Crochet A to Z: Zen

I’m doing the A to Z Challenge for the month of April with the theme “Learn to Crochet A to Z.” For more details, and to see previous posts, click on the link at the top of my blog!

Here we are, at the last day of the A to Z Challenge. It’s been a super fun, exhausting month – thank you so so much for joining me on this adventure! Your comments have completely made my day and helped me enjoy blogging again. I can’t thank you enough for all your support and friendship. 😀

I also have to extend thanks to my sister for helping me think of a word for “Z.” If it weren’t for her whipping out the dictionary, we would be talking about zombies or zebras today. For an English major, I really do not have the best command of the English language. 😛

Zen: Japanese, literally ‘meditation,’ from Chinese chán ‘quietude,’ from Sanskrit dhyāna ‘meditation.’

There is certainly a meditative quality to crochet (and knitting, absolutely, but this is “Crochet A to Z” – knitting is way outside my field of ‘expertise.’) I’m no expert on meditation, but I have taken several yoga classes, including one designed specifically for people with anxiety, and have found it to essentially be the clearing of the mind and focusing on one thing in particular. Usually the breath.

So I did a little research to find a better definition than this:

In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. (yogainternational.com)

Crochet is sort of a form of meditation when you focus on the yarn and stitches and don’t let your thoughts go a hundred miles an hour. It’s also a fantastic de-stressor.

There are some stitch patterns in particular that lend themselves well to relaxation and meditation – usually ones without a lot of counting. Although there is certainly a zen quality to more complicated patterns like mandalas, it’s also nice to have something that doesn’t involve a ton of mental labor so you can really focus on the stitches.

I wanted to share a fantastic post from the Interweave Crochet blog that instantly came to mind when I decided to do a post about “Zen” for today. It’s called “Zen and the Art of Stash Diving.” Definitely worth a read! There’s a beautiful lacy scarf pattern in the post that I think of as “Zen Lace,” although I don’t think that’s the actual name. The post encourages you to pick a random ball of yarn from your stash (eyes closed!) and crochet a scarf with it, just focusing on the stitches. A great exercise in meditation of a sort.

Relaxing is next to impossible for a person with two anxiety disorders…but crochet really is quite calming. 😛 I only mention this because I want you to know that if you experience the same things, you’re not alone. I think a lot of people with mental health issues benefit from things like crochet, and I’d be interested to hear your experiences if you feel comfortable sharing! 🙂

Thank you so much for joining me for the A to Z Challenge – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I did. I’ll see you soon for another post, although I certainly won’t be posting with as much frequency…the 26 posts almost destroyed me this month, haha, but it was worth it. 😀 Have a fantastic day!

 

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2 thoughts on “Crochet A to Z: Zen

  1. Sam Chandler says:

    Thank you so much for doing this A-Z, I’ve really enjoyed and learnt a lot – I’m very new to crochet and you’re right it is very meditative. I’m now going to read ‘Zen & the Art of Stash Diving’.

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  2. River says:

    Great job with the whole A-Z Challenge! You did it! 🎉🎉🎉

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with crochet as a way to relax! I’d like to relax with crocheting more. I’m always a little too focused on the destination rather than the journey – not very helpful, I’ll admit. Next time, I’ll try the Stash Diving method – maybe it’ll help me finish those birthday gifts on time, haha.

    And thanks again for this wonderful series, Claire! It’s a wonderful reference, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it time and time again. 🙂

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