Lemon Stress Balls

Lemons… Why am I crocheting lemons? Umm…

Well, April is Stress Awareness Month. Who knows these things? Not me.

@mpleximommy who I love following on Instagram made an adorable little amigurumi lemon and shared some background about the purpose of the project.

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Basically, Craft Yarn Council is running a campaign called ‘Stitch Away Stress’. For Stress Awareness Month they partnered with Twinkie Chan to design a simple crochet pattern for the masses.

Inspired by the phrase ‘when life gives you lemons…’ she chose a great project for beginners – lemon stress balls. I’ve linked to her free crochet lemon PDF pattern and her step-by-step video tutorial below!

A great stash-busting project, don’t be afraid to use up some scraps and make your lemons in all different shades of yellow. Also, you really only need the tiniest scrap of green, so I wouldn’t buy a new skein for these lemons, just use what you have or why not try a shade of brown instead.  My lemons aren’t super bright yellow, I used wool from my bits basket.

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I also tried several different hooks. After making a few of these lemons, my favourite are the ones made with a 4mm crochet hook. The pattern suggests a 5mm hook, but I don’t like how the holes are larger and stuffing shows through between stitches. Definitely play around with your wool choices and hook sizes – I’m super keen to see a fuzzy little lemon if anyone has yellow fluff handy? Do it!

Twinkie Chan wrote the free lemon crochet PDF pattern and there is  a free lemon knit PDF pattern too. Beginners, she’ll help you through crocheting the entire lemon from start to finish, so don’t be afraid to grab your materials and dive into this project!

The idea behind this project is to raise awareness of stress and anxiety and the benefits of craft, specifically knitting and crochet, as therapy. Really, what a good conversation starter.

My home is under a lot of stress at the moment. Baby wants to arrive early, but we desperately need her to at least make it through April and reach 36 weeks. So as I’m on bed rest, in a foreign country, away from family and friends, doing nothing but stressing over all the things I’m NOT doing, basically this project is very timely.

In the interest of stress awareness and sharing, here’s my stress list for April. It’s rather therapeutic to publish it. I hope you’ll consider sharing your own in the comments below.

  • I’m having a baby. Potentially prematurely. In a foreign country. Nuf’ said.
  • Moving house.
  • Husband starting a new job.
  • Paperwork and technicalities of registering maternity leave/insurance/birth/baby.
  • Flying solo with our newborn and leaving my husband for three months to spend time with family in Australia.
  • Choosing which country to live in for the new couple of years.
  • Preparing for a baby from bed – Amazon JP only goes so far…

The Craft Yarn Council is organising a HUGE lemon drop event, presenting thousands of frazzled New Yorkers with lemon stress balls on the most stressful day of the year, Monday April 18th – Tax Day.

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I thought I’d crochet a little fruit box full of lemons, pop some gift tags on them, and give one to each of my visitors during April – a small token of thanks for their support.

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April is also a stressful time in Japan. Basically it is the start of the business and schooling year, and this transition happens in about a two week period. For some, it is a matter of days between finishing one project and commencing the new year. Students and teachers will have a week between finding out their acceptance into or transfer to a new school, some will even need to move house in this short window. Let alone prepare for the new year… It blows my mind. I think all my friends going through this transition right now, are in dire need of lemon stress balls.

Here is another video from the Craft Yarn Council in which men and women open up about the stress in their lives and how knitting and crochet helps them to deal with it.

Perhaps you could use a lemon stress ball of your own. Maybe there is someone in your life you would like to give one to and start a conversation with. They are such a soft little ball, I’m rather inclined to throw them at people… In the name of therapy…

You know what else I was tempted to do? Amigurumi-fy them!

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Leave a comment, April or not, what stresses you out? Maybe it’s work, bills, the kids, a flyaway piece of hair that keeps escaping your bun, or that the crotch of your new stockings keeps sagging irritatingly low and it’s driving you nuts!!! No matter how trivial, share your stress.

Happy stitching,

{ Wren }

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