Thursday, February 28, 2008

Crochet Dementia

How do you know when you have enough afghan rugs in the loungeroom?

I have been losing a few things lately and have started thinking maybe this is organic. I have also had a few health problems, need new glasses and generally need a grease and oil change. I shared this info at the ville and ravelry and thought some of you here might also enjoy making a self diagnosis.

Now I don't wish to make light of dementia which is an incredibly disabling illness, however I am wondering how many of you have “crochet dementia?”

Here are the 10 warning signs:

1.Recent memory loss that affects day to day functions
You cant remember what ever happen to the other sleeve of that jacket you were making.. in fact you start to wonder whether you really completed the sleeve at all as you think it was the late 90s that you started this project, or was it the 80s????. You think you might have finished the sleeve as you can vaguely remember the shaping. Now what size hook was it? mmm a 3.5 or a 4.5? You think it was a red hook, but then again it could have been an old grey one.

2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks. Simple tasks such as joining squares together become difficult. You also find you have numerous critters in bits, but you find sewing the pieces together a challenge. After all you enjoy crocheting. If you wanted to sew you would have taken up dressmaking as a hobby.

3. Problems with language. People with crochet dementia have difficulty expressing themselves. You know how to do a stitch but have no idea what it is called or how to explain how to do it. It sure looks pretty though!

4. Disorientation to time and place. You crochet till all hours of the night or day. You forget where you are and will crochet anywhere. When you take your crochet to the football, the bloke next to you says “are you serious, don’t you have any idea where you are?”

5. Poor or decreased judgement. You thought the lime green poncho would look fabulous on your daughter so you make her one for a gift. She thinks it is daggy and likens it to Shrek. It looked great in the pattern book and the yarn was so bright and funky….you actually bought 30 balls of the stuff..

6. Problems with abstract thinking. You read the pattern over and over but can’t for the life of you visualise how the pattern should look. You frog and frog and still don’t “get it”

7. Misplacing things. A person with crochet dementia may repeatedly put things in inappropriate places. You find the missing afghan squares in the refrigerator. You can’t remember where you left your crochet hook. You search for hours. You find it that evening when you get changed for bed. Worse, your partner finds it for you. It is between your boobs.

8. Changes in mood or behaviour. Your crochet moods swing from frustration in trying to figure something out, to elation when you finally finish that first long row. Other people do not understand your feelings. You are in seventh heaven just looking at those cute little booties , bonnet and shawl you have made for a friend. You feel sad when hub says ” but it is summer”.

9. Changes in personality. People’s personalities can change a little with age. Crochet becomes an obsession as does attending yarn sales and buying yarn. You never know when it will come in handy, and if there is ever a yarn prohibition, or the Apocalypse you will be prepared. You start hiding yarn in all sorts of places. You are in denial that you already have 10 balls of that yarn in lilac dream, after all this colour is different - it is lavender mist. You don't understand why people don’t understand you anymore. It is perfectly normal to have a hobby.

10. Loss of initiative. It is normal to tire of housework, business activities or social obligations. The person with crochet dementia loses interest in daily activities. The sink may be full of dishes, the house is a mess, but all you can focus on is in doing “just one more row”… “one more square” . You find having to prepare a meal or go to work an inconvenience. All you want to do is crochet. You wish you didn't have a bladder, cos then you wouldn’t have to get up to relieve yourself. The phone rings, but you don't answer it. You have far more important things to do…..ch1, 2dc, skip one, cluster in next sp….

Ok fellow crocheters, how many of these symptoms do you have, and are there any others I have missed?

About Dementia
My clinical background may be showing through here, but I cant stop thinking how similar the signs are to some I recall seeing in aged care units. I also recall caring for people who didn't remember what they had for breakfast but could crochet a pretty mean afghan without a pattern. Memory is a remarkable thing.

Here is a link to a great organisation with lots of valuable information -
Alzheimers Australia:

On a scientific note, knitting and crochet use both sides of the brain, and there is evidence that this type of activity prevents the onset of dementia. Cognitive exercise assists in keeping the brain functioning and crochet can provide this type of stimulation. More so if you can challenge your self to do more complicated patterns and designs. There is strong evidence that the social aspects of craft such as crochet and knitting, as well as the sense of usefulness gained through charity endeavours can enhance self esteem and well being. Here is an interesting article for the intrested:

How do you know when you have enough yarn stuffed in the cupboard?
Thanks for listening.

(c) crochetroo Australia


Hélène said...


I love your text so much !
I recognize me in different symptoms you describe, but I want to take them with the same humor you do : it is perfectly normal to have a hobby, isn't it ?

Thank you for this pleasant reading... and for the pretty designs you share with us !

Tina said...

I knew there was something wrong with me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on *what*... :P

Debbi-a1 said...

Loved this post!

PattieJ said...

LOL!!! I can definitely relate to #10. LOL. and some of the others too! lol.


Way Out Wear said...

I think any one who can write this well, can not have crochet dementia. It think you are suffering from 'information overload' and may require a nanny, a maid, a vacation or at least a spa day. Take some time for yourself!

Unknown said...

Hi there, I'm zoe from Crete-Greece and just thought I should let you know I was lucky to "land" on your lovely blog! It's funny I'll be flying to australia in 15 days with my brother, we're gonna visit our father (thats australian)after a long time.. so maybe thinking about the trip might have brought me here!!! I love your crocheted stuff and I'll print out some patterns to crochet on the plane to australia - it's gonna be a long way (20hours total!)!!
Keep up the good work!

Carola said...

For a lot of reasons, I love your blog. It's unique and interesting and fun, and I just awarded you for it on my blog, in case you're interested :)

Anonymous said...

Um, I have symptoms 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10. And I'm only 29 years old, lol! I just get a little involved, and tend to live inside my head overmuch.

Andrea Moberly said...

Oh man I've got #10 so bad... that feeling of "just one more row, just one more stitch, then I'll stop..."

Berenice... said...

Beautiful crochet!!

Wanda Kay said...

I seem to be showing signs for a few of them, but number 10 is my downfall. It's nice to know there's a few of us in the same boat.

Snappish said...

I can see myself in several of these as well. As for the yarn stuffed in the cupboard...isn't that a little bit of space I still see up there at the top in the middle? Yarn is squishy. Surely you can get more in there? :-)

Fuzzbutt said...

oh my god at least i know now whats wrong.....better to know than be in the dark [or is it light]
love your blog and often get a laugh at least i can crochet and type with my feet doesnt slow me down
see ya
purple possum

Michelle said...

I soo lol'd at the crochet dementia warning signs. :P all of that is soo me. your blog is awesome. :D

Anonymous said...

I can toally relate to your "dementia" and my 17yo son fell about the place laughing, as he reckons you could be describing me perfectly, to a tee!! Firstly of all, be very sure you're not alone and, secondly, please join me in being proudly eccentric, or that's my reasoning anyway!! Also, you might want to feel sorry for those of us with accompanying (or secondary) diseases such as knit-dementia which, in tandom, can lead to such dreadful accidents as opening the spare-room cupboards only to have your wool-stash fall on you or no-one being able to sit on the lounge-room furniture because I'm re-organising my stash ... yet again?! Help ... *huge grin*,

Anonymous said...

Hello. Iam Rossana from Chile(a long and narrow country). I feel I have one or two of your symptoms, because I feel Iam wasting my time if Iam not doing something with my hands(crocheting, of course!).I love crochet and I appreciate very much the ideas you are giving us.

Rachel McKinney said...

Never enough yarn!

Unknown said...

I love your blog.. wow u have so much yarn. I have been crocheting for almost 6 months now. I am trying to build of my yarn stash.

Unknown said...

I have almost all of those symptoms! LOL! And I love it! My mother had
sewing dementia and when she passed, it took a small moving truck to remove just her sewing room. Everyone needs a HOBBY!

Carolelo said...

What a lovely sense of humor you have! I suffer from all 10 and you have hit the nail on the head for each one of them! Thank you!

I see you are in Queensland - I pray you are safe from the flooding.