What’s All This Hype About
Story, Questions & Answers
People are going crazy over crochet worry worms all over the world!
When I first heard about them a few months ago, I started crocheting some of these cute little worms as well...
My kids immediately fell in love with them and I instantly realized how special these little squiggly creatures really are.
I wrote up my own version of the worry worm crochet pattern to help interested people figure out how to crochet these cute little squigglies. There's a free version of this pattern on my blog and if you'd prefer a printable PDF version of the worry worm pattern, you may purchase it for a small fee from my shop or from Ravelry.
Worry Worm Pattern
I took a few photos of the worry worms I crocheted and sent them to my family abroad.
They had no idea what they were, of course. My brother asked me, "So what are these worry worms all about?"
I had a basic idea that they're easy crochet projects for kind-hearted people who want to spread some love in the world.
But I wanted to dig deeper into the Worry Worm story, so I started doing some research about them and thought I'd share my interesting finds with you here.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the Start Crochet links. Please see my disclosure for more details.
What are crochet worry worms?
Worry worms, in the crochet world, are small and squiggly little projects that crocheters work up and usually give away.
They're quick & easy to make so many crocheters use them for Random Acts of Crochet Kindness.
Crochet worry worms are most probably based on the original "worry dolls", also known as "trouble dolls" or "stress dolls", which are tiny handmade dolls that originate from Mayan and Guatemalan traditions.
According to folklore, these dolls are believed to have the power to absorb worries and bring peace to the person who possesses them.
The story behind worry dolls involves a person sharing their worries or troubles with the dolls by whispering them at night before going to bed.
The dolls should then be put under the child's pillow, and it is believed that they will take away the worries during sleep, allowing the child to wake up with a peaceful mind.
I'd bought some worry dolls on my trip to Guatemala some 15 years ago to give as gifts to my nieces. They were absolutely cherished and they've kept them till today. They came in this cute little handmade box. My sister sent me these photos of them:
I traced crochet worry worms back to a FB Group called "Random Acts of Crochet Kindness", where its members crochet these worry worms as well as other small creatures, butterflies, hearts, whatever... add a little note or poem to go along with them, then package and hide these crocheted works out and about for random people to find.
This small activity really has a huge impact on its finders and creators alike (as you will discover in people's reactions to finding them below).
So let me get started with answering the most common questions people have about these crochet worry worms.
Crocheters normally make a few of these worry worms, then attach a little poem tag to them, put them in a baggie and go around their neighbourhood, school, playground, forest... wherever, hide them somewhere for strangers to find.
Most times there will be a FB Group written on the tag so that people who find the worry worms can post a photo of it and write a thank you note back to the person who made it and hid it out for people to find.
Generally, people post photos on the Random Acts of Crochet Kindness FB Group, but there are also other location-specific FB Groups that have adopted this wonderful project. Here are some examples:
- Random Acts of Crochet Kindness USA
- Random Acts of Crochet Kindness Canada
- Random Acts of Crochet Kindness MA
- Worry Worms Acts of Kindness Florida
- Worry Worms Stamford
- Worry Worms ....March Cambs
- Worry Worms Godmanchester
The main purpose of crochet worry worms is to be a buddy the little ones can share their worries with. It might help them to talk about their feelings and identify what worries them by saying it out loud.
Worries and fear can be like worms sometimes – wriggly and hard to catch.
So in short, crochet Worry Worms are easy-to-make pocket pals that help kids deal with worries and big emotions.
With these crochet worry worms that kids can have handy in their pockets, it makes it easier for them to deal with big life emotions.
Sometimes these worms are made into keychains or bag charms, so little ones can always have one with them without the risk of losing them.
If the kids are of school age and can write, maybe they can write their worries down, attach them to a worry worm and place them into a worm jar. This will help them contain their worries and fears and make sense of their feelings.
Kids, especially the kindergartners and preschoolers will go through a lot of emotional roller coaster and separation anxiety! Utah Play Therapy.
