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  • Writer's pictureGina Vallance

Auntie Bo And The Therapeutic Benefits of Crocheting

When I attended the Art Therapy summit in Los Angeles a few years ago, I participated in various art, writing, and music therapy workshops. I fell in love with the healing aspects of the arts.

As a writer, I have always gravitated toward expressive writing and journaling. I have experienced firsthand the cathartic and positive healing effects the art of writing can have. So, when I found out how much my mother-in-law, Roberta, who is also known to others as Auntie Bo, loved to crochet, I noticed that we were so similar. Roberta has a great desire to crochet every day, just like I must write every day. For both of us, practicing our art form is like breathing.

When I realized that crocheting could be seen as another form of art therapy, I had to know more about my mother-in-law's passion for the art form. Of course, I was thrilled when she agreed to a quick interview!

Question: When did you first learn how to crochet?

Answer: Well, I first learned as a young adult. My Aunt Meme taught me when she was living with us. I would watch her crochet clothes for my daughters when they were little, and one day I just asked her to teach me.

Question: Were you ever interested in learning how to crochet when you were a child?

Answer: I had always seen crocheting throughout my childhood because my grandmother and her sister would crochet while watching soap operas. I was just a kid at the time, and I remember seeing all the different things they crocheted. I didn't think to ask my grandmother or aunt to show me how to crochet as a child, though. I didn't feel that it was something I wanted to do as a kid. I became interested when I saw my aunt making things for my daughters.

Question: What was the first item you ever crocheted?

Answer: The first thing I made was an Afghan. It was the same stitch over and over, so it was easy for me.

Question: How do you feel when you crochet:

Answer: Well, when I finish making something, I feel accomplished, and it feels good to make something for someone else. I like to see my friends and family's reactions when they receive their crocheted gift because it usually makes them happy, and that makes me happy.

Question: Do you think crocheting is therapeutic?

Answer: Yes, it is very therapeutic for me because I sit most of the time because I can't walk very much. So, I'm not just sitting around watching TV all day. Crocheting also helps me forget about things in my head, and it's relaxing.

Question: What do you love most about crocheting:

Answer: I really love seeing the reactions of family and friends during the holidays when I give them their crocheted Christmas and Easter gifts. It's so nice to see people happy with something that I've made myself. Sometimes people will offer to pay me to crochet something for them, and I always say no because then it would feel like a job. I get more satisfaction from giving the gifts to friends and family, and If they paid me, I would feel like I had to make everything perfect, even though I do try to be as perfect as I can be. If I make a mistake on one stitch, I will pull the whole thing apart and start over! Crocheting is a hobby that I love, and I don't want it to ever feel like a job which is what it would feel like if I sold the gifts I make. I love the smiles I get when I give away my crocheted gifts and for me, that is the best payment I could ask for!

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