Book Review: Mindful Crochet by Emma Leith
Mindfulness is something I lack, and if it were not for crochet, it is unlikely that I would ever practice it. Reading aloud to my son is the next closest thing that has me focusing in the moment.
Now, if we were talking about hyper-vigilance, mindfulness’ evil twin, I would say I’ve got that in abundance, thanks to Complex PTSD. It scarcely leaves me any time to be mindful, which may be why I struggle with meditation.
That is where books like this come in handy. Colour is a splendid tool for grounding, or at least it is for me. Seeing the vibrant hues mix and match together helps slow down my chaotic mind as I try to process the vividness of the image before me, occupying my senses and keeping them from becoming hijacked by unregulated emotion.
When having to endure an anxiety attack, colour can play a critical role in gaining control again. Spotting the brightest colour in the room, naming it, then spelling it out; repeat. Find another and start again.
Tricks like these can be a real saviour, especially if you aren’t with others when it happens. Emma Leith has included many thoughtful suggestions and helpful ideas from her life as she shares with the reader the health struggles that have led her to be more mindful.
‘Draw your attention toward what is happening in the present moment by gently tuning into the different sensations in your body. Notice without judgement and without trying to change anything, simply observing.’
Sage advice such as this accompanies each project as you work your way through the bright yarn and turn your troubled thoughts into beautiful treasures that will lift your spirits and clear your mind.
I started with these gorgeous mandala coasters and am ridiculously smitten with the colour combination I chose. The mix of rust, red, brown, yellow, and coral give a warm and cosy feel to my dining room and match perfectly with the dark wood decor. I plan to use the same colours and come up with some matching placemats or a table runner, to finish the look.
My son liked the coasters and wanted me to make him one in the colours he preferred. I like his choices and enjoy the beach feel his combo gives off. I decided to match his coaster with the desk organiser pattern in the book, which he will use this week when school starts. 🥳
He uses his coaster every morning with his cup of herbal tea and has requested a matching cup cosy. The never-ending list of crochet projects continues alongside my bottomless TBR list!
The tea cosy pattern in Mindful Crochet is super adorable, so I just had to make one to fit my French press. I am not particularly fond of how the colours turned out. I rotated a variegated yarn with solid pink and white and though it’s not terrible, I expected more. It might be the pom that’s irking me. Anyway, it fits, it’s cute, and it will keep my coffee warm longer, so nothing else matters.
The cosy in the book is shown below, incase you are curious if the pattern will match your tea pot. I added stitches and used buttons to fasten one side in order to make one that fit my coffee pot. I love the bright and fun yarn Emma Leith uses here, very bold and stimulating.
Mindful Crochet is a great book to get for an advanced beginner and up, but with the basic techniques shared in the book an eager student could learn from a novice position. Add a few YouTube tutorials, and you’re off to the races!
Gorgeous Mandala table toppers, curtains, and cushions will have you turning your outdoor patio into a crochet paradise, wowing your guests with the explosions of colour.
These are some pretty stressful times we are living in, and picking up a creative habit can be a way to ease an overactive mind. If you are just starting and don’t have any supplies, try heading to your local thrift store to see if they have any yarn and hooks that you can use to practice with. You might even get lucky and find a set of hooks or some pretty yarn. Given how inventory can change from week to week, do not give up after your first mission.
Yarn is expensive in Canada, especially the higher quality brands that are only sold at local yarn shops and not offered at big box stores or Amazon. As much as I love to support local businesses, sometimes there is no option when needing to buy many balls of yarn, or multiple colours.
If you are in the market to buy some affordable yet better quality yarn online, I recommend the US company Knit Picks. There are no unexpected duty fees or customs charges when it arrives here in Canada, unlike when ordering from Europe. I am unaware if this would be the case for your country, though, so be sure to check out the details on their site. From affordable luxury yarns to basic acrylics, they have every colour and fibre you need, with a top-quality seal of approval, even offering some organic options. Knit Picks was my go-to site for natural fibres when running my Etsy shop a few years back, and it’s the first place I look when in need of some cotton for my bookmarks.
If you do choose to get this book and make some of the projects within it, please come back and show me what you create!
Do you have any hobbies or techniques that you use to help with mindfulness? I’d love to know; as it has been a lifelong struggle for me, I’m always looking for new ideas.