Friday, May 30, 2014

Crochet Really Saves the Day

I was feeling kind of stressed. There’s been a lot going on this week. I had to finish the edits and send them off. Our front yard was dug up all weekend because we had a major backup with the drain pipes and they had to be replaced. It came with a huge bill and a weekend of not being able to flush a large part of the time. You get the picture. It all kind of hit me today and I felt the tightness in my chest that I recognize as anxiety. Lately, I have been making potholders to relax. They don’t take too long, are repetitious enough to be meditative and I’m left with something useful that I can keep or gift to someone.

As always crochet worked it’s magic and after a half an hour or so, the tight feeling lifted and the world looked a lot rosier.

I got my copy of Interweave Crochet magazine today. Most of it was devoted to interesting patterns and some information about technique. As I was thumbing through it, I came across a photo of a woman dressed in army fatigues with the headline “Combat Crochet.”

And I thought crochet had come to the rescue for me.

Samantha Nerove was a paratrooper in Operation Desert Storm and went back to war in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It turns out she took her crochet hooks, some yarn and a couple of crochet books with her with the idea crochet would keep her hands busy and fill the empty time. But she had no idea that crochet would turn out to be a lifeline that would help her get through the trauma of war. She said the projects she worked on became her hold on humanity when the inhumanity of war was all she saw. It gave her comfort to be able to create beauty amid chaos.

And when she suffered from post traumatic stress, crochet helped her again. It helped her keep at bay the mental images of dying burn victims, AK-47's pointed at her face and more.

She took to crocheting flowers. Somehow the beauty and the tenacity of flowers symbolized hope for her and she gave them out to randomly which in turn helped other people

I think this line of hers says it all “When the ‘all clear” sounded, I returned to my bunk, swapped my pistol for a crochet hook, and picked my project off the ground like nothing had happened – Yarn over, pull through.”

That is definitely the ticket. Yarn over and pull through.


Linda O. Johnston said...

After reading your post, Betty, I realized even more how the writing themes of we Killer Hobbyists actually contribute a lot to our own well-being. Crochet seems therapeutic to you, and my dogs certainly are to me!

Planner said...

I love your last paragraph. Yarn Over and Pull Through sounds like a great name for a book!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, pets are wonderful therapy!

Diane Vallere said...

I think people underestimate the impact that crafts and hobbies can have on our busy lives. Sometimes it's good to stop and smell the roses--and apparently sometimes it's good to crochet a couple, too!

Betty Hechtman said...

Diane, a point well taken!