181. Stress-Busters

Daughters Lisa, Judy and I share the theory that if more people would knit and crochet there would be less stress, rage, divorces, mental breakdowns, economic downturns, and wars.

That may be overstating it a bit, but at least, the reduced need for tranquilizers would certainly slow down the soaring incomes of the pharmaceutical companies.

During a recent period of stress, Lisa kept her sanity intact by cranking out several crochet projects.  This afghan is one of them. It’s octagons are stitched identically but because of the way she used the colors of yarn, no two are alike.  Actually creating it gave her as much joy and good cheer as looking at it gives me – its lucky new owner. Just the sight of that cheerful afghan is a gloom and worry killer.

Also, a 2009 study at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota determined that crafts like knitting, crocheting, quilt-making, etc. can help prevent 30 to  50 percent memory loss in people engaged in those pursuits. I will report more about this as soon as I can remember where I read it.

Besides soothing the savage beast, when you knit or crochet, you can also watch your favorite TV shows in tandem.  That way, you’re only a half-baked couch potato instead of a deep-fried one. Unfortunately, watching too much TV is one of the CAUSES of memory loss, so to offset the damage, you’ll need to keep those needles flying.

I can only think of one time, when needle-work ever caused us any stress.  My daughter Judy never goes to a movie theater without bringing a knitting project.  When Judy is knitting a sweater, she’s done it so much that she doesn’t have to take her eyes off the screen. One time, though, as they were leaving the theater at the end of the show, she felt a tug on her knitting bag.  Looking back, she saw all the people in the aisle looking down trying to figure out what they were tangled up in.  It was the ball of her yarn which had fallen out and rolled down the aisle. Judy just pretended like she didn’t know who did it, graciously helped extricate the victims, and left in a hurry.

Judy is professional writer and practitioner of the crafts of rug-hooking, knitting, crocheting and spinning. You’ve just been looking at some samples of her rugs.  You can see more at her website. Whenever I watch her working on one of her projects, I know I’m seeing a person who is at peace with the world.

I found this crochet joke to illustrate the power available to crafty people.

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. Nothing was held back. Well, almost nothing. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet
that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the
little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In
trying to sort out their affairs, the old man took down the shoebox and took
it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know
what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a
stack of money totaling $250,000. Holy Moley! He asked her about the

“When we were to be married,” she started, “my grandmother told me the
secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever
got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily.” The old
man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were
inside the box! She had only been angry with him two times in all those
years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. “Honey,” he
said, “that explains the doilies, but…. what about all this money? Where
did it all come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling the doilies.”

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3 Responses to 181. Stress-Busters

  1. Linda Lewis says:

    I can hardly wait to see your afghan! I just love all the talents your family has achieved and the way you share them in your blogs.

  2. Sherry Evard says:

    I love that beautiful afghan–and the whole story about stress busters. I read this one on a day I particularly needed to think about reducing stress. Thank you Pat.

  3. A relative says:

    I love this posting. The old time crafts are fabulous. Lovely photos too.


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