Knitom wrote in an article that ‘Knitting is an effective, easily accessible tool that everyone can use to manage daily stresses. But it is also a valuable self-help tool for those dealing with more serious mental health issues and/or medical conditions. The main conditions that therapeutic knitting is used for are:
- Low mood
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Chronic pain
- Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Research at Cardiff University found that the more frequently people knitted, the happier and calmer they said they felt.
Eighty one percent of respondents said they felt happier during and after knitting, and 54% of the respondents who were clinically depressed said knitting made them feel happy or very happy.
Similar to a yoga flow, the rhythm of working the same stitch over and over again calms the heart rate and breathing, creating a feeling of stability and inner quiet.
The Independent wrote ‘ Knitting won’t just result in a new sweater – research has found the hobby can also reduce depression and anxiety, slow the onset of dementia, and distract from chronic pain.
Published by Knit for Peace, the findings are the result of extensive research into previous studies analysing the benefits of knitting, as well as the initiative’s own research.
According to Knit for Peace, a network of over 15,000 knitters in the UK who knit for people in need, there is substantial evidence that suggests knitting is beneficial to a healthy mind and body.
Knitting, has proved a perfect way to switch off and relax, even better than meditation which some people find hard to practice.
Knitting groups are also popping up all over the country where you can meet up with fellow knitters and catch up on all the gossip.
A physiotherapist (Betsan Corkhill) was so convinced of it that she set up a knitting group in the Chronic Pain Unit at the Royal United Hospital in Bath and founded Stitchlinks which aims to provide support and friendship through knitting and stitching worldwide.
Experts feel that there’s a neurochemical effect on the brain which undoubtedly changes brain chemistry for the better, possibly by decreasing stress hormones and increasing feel-good seontonin and dopanine, while knitting.
The UK’s Hand and Knitting Organisation who has a list of knitting groups throughout the UK explain why joining a group will make it even more beneficial.
- They provide an opportunity to make new friends who already share an interest.
- They can get you out of the house and give you some ‘me time’.
- Knitting group members are always willing to help each other with advice when someone runs into difficulties with a project.
- They give opportunities to share and swap patterns, and check out new yarns. Some even run yarn swap sessions.
- Chance to work on group projects from yarnstorming to charity knitting.
- Company at a yarn show. Yarn events can be more fun with others to share the joy of squishing a colourful skein and admire a new pattern.
As most of my readers know I have recently moved from the East Midlands to West Sussex and so I decided I would definitely join a knitting group once I was settled in but I missed the monthly meeting so I decided to go to a crochet class instead.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet but I soon found out it wasn’t right for me as I needed to look down at the stitches for to long which meant it was pulling on my neck fusions and causing me pain.
I don’t have the same problem with knitting as I’ve been knitting for so long that I hardly look at the needles. So although knitting is without doubt very therapeutic it may not be suitable for everyone depending on their circumstances.
They are extremely sociable though, so much so, I rang to ask if I could still come to the class, pay my fees but bring my knitting as it was the whole group that I enjoyed.