library!