If you are teacher and would like to make worry worms for your class, here is a free pattern for you. Also if you are a parent and you want to make one for your kid and their classroom this is a wonderful back to school project that you can work on!
Who started Worry Worms?
Olivia Dieterich from The UK created the Facebook group Random Acts of Crochet Kindness (RAOCK) in August 2019.
Dieterich's goal was to make a big community of people who put kindness out in the world and also to prove that crochet is badass!
She has definitely achieved this! The group has over 180,000 members now (Sept. 2022).
Pictures of Worry Worms
So if you're wondering what these worry worms actually look like, they come in many forms, but the most basic ones look like these:
I'm a little bit obsessed with crochet Worry Worms, so I designed a whole lot of themed worry worms this past year. If you're interested in Worry Worm variations that fit specific seasons/occasions, you can check out these options here:
New! Themed Worry Worm Patterns
All these patterns are also available for free on my blog. Scroll down to find the links to all these patterns.
I also designed 3 Halloween-Themed Worry Worms that are available for sale as a bunlde.
Three Halloween Worry Worm Crochet Patterns
Bundle Sale (PDF Printable)
So what do you think of this Halloween trio?
If you'd like to buy all three Halloween Worry Worm crochet patterns in an Ad-free PDF printable format, you can either download them from Ravelry or my online shop. Aren't they a frightfully cute bunch?
Worry Worms in the News
These little squiggly worms have even made it to news headlines! So many news articles have been written about them. Here's a selection you can browse through:
What do you need to make a worry worm?
For a regular sized worry worm (Length = 6" / 15cm) you'll need:
- About 10 yards of yarn. The heavier the yarn, the more snuggly your worry worm will be. (Check this Worry Worm Pattern for instructions)
- Crochet hook that fits your yarn. Generally I use between a size G/4mm to H/5mm hook. For this project I used a 4.5 mm hook.
- A tapestry needle
- A pair of scissors
- Toy Eyes, Goggly eyes, black / brown fiber art beads, or a permanent marker
- Plastic or organza baggies
- Printer & A4 paper or cardstock to print your tags.
What are Worry Worms for?
Worry worms are sometimes used in therapy for people who suffer from anxiety or children who have difficulty falling asleep, but most times, they are used as Random Acts of Crochet Kindness or to give as gifts for people who simply need a hug.
According to "Utah Play Therapy", the purpose of “The Worry Worms” intervention is to help the client identify and begin talking about their worries. Paris explains how worries can sometimes “be wriggly and hard to pin down”. Paris suggests hiding some rubber worms around the room and then playing a game of “hot and cold” to find the worms. Intervention: “The Worry Worms” - Utah Play Therapy
What age are Worry Worms for?
Worry worms are suitable for people of all ages, really. But since worry worms are usually left out and about for random people to find, they might end up in little children's hands. So you must be careful to make sure that you either:
- don't include small parts that could pose a choking hazard for children under 3 years old (like goggly eyes or safety eyes if using an amigurumi-style pattern for your worry worms). See alternative worry worm eye options in this blog post.
- or make sure you include a "Choking Hazard" note with your worry worm so that an adult would be alerted to the fact that their worry worm includes small parts not suitable for children under 3 years of age.
I've designed some "Choking Hazard" tags to include with the worry worm poem. If you like, you may purchase these printable tags here.
How do you crochet a Worry Worm? (Worry Worm Pattern)
There are both FREE and paid versions of the worry worm pattern.
Or, you could click on this link to access the PDF version of the Worry Worm crochet pattern that you can download to your computer, print out and have right by your side to mark off each step as you crochet your worry worms.
Worry Worm Pattern
Worry Worm Eyes
After you've crocheted some worry worms, you'll want to add some eyes to make them come to life.
If you're crocheting these for younger children under 3 years old, you'll want to make sure the eyes are safe and don't come off when the baby / toddler holds them.
Here's a blog post I wrote that gives you 15 options for worry worm eyes:
Worry Worm Videos (YouTube Pattern Tutorials)
If you're more of a visual person who prefers to follow videos when crocheting something new, here are a couple of Worry Worm video tutorials for you.
Each shows a little bit of a different pattern, so choose your favorite and follow along:
Robin created this video for the Random Acts of Crochet Kindness FB Group. She uses a super easy method to create these cute little squiggly worry worms.
2. This is a great video tutorial for beginner crocheters by Crochet Jewel:
3. And in this video tutorial you'll learn how to crochet 2 sizes of worry worms:
Worry Worms With Round Heads
Some people prefer to crochet worry worms with a 3-D round head. This would require some amigurumi skills (crocheting 3-D stuffed toys).
Here's a crochet pattern for this type of worry worm. You could even stuff the head with some lavendar to make them smell really nice and help with falling asleep "Does Lavender Help You Sleep?" The Sleep Doctor. September 9, 2022.
Worry worms can also be used for various occasions. How about giving them to kids as trick-or-treats fpr Halloween instead of handing out sweets for a change? Meet Pippin the Pumpkin Spice 🙂
And this is a themed Christmas Worry Worm: The Elf Worry Worm that comes with its very own Poem Tags.
This Valentine's Worry Worm is designed as an emoji with tiny hearts for eyes. There are also cute little tags that go along with it with a saying that's just perfect to give that special someone for Valentine's Day or to leave out and about for Random Acts of Crochet Kindness.
These cute little Easter Bunny Worry Worms are such a quick make. They're perfect for when you want to make a whole lot for a classroom, church or to put in kids' Easter baskets on their egg hunts.
This adorable Bee Worry Worm is perfect for Spring. Kids simply love this little Bee. My daughter keeps it in her pocket and takes it out every once in a while to snuggle with. It keeps her company when she feels lonely and comforts her when she's sad or anxious.
How about this friendly little Ghost Worry Worm for Halloween? Meet Hailey the Hugaboo Worm. This little not-so-spooky Ghost would be great for trick-or-treats, to add to keyrings and hang as charms on kids' schoolbags during the spooky season, or just for kids to keep as pocket pals.
And have a look at this cute little Black Cat Worry Worm, perfect for feline lovers 🙂 Meet Katie the purr-fect Halloween Kitty Cuddle
Worry Worms For Sale / Etsy
If you're interested in worry worms, but are not a crocheter and would like to purchase them read-made, there are several crocheters out there selling read-to order worry worms. You can find these on websites such as Etsy.
Here are a couple of examples of worry worms for sale:
Worry Worms For Children
Crochet Worry Worms are really great for children! They love how cute they look, they like to play with them, hug them, squeeze them when they're anxious, keep them in their pockets or next to their pillow to help them fall asleep.
Worry worms make children feel safe and are a companion they can keep close by.
You can give them to kids as gifts. I tend to add them to birthday gifts after I've wrapped them as embellishments.
Worry Worm Poems / Labels
Worry worms poems are generally attached to the worry worms to explain what they are. These poems come in a variety of different options, so you can choose your favorite, write up your own poem, hand-write these on tags to attach to your worry worms or print them out on your printer. Here are a few examples for printable worry worm poem tags.
There are custom-designed poem tags for each themed Worry Worm in my online shop.
Basic Worry Worm
Elf Worry Worm
People's Reactions to Finding Worry Worms Out & About
Worry worms have had an enormous impact on people who've been lucky enough to find them out & about or who've been given them by caring family members or friends. I got in touch with a few of them and asked if I could share their stories here. Have a look at what they've said:
I'll be adding more comments of people who've found and been impacted by worry worms as I find them and get permission for sharing. If you'd like to share any thoughts on these or have found your own worry worm, please share a comment below.
Final Thoughts About Crochet Worry Worms
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about crochet worry worms and I hope I've managed to answer any questions you might have about them. If you have any other questions, please drop me a note in the comments below and I'll be happy to answer them for you.