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Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • Crochet as Meditation

    Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares tips on meditating through crochet.

    Crochet as MeditationI remember the first time that I tried formal meditation. I sat amidst a group of compassionate people with closed eyes who were letting go of all thoughts, focusing attention on their breath. I felt no compassion for myself as my monkey mind skittered about. I felt self-conscious about my constant twitching and resituating, certain I was irritating the peaceful beings around me. More than that, I simply didn't enjoy the experience. My anxious mind raced into terrifyingly uncomfortable places. I left feeling that meditation is a great thing...for other people but not for me! Then I found crochet.

    Crochet offers a chance to meditate in a way that many people find easier than sitting still in a room and focusing on the breath. Crochet is a relaxing, repetitive craft that can be done as a means to mindfulness. The combination of constant counting, gentle recurrent hand motions and focus on the work is a stress-reducer and a path to being present in the here-and-now.

    Want to practice crochet as a form of meditation? Here are some tips:

    • Choose a project that requires only beginner skills, like a large granny square or a scarf made of only single crochet stitches.
    • Select a project that offers comfort in counting. For example, a scarf will let you count the same number of stitches again and again in each row.
    • Use a yarn color that feels comforting.
    • Work in a quiet, relaxed space.
    • Set an intention. At the beginning and end of the crochet project remind yourself what it is you want to achieve with meditative crochet. Celebrate the craft and celebrate yourself.

    There is certainly something valuable to be found in formal meditation. However, it doesn’t work for all of us. In particular, people with mental health conditions including depression and anxiety may find it too difficult to simply sit on the cushion and watch the breath. We can use mindfulness crochet instead to bring ourselves back to the present moment, practicing compassion for ourselves and for others with each stitch.

    What has been your meditation experience? How does crochet help?

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  • How to Cable Without a Cable Needle: A Tutorial and Video

    Let's say that one day, you're working on that lovely cable project you've been looking forward to starting, it's time for you to start your cable - you dig through your pouch full of notions and somehow, your cable needle is nowhere to be found! Oh no... now what?

    I'm sure many of you have experienced working on a cable project with no cable needle nearby, and you have probably used something else in substitution of the cable needle - a pen, pencil, straw, etc.  But did you know that you can also cable without any needle at all, and it's quite simple.  We have an easy tutorial with step by step images showing you how to cable without a cable needle, which you can find here - but now, you can watch the tutorial in action by viewing the video below!

    Which is your preferred method for cabling? Share with us in the details!

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  • Designer Spotlight: Lily Chin's Versatile Styles and Skills

    Designer Spotlight: Lily Chin | Lion Brand NotebookSomething I love about working in the yarn industry is all of the creative people you meet. Working with designers, artists, and writers constantly inspires me. One of my favorite people in the industry is extremely prolific designer Lily Chin.

    Look her up on Amazon.com or Ravelry and you'll find dozens of books and individual designs, ranging from accessible accessories to complex cables—reversible, no less!

    But don't take my word for it! Here are a few podcasts and videos from our collections featuring interviews with Lily herself:

    Want to make your own Lily Chin original? Here are a few patterns she's designed for Lion Brand that I think are awesome summer projects:

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