Knitting is Good For you!

Knitting is good for you!

The action of hand knitting is well known to have both a calming and uplifting effect on people. With its repetitive nature, it has often been likened to meditation. Studies have shown knitting can reduce symptoms of depression and the feeling of pain in patients with chronic illness. There have also been reports in the media that knitting can help to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. It is also used to help patients with Alzheimers or dementia.

From my own experience I would sometimes have to question its ability to reduce stress, especially when I have spent hours knitting something only to find I have gone wrong and then having to spend more time undoing it all! I do however have to say that it is a great social leveller. Having run and attended several knitting groups over the years, knitting is a great way to get people together who would otherwise be relatively isolated and you can learn so much from your fellow knitters.

In one of my knitting groups I had a lady with early onset dementia, who used to come along with her carer, who was a young lady in her twenties. This lady had taught her young carer to knit and all of a sudden they had something in common, they would turn up every week to the knitting group and she would knit the most beautiful children and baby garments, always without a pattern as she could no longer follow it, but that didn't matter as the stitches and designs were all still there in her head, she didn't need the pattern and the satisfaction was there for all to see each time she finished another garment. This lady had very little social life anymore and her ability to look after herself was diminishing day by day and yet she taught several of the ladies in the group