Enhance Your Craft Experience: Indulge Your Senses in Autumn
We experience the world through our senses. All too often, though, we ignore what our senses are telling us. We attend to our thoughts and emotions while neglecting what the body teaches us. By tuning in to the senses, we can heighten the beauty of any experience–including crafting experiences.
ABOVE: Photo by Matt Graves
Autumn is the perfect season to practice this, because there are so many richly indulgent sensations that come to us in fall. By incorporating attention to the senses into our craft experience, we can increase the benefits that we get from crafting.
The Sense of Sight
We drink in life through our eyes. When we see a beautiful scene, we can be moved to tears. Crochet brings us so many opportunities to indulge in what our eyes can see. It all starts with the yarn, which can be so rich in color, as well as with the details of the fiber strands. It continues with the stitches; we can make such interesting patterns through our stitch choices. Plus, of course, the finished project is a sight to behold.
Autumn is the perfect time to choose rich, warm colors that are a pleasure to look at for your craft experiences. Think of the colors of changing tree leaves as a starting point: gold and mustard, maroon and burgundy, varied shades of brown and green. Set up your craft space with multiple points of light so that you can see the different hues in every strand. Practice mindfulness as you craft, consistently bringing your attention back to the colors at hand.
You may also incorporate your sense of sight in other ways. What do you see around you while you craft? If what you see isn’t inspiring, then it’s time to spruce up your craft space. Hang some of your favorite artwork, photos, and fiber creations. Take a moment at the start of each craft experience to truly look at what you find around you.
The Sense of Touch
Touch is another sense that lends itself well to crochet. The feel of the hook in your hand, the fiber running through your fingers, and the motion of hook through yarn can bring your awareness back to your body. If you pay attention to these details, then you can really indulge in the sensory delight of crafting experiences. Autumn is the perfect time to use your natural wood hooks.
Wool is a popular yarn choice for fall because it evokes that natural feeling of the outdoors. However, you might want to look for wool blends that incorporate silk or bamboo for extra luxuriousness or softness. On the other hand, if autumn makes you think of crackling leaves and fallen pinecones, then you might want to select novelty yarns that have a lot of texture. Thick-and-thin yarns are a great choice in that area.
The Sense of Sound
What do you listen to while you are crocheting? Make your selections more intentional. Consider music, nature sounds, and podcasts. Autumn brings Halloween, so you might want to embrace the season by listening to scary stories. Perhaps fall makes you think of football season and you want to listen to the games. A nature soundtrack filled with squirrels, geese, and storms could inspire you. Of course, you might also opt for silence, allowing you to hear nature itself, especially if you craft outside or near an open window.
The Sense of Smell
Scent is one of the most powerful senses in terms of its ability to evoke a mood or provoke a memory. Infuse your craft space with the smells of autumn through the use of candles, essential oils, potpourri, live plants, and incense. Autumn scents include cinnamon, pumpkin, apple, cloves, vanilla, and brown sugar. Make each craft session more of a sensory experience when you start it by lighting a particular scent.
The Sense of Taste
Of course, you don’t eat your crochet! Nevertheless, you can incorporate the sense of taste into your crafting experience to round out the five senses. You might begin and end each craft session with sips of your favorite fall drink, be that mulled wine or hot apple cider. You might find a candy that represents your favorite fall tastes and let it sit in your mouth as you craft.
The point of crafting with all of your senses is that you elevate the experience. You really take in the entire session through all aspects of your body. As a result, you can relax more and feel more rejuvenated even if your craft period is very short. Autumn is a busy season, so the more you can relax through you senses, the better these months will be.
This article originally appeared in Interweave Crochet Fall 2019.