Crocheting with Intention

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 26 Comments

Crochet is a craft that can help you through. I’ve heard many stories from people who have crafted through illnesses, depression, and other tough times. The simple act of creating something and watching it grow can be a revelation. Being productive with crochet when other activities are too hard is a gift that inspires people to go on.

I’ve also heard of people crocheting prayer shawls, where the crafter stitches not only with yarn, but with intention that is focused in the crochet. It sounds like a beautiful act of love. Imagine receiving a prayer shawl from a loved one or community member.

Of course there are many organizations that coordinate charitable donations of crochet. Popular items are chemo caps, blankets, and warm scarves. I recently donated 13 items to families affected by Hurricane Sandy to Project Linus New Jersey, Inc.

When have you crocheted with intention? Have you used crochet to help you through or to create a prayer shawl? Have you ever donated crochet to a charity?

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26 Comments

  1. Bailey says:

    I crocheted doll and toy donations through the illness and death of a loved one this summer and fall. This Christmas morning it gave me such pleasure to know that a child was getting up and opening presents that wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t been crocheting during that time. Since this person was the one who taught me to crochet it is also a legacy to her.

  2. Throughout my cancer treatments, I croched. All my Christmas gifts were done by November!! It was a great way to feel useful and productive with the little amount of energy I had.

  3. Grace says:

    I crochet things for various charities all the time. If the item isn’t straight up for charity, then the proceeds from their sales are. For some odd reason, it just struck me as the right thing to do a few years back, and I’ve done it ever since.

  4. Bailey, it does feel good to know that your work is keeping the legacy going while bringing joy to a child. Julie, I am reading a book about crocheting through illness, and many people have echoed your sentiment of feeling productive with little energy. I think that is very encouraging! Grace, it is wonderful to devote your crafting time to charity. I am sure you’ve touched many lives through your crochet.

    Has anyone out there ever crocheted a prayer shawl? I haven’t read a book on that yet, but I found the idea intriguing. :)

  5. Diana says:

    I went through a very hard year in 2012 I faced eviction,possible breast cancer, and then I lost my job. I turned to crochet because it was the only pretty thing I had in my life, through every stitch and new pattern that I conquered I became stronger, When I went to my final mammogram , I went by myself and I sat and crocheted a hat in the waiting room, at every meeting in court I was working up a bootie or a new sweater. Things began to look up, the lump disappeared and the eviction was vacated, I am now thinking of opening a small business at home, with and Etsy page to be premiered in the next eight months. Crochet brought me through a lot and the Lord showed me that sitting down and praying will get you everywhere.

  6. Angela says:

    Crocheting has helped me immensely with my depression! I started in April because my husband was traveling so much for work and I was at home with 2 kids 4 and under. It felt so great that I could make things for my kids and others. I could get lost in it like I do with a book, but I was still in the real world AND making stuff for my kids that they loved. Then they started asking me to make them other things and my son even asked me to crochet him something for his birthday. It felt so good that I could create this for them and it helped me too. And so began my yarn addiction and pattern hoarding :-)

    Now I run a local crafting group and encourage others to find a craft or hobby that they enjoy.

  7. Brenda says:

    My only son, Joshua died suddenly August 24, 2012. He was only 29 and would have been 30 in March. It’s so very hard to live life again. Many days I stay in bed. But, I have my shades open, my laptop and crocheting next to me. I have made several crochet items for friends as I sit up in my bed. Prayers, friends and crocheting have gotten me through the many days and will continue to help me in the days to come.

    • Andea says:

      Dear Brenda, when I read your comment my heart ached for you. Please know that you are in my prayers. Although I have never lost a child, I do know what it’s like to lose someone suddenly to death. There is no doubt that the pain is multiplied in the loss of a child, whether grown or not. And even though I cannot imagine your pain, I do know The One who knows all of your pain. I will go to the throne on your behalf and call out your name to Father God. Please know that.

      You have my deepest regards.

      • Brenda says:

        Thank you much Adrea and Diana. Prayers are much needed and appreciated. I know life can be worse. But losing a child is the worst that can happen to a parent. May you NEVER know! I miss my Joshua much. I have a memorial FB page. You can visit it at Joshua Aaron Underwood Memorial Page. Thank you for your kindness.

    • Diana says:

      Dear Brenda
      As I read your story my heart goes out to you, I too have a son who is 29 and his name is Joshua. I cannot begin to understand your grief, but I know that my prayers will be with you every day, ,may the Lord bless you and keep you close to the cross.

    • Sue says:

      Brenda,
      Tomorrow will be the 9th anniversary of my sons death.
      I do not know how you feel but I know how I felt….and my heart breaks for you.

      What saved us what a class that uses The Grief Recovery handbook. Their website is:
      http://www.griefrecoverymethod.com. Please look at it.

      I will always miss Brooks. But I can remember him without the pain.
      Much love,
      Sue

      • Brenda says:

        Thank you Sue , I will check it out. It’s just so hard to live life. I will look into it to see if it my help me. Again, Thank you all for your kind words and your much needed prayers. ~ Brenda

    • Brenda & Sue, I am touched by what you have shared here. Words can not express how grateful I am that you each have found a way to keep going despite your losses. I have heard about but can not fully understand the loss that you each have experienced. However, I can keep you in my prayers and send healing thoughts. Peace and blessings.

