I’ve always been different. Strange, even. I thrive in solitude and silence. Growing up, making friends was difficult. Being “normal” was difficult. It wasn’t until recently I learned I have a mental illness. I have been diagnosed with high-functioning social anxiety and depression
My name is Misty. I am an insurance agent by day and a crochet artist by, well, all other available hours.
My Grandma, who passed away in 2012, started teaching me crochet when I was four years old. It started out with winding up yarn balls and making chains miles long, maybe a pot holder or two. When I learned to drive, Grandma’s house was a get-away. Whether I was having a terrible day at school or work, or even if I had a great day, I was off to my Grandma’s house where there was always a hug and some yarn. I loved creating new and beautiful things. We made mostly blankets together, but she made everything from tissue box covers to doll dresses to masterpiece tapestries to hang on the wall. In my late teens I made my first afghan by myself. It was a sampler of all kinds of different stitches. I chose pink, blue and cream. Turns out, my Grandma hated pink. (A “God-awful color”!) But, she forgave me because, as I learned the day I gave her the blanket, blue was her favorite color. Since that day, I made hundreds of projects and couldn’t want to show each and every one of them to her. Her praise, and even her snarky criticisms were filled with love and pride. When she passed, I lost my best friend and my crochet buddy. I am forever grateful to her for teaching me my art.
The Blue in Blue Kitty Crochet is in tribute to my Grandma.
And that’s how my art became my therapy. Yarn was always there. Yarn was always beautiful. And yarn always came with praise and unconditional love.
Now, especially in my moments of deepest moments of anxiety and depression, I reach for my yarn. My fingers itch for that familiar feel of the hook and yarn in my hands. Crocheting relieves my fidgetiness, helps me to stay focused and it brings a beautiful art into the world. Not only is crochet my personally therapy, I have learned that crochet is therapy for many people. Research shows, crochet relieves depression because repetition releases serotonin, which is a natural anti-depressant. Crafting in general reduces anxiety, keeping hands busy and mind focused helps people attend classes or events. For me, it helps me go to and stay at work. Crochet reduces boredom and thus irritability and restlessness.
Yarn crafting also builds a community and helps to make friends.
I started a crochet club a few years back as a team-building exercise for a team I was running at a previous job. There are very few of us left in the club, but I consider those who are to be my nearest and dearest friends. We talk every day – usually about yarn.
Crochet is art. Love. Therapy. Beauty.