Amanda Woodbury

If you crochet, you can set personal boundaries – here’s how!

set healthy boundaries crochet

By now, a lot of us have figured out the link between crocheting and mental health benefits, which is amazing! But, what can we learn from crocheting itself? What can crocheting teach us about mindset techniques, like boundaries?

Let’s look at the everyday crochet decisions we make, and why they equate to the crucial boundaries we must set for ourselves. I promise you’ll be surprised at the parallels.

Which yarn to use

In the beginning, you tried every delectable yarn you picked up, from cheap acrylic to expensive Peruvian wool. Then over the years, you’ve slowly narrowed the list of yarns you prefer to work with. Maybe that eyelash yarn was too tricky to handle, or your lifestyle goes against using any animal-based yarns. Even your income might dictate the yarn you choose.


Here’s the connection: You decide what yarn you will use and absolutely won’t use — that’s a yarn boundary. Now, think about your overall lifestyle and what you will and absolutely will not accept.

yarn in bag

Photo by Annisa Ica on Unsplash

Which hook style to include

Okay, if we have, like, 27 hooks that are the same size, of varying brands, are 26 useless? Of course not. But do we have to include them in every project? Nope. We may be picky about the brands we choose, and that’s okay — it works the same way with people in our lives.

We might have to include the “not so nice” uncle and only invite him to the special holidays, but we don’t have to fit him into our daily lives. Just like the hooks we have but don’t use that often, you have to make choices.

You may have to have difficult conversations with toxic family members. You don’t have to cut them out completely; just let them know your boundaries and what your expectations are, then let it go. Once you’ve said your piece, it’s time for them to choose to follow it. You are not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts, feelings, or actions, only yours.

boundaries crochet dog

Photo by Shreena Bindra on Unsplash

What to crochet

Let’s talk about the actual physical evidence involved in setting boundaries. When we first learn to crochet, we want to make all the things! Then, as time goes by, we tend to notice what items we don’t like to make.

Take me, for example; I do not like making blankets! I made a few, even sold a few, but they took way too long and became boring. So, I set a personal and professional boundary; I do not make or sell blankets of any size — ever. Someone else might absolutely love making blankets but loathe crocheting hats. That’s okay!

You get to set the rules. You get to choose the boundary, and you get to decide who to include within that boundary and who’s outside it. Setting boundaries is not only healthy for your mindset, but it is necessary! Without them, you can be taken advantage of, guaranteed. Others may fail to take you seriously.

Oh, and another thing: When you start to set those boundaries, you will get push back. Hold steady; keep going. The same holds true when pricing your crochet work. Set those prices, hold steady, and keep going!

Who to crochet for

Bottom line: You get to choose if you sell your work or not, or which family members you want to give your crocheted items to. You are the one who makes the business choices about to whom and when you market your work. You don’t have to crochet for anyone at any time. That’s your personal boundary.

How long to spend on a project

Few people have a lot of time to waste. As crocheters, we know how long a project is going to take. Don’t ever feel like you have to hurry up for anyone. Time is a precious commodity.

Many of us use our crochet time to spend quality time with family. Some use it for self-care; some use it for dealing with strong emotions. But it doesn’t matter what our reason is.

Time boundaries are hard to set because it’s the one thing that can break in an instant. How often have you sat down with a beautiful pattern ready to crochet the day away, only to have to put it down because everyone else requests your time and assistance? Mommas, you know what I mean!

We all know by now that one crochet minute is always inconsistent, and that’s okay too! Our time isn’t unlimited. We need to set a time boundary and stick to it as much as possible because, to get the best mental health benefits out of crocheting, we have to actually spend time doing it!

time boundary hourglass

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Written patterns vs. video tutorials

I wasn’t going to include this topic because it can lead to nitpicking and fighting, but stay with me here. Some crocheters prefer written patterns over video tutorials or vice versa. There is nothing wrong with that. For me, I like a good mix; I like having the option to utilize both. So, for me,  boundaries aren’t necessary.

I’m mentioning this to show that you don’t need to limit everything. There is a time and a place for boundaries. Sometimes in the life and mindset coaching industry, you will hear a lot about limiting beliefs and setting boundaries, and before you know it, it gets overwhelming and depriving.

It’s kind of like a fad diet; sure, it works, but for a limited amount of time. The key here is to know when, how, and why you are setting those boundaries. So, when it comes to something like how you access your crochet patterns, you don’t need to set a limit; crochet your little heart out!

How much money to spend

Yes, I’m talking about a monetary boundary, which could quickly get off-topic, so I’ll try to keep it simple. It would help if you didn’t go into debt for your hobby. Keep it reasonable. A boundary here may be limiting your allowance. Or it may be limiting where you shop. A small splurge once in a while isn’t a crime, but make sure it’s feasible and worth it.

This hobby shouldn’t be something that you are ashamed of or that you have to hide from your loved ones. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a good idea to hide or lie about how much you spend on hooks or yarn. If you are honest with yourself and your loved ones, life will be a lot less stressful. So, sitting down and figuring out your hobby’s financial boundaries is an excellent and healthy thing to do!

personal boundary calendar

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Make it a business or hobby

Crocheting is one of those crafts that tend to have blurred lines. Are you starting a business or just selling on the side? If you are only selling a little here and there for extra funds, you need to look at your boundaries and make sure they are loud and clear. Do you have the time, energy, or extra funds for yarn purchases and shipping? Do you take all kinds of orders, or do you have specific items you love to make? You also need to consider if this will keep crocheting fun for you.

On the other hand, do you want to turn this hobby into a full-time career? If so, do the research needed to make it an official business, and then look at your boundaries. How you deal with customer service. How you handle marketing — what direction will you take it? This list can be daunting and take a lot from you. It would help if you considered the time boundaries again. When will you work on relaxing projects for you, and when will you work on projects for others and your business?

When you decide what you want, you can determine which boundaries you need. The moment you get these boundaries figured and set, it will be a lot less stressful in the long run for you and your loved ones.

yarn shop

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Crucial boundaries

Boundaries act as our personal armor. They protect us from harm, stress, being overwhelmed, and give us comfort. They are a great foundation to have when we need to stand our ground for our beliefs that we hold dear to our hearts. Boundaries are the best thing we can do for ourselves regarding self-care. They show other people that we respect our time and emotional health. They show that we care about how others treat and perceive us.

You can overdo the boundary-setting, and that can cause people to exclude you, so finding the right balance is critical here. Set your own rules for what tools, yarns, time, and finance you’ll focusing on so that you get the most enjoyment out of this fantastic craft.

Goodbye to toxicity, hello to love

Briefly, I want to mention setting boundaries with other people. Now and then, you’ll have to separate yourself from a toxic person or group of people. The trick is to self-evaluate to find the reasons this is necessary. It could be someone who doesn’t respect your crochet time or gives you grief for doing something that soothes your soul.

When you release the toxic, you allow the love. You will have time and energy to spend with those who appreciate you and what you do. They will not take advantage of you. You will be open to finding a group you can share your love of crochet with. Your loved ones will understand your boundaries and will stand up for you.

Initially, it might be hard to stand up for these new rules, but all will be settled in time, and you will have fewer worries. I suggest putting pen to paper and writing out a few easy ones and start there.

family boundaries

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

At the end of the day

Setting boundaries is all about you. What you want and what you don’t want. Boundaries are about what makes you happy.

I hope you find this helpful, and I encourage you to create healthy boundaries and maybe do some journaling about this topic. I hope you can find the projects you love to make and use the hooks and yarn that excites you every day!

Keep going and remember that crocheting saves lives. Thank you for reading!

~ Amanda Woodbury

strings of yarn

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Amanda Woodbury

Hi! I am Amanda Woodbury at Unravel Your Stress. I am a mom of 2 boys and have an amazing husband (who doesn't mind the yarn stash!). I learned how to crochet back in 2014 when I was at my lowest point. After a couple of years of self-teaching, I began to feel the mindset effects of crocheting. So, I shared that experience and also received two Crochet Instructor Certifications through the Craft Yarn Council and the American Crochet Association. I added Mindset Coaching to crochet instruction when I found that all my students were also feeling the same benefits as myself. My goal in life is to teach crochet so that you can reignite your mindset and live the life you deserve!

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