      • Brenda says:

        Sue, my doctor gave me that book. The Grief Recovery handbook. I also go tho Hospice. They give free griefing counsiling. They are helping me. But the saddness never goes away, as I’m sure you know this after 7 years. My heart just feel so heavy all the time. I heard that never goes away, that you just learn to live with it. The Saddest thing that can happen is to lose a child.

  8. Valerie Talley says:

    I have use crochet to help me deal with being a caregiver to my father after his massive stroke and death, 3 years after the stroke. It also helped me through the loss of my mother a year after my father. It is rewarding to crochet something and bless someone else with that item.

    I have made many prayer shawls, Cami. There are several books out there (check Amazon.com). I have used “The Prayer Shawl Ministry: Reaching Those in Need” for several shawls as have some of the ladies in the group at my church. This is only one of many books available along with free patterns online.

  9. Brenda says:

    Yes I have crochet several prayer shawls. Lion Brand has a few prayer shawl patterns.

  10. LIsa says:

    When I was going through divorce, I kept my focus by crocheting my soon-to-be-born nephew a cape. (He was born in November of that year.) Keeping count kept me from dwelling on what was happening around me. I love to crochet and I love giving gifts made with my own hands.

  11. pmhenry says:

    I have gone through four back surgeries and four back prodecures in the last three years. Also a broken ankle, ribs and fractured pelvis. Hardly have time to do anything else. Anyway gives me plenty of time to crochet, which I do. I am so grateful to have this skill and it’s fun making presents and changing patterns (just for the heck of it).

    I have donated many items to the hospital for preemies. They are always well received. I am so glad to be able to do this for the little ones.

  12. Bethintx1 says:

    Definitely. I have autistic son and it helps me get through the times when I know he is frustrated or hurting and my heart breaks for him. It has also helped me through chronic back pain.

    Most things I make is for charity. My crochet group makes things for Hospice, American Red Cross, and for the local RSVP program which gives to childrens hospitals, nursing homes and pregnancy centers. I also like making bears for Motherbear project.org. Sometimes I find a challenging pattern I want to make and I do something special for a loved one with those.

    There is a prayer in very stitch, and a hope in every row! A wish for blessings to all those who touch it.

  13. Wendy says:

    I’m currently crocheting my way through Bipolar therapy (recently diagnosed), with gifts for all of the people helping me learn to co-exist with this rather charming facet of my personality. I’m also crocheting Amigurumi gifts for the myriad of physical therapists that are helping me to get my legs back under me, and on solid ground. I watch the toys grow and develop their own personalities, and, knowing that they will being a smile is rewarding. On deck is a prayer shawl for a woman with brain cancer, something warm, soft and healing.

    Crochet is rewarding and therapeutic on so many levels!

  14. kay mcgill says:

    We crochet for veterans and take to the VA Hospital in Indianapolis, IND also for babies at Union Hospital and babies for a pregancies ctr here in Terre Haute, And for men and women who are trying to get their lives back together after being on drugs. We have several at our church who hlep its also therapy for them too. One lady who had cancer told me that it was the reason she got up in the morning she Loved making small premeeie blankets for the babies at the hospital. Look around there are alot people who you can make items for.and if someone can’t crochet but would be willing to help. Have them deliver things or maybe they could buy a skein of yarn or so. We are called Angels for Soliders and Babies.

  15. Marion says:

    I make blankets for several animal shelters.I have 5 dogs of my own and when I drop them off my heart aches for all the animals who are waiting for a home.

  16. Annie says:

    My partner had a stroke 7 years ago – he needs a high level of care and unfortunately continues to deteriorate. I taught myself to crochet from a book about 5 years ago and it has really kept me going through all of the medical appointments, the physiotherapist visits and his advancing dementia. I have crocheted may gifts for others as well as for charity – mainly hats (“beanies”) as they are very portable, easy to finish and satisfying to know that you are helping someone to stay warm when the days are chilly.

  17. Di says:

    I too have crochet over 80 blankets for our local Dogs’ Trust and am now making tiny garments, blankets, etc for ‘babies born asleep’ to send into our Cuddles UK group, who then distribute them to hospitals in need of such items

  18. Jan says:

    When my husband was traveling from the hospital to a nursing home and back again, the only thing that kept me sane was crocheting a blanket for him, as he was always cold. Sadly, he only got to use it for about 5 months. When I was in a nursing home,(at the same time that my husband was in one) what kept me going was knowing that I had started a project and I WAS GOING TO FINISH it. The operation damaged some nerves in both my hands and my legs and once my hands got going, I must have crocheted at least 5 or 6 afghans. Prayers to everyone here who have lost people.

  19. This is a thread worth revisiting. While I do not have time today to respond to each and every person, I want you all to know that I am honored and touched that you’ve chosen to share your stories here with me. I am so glad that crochet has provided a means of comfort for so many of us here on this post, and certainly for many who haven’t decided to share publicly.

    Please feel free to keep on sharing. While sometimes difficult, these stories are also motivational and may help more than we realize.

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