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?
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.
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:
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