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#StitchAwayStress ... Srsly; it works.

#StitchAwayStress Craft Yarn Council crochet Stitch Away Stress Twinkie Chan

April is Stitch Away Stress month, or at least a reminder that craft work like crochet and knitting can be a meditative practice that helps reduce stress.

And I can testify. Don't worry; I won't hit you with all of the details now -- I mean, we're just getting to know each other!

I will say, though, that a couple years ago I decided to simplify and to chose one or two hobbies to focus on. Crochet was the big winner for several reasons -- it's inexpensive, it travels well, and I inherently knew that crocheting helped me to relax, which is exactly what I needed to do, and still need to do on the daily. (Can I get an amen?!)

I'm not the only one who feels this way. A 2018 Craft Yarn Council survey shows that 80 percent of respondents -- knitters and crocheters like us -- feel that their craft work helps them reduce stress, and a whopping 94 percent say it helps them relax. Sixty-eight percent say yarn work helps them to lift their moods.

That's amazing, isn't it? Why isn't everyone crocheting and knitting?!

The CYC celebrates #StitchAwayStress month with FREE and adorable lemon patterns ... got lemons? squeeze those *&$#@%+ and make thyself some lemonade!

This year's pattern is a cute, squeezable lemon pillow from designer and artist Twinkie Chan. (Knit pattern, crochet pattern, video tutorial.)

In 2015, also for #StitchAwayStress month, Twinkie offered patterns for a lemon stress ball. (Knit pattern, crochet pattern, video tutorial.)

That was the year that I found the below video from the Craft Yarn Council at the very time when I was narrowing down which hobbies to keep. I've always enjoyed making crochet items for family and friends as gifts, but this was the first time that it really clicked for me that when I make nice things for others I am also doing a nice thing for myself.

Watch and see for yourself: So many of us agree that there's something about crocheting and knitting that soothes the soul.

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