I started crocheting a blanket about 3 or 4 years ago when. Helen had a particularly cold bedroom and she spent time in it whilst studying. I was staying with her and Claire for Christmas, on a visit from Kuwait. I then took it with me to my my mother's so I could feel productive whilst we chatted.
Helen never got it because it's still not finished. It seems I don't do enough chatting. I knew i'd be wanting to do something whilst I chatted with Marjorie so I brought it with me. I also brought two other projects along because Marjorie is housebound - mostly bed bound, and I knew she would enjoy chatting with me.
Crochet is something that requires very little attention and thought, so it's a perfect activity to chat by. I know that extroverted people would feel a long chat was time well spent. But as an introverted person I feel I've wasted time if I've spent time only chatting. I know that chatting can be a useful activity and so as a compromise, I like to do some sort of fabric craft at the same time.
Interestingly, the converse is also true. I rarely crochet as an isolated activity. I feel the need to also have some input using my hearing, and maybe sight, and will listen to a lecture, (or dictation) or even tutor a child who just needs some prompting whilst doing their homework set by their school.
I must say I rarely follow a complicated pattern because then I would have to concentrate solely on the piece of craft.