- This is based on my own experiences with crochet as an autistic individual who has ADHD and depression. This may not work for others or even those who have autism with ADHD and depression as people are not all the same.
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I discovered crochet at ALDI. I came across a little kit for making forest animals, though it took much longer to get started. Earlier this year I got involved in a class where I was the second youngest student and was taught basic stitch and was “hooked”.
Yes, that is a very bad pun. Sue me.
I found the repetitive motions and movement of the hook to be relaxing and calming when I was feeling paranoid and stressed about school, life and anything my brain decided was an issue. I also found it helped me concentrate on classes and other audio-based things. The multi-tasking assisted by giving me something to do with my hands using my excess energy.
Others find crocheting to be helpful to them as well, though for different reasons and for benefits. A study was done by researchers at Australia’s University of Wollongong that showed many reported it helped them manage chronic pain and grief. This supports another study from 2014 whose results closely matched the newer results.
Kathryn Vercillo, the author of Crochet Saved My Life, noted that over half of the respondents specifically noted they crocheted to manage depression and anxiety. Depression could have also been managed due to not only the act of crocheting but the social connections created by joining online groups. The University of Wollongong showed that 40% of participants reported creating new friendships within these new groups.
The Anxiety Resource Center explains crocheting’s repetitive motions as helping to distract the brain, releasing serotonin, and diverting the need to perform other repetitive actions that could be harmful. Other reasonings for the calming effects are the lack of eye contact needed during social events, the creation of a “safety bubble” due to how one holds their hands, and the textures and colors of the yarn itself.
Being considered a cheap and portable hobby, these benefits are very accessible to people.
While you will have to buy hooks and yarn to get started, sites like Raverly and Lovecrafts have patterns posted for free. The patterns they sell on Ravelry, Lovecrafts, and Etsy tend to not be too pricey either, and perusing their designs will get your creativity in full swing.
If any of this sounds like it may benefit you, I strongly encourage you to try crochet out for yourself!
My suggestions for hooks and yarn, based off of what I use for myself are:
- 14 Piece Crochet Hook Set
- 6 Piece Crochet Hook Set
- Stitch Counters 100pc
- Stitch Counter 150pc with Container
- Knitting/Crochet Needles
- Red Heart Super Saver Yarn
- 6 Pack of Cotton Yarn
- 2 Pack Yarn
Patterns I suggest as a start:
- Double Stitch Scarf
- Five Hour Market Bag
- Waffle Stitch Scarf
- Simple Double Stitch Hat
- Sand Dollar Beach Bag
Patterns I want to share ‘cause I love them:
- Dragon Egg Bag
- Ammonite Hook Roll
- Pineapple Peacock Shawl
- Plague Doctor
- Dumbo Octopus Amigurumi
- Pokeball Amigurumi
- Elegant Hat