The November 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living just arrived today and it brought me back to a topic I’ve been meaning to revisit: the joy of crafting.
Over the summer I picked up a couple new hobbies and polished skills on others as part of my preparation to get though late pregnancy and maternity leave with my sanity in tact. Turns out that I was onto something. According to the article titled “This is Your Brain on Crafts,” “crafting can decrease your heart rate and blood pressure and even improve sleep.”
Crafts, especially fiber arts like knitting and crochet, provide a light distraction by keeping your hands occupied, while allowing your mind to wonder, hold conversation, or catch up on the most recent season of Project Runway.
And although my new hobbies solely responsible for the cool, calm demeanor I maintained throughout pregnancy, I can certainly attest to the fact that picking up crochet and jewelry-making definitely put my mind and body at ease on hot summer nights, long car rides, and awkward gatherings.
Any time i felt overwhelmed, I would grab one of my ongoing projects and continue where I left off, adding a few more rows to a hat, troubleshooting an awkward pattern, or trying something new. I loved the process of picking out a pattern, choosing the material, and meditating on our new bundle of joy.. What would he look like? How big would he be? Would he have my hair, my husbands eyes?
The truth is that crafting, for some, can be not only therapeutic, but meditative in nature. And, in the end, you get something special out of it. My crochet projects so far have mostly been items for Max (baby hats!), including all of the props we used in his newborn photo shoot. Seeing the photos (to be posted soon!) reminds me not only of how scrumptious my baby is, but also makes me think back to the fond memories I have of crocheting on the beach while my friend read a magazine, or spending evenings with my mother-in-law while we chatted about babies. In other words, it has meaning, depth, and makes me smile to think about.
Stay tuned for craft projects, ideas, and resources for more information!