For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with anxious and depressive thoughts. But it’s only recently that I really started to examine my mental health. In 2019, I was officially diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). In 2020, I became a first-time mom and was diagnosed with severe Postpartum Depression (PPD). In 2021, I survived a stroke. Through the recovery process and the therapy that followed, I was officially diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and Major Depressive Disorder.
I’ll be honest: it’s been a challenging couple of years for me. But thanks to the regular appointments with my therapist, they’ve also been the most enlightening years of my life. I’ve been in therapy for just over a year, and I cannot tell you enough how wonderful it has been. Don’t get me wrong: it’s been rough. But it’s been so worth the energy. I’m finally starting to feel like myself again – a stronger, better self – and I have decided it’s time to venture back into the world of fiber arts!
While I am very excited about this return to crochet, I want to keep mental health at the forefront of my life. Thanks to the pandemic and the added stresses of everyday life, I think there are more people out there who want to do the same!
To that end, I’m thrilled to announce a new project for 2022: the Mind + Matter Challenge! This scarf project is part mental health challenge, part crochet along, and it will span all 52 weeks of this year.
Beginning on January 5, 2022, I will make a new blog post every week (links will be posted at the bottom of this page). Each post will contain a new challenge for the week designed to help all of us look inward, reflect, and practice mindfulness and self care.
So when do we get the crochet part? Now! As a bonus, I’m tracking my overall mood for every day of this year. Each mood will be assigned a color. For each day’s mood, I’ll crochet one row of a scarf in that color. With each weekly mental health challenge, I’ll also share an update on my Mind + Matter Scarf’s progress. I may even include a new stitch to try as an added crochet challenge!
I hope you’ll join me in a year of mindfulness. It’s so important to tune into what our mind and body are telling us, and I think that the Mind + Matter Scarf will be an amazing visual representation of a year’s worth of emotions.
You can make a scarf, blanket, shawl, rug – anything that’s worked in a bunch of rows! If you want to. make something smaller/shorter, you could even track your average mood per week instead of by day, which would bring you down from 365 rows to just 52. Use any stitch you like, and any yarn you love. There are no rules for this project, friends!
I’ve made a chart showing which moods and colors I will be tracking. You can use this chart as a reference. The colors listed are in Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarns, which is a medium-weight acrylic yarn (one of my favorites). Feel free to use whatever yarn you prefer.
Update 1/5/22 – I didn’t have enough Vanna’s Choice yarn to get started, and since my local stores were out and I didn’t want to wait, I decided to use some different yarn! I’ll be using mostly Lion Brand Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling yarns, with one color in Big Twist Soft yarn and another in Caron Simply Soft Party! I’ve made a new chart, and it’s available for your reference below.
Be sure to check back here on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 for our Week 1 M+M Challenge! In the meantime, I invite you to start tracking your moods and start thinking about what stitch or stitches you want to use. I think I’m going to randomly switch up my stitches row-by-row, depending on how I’m feeling in the moment (sometimes I feel like SC, sometimes I feel like bobbles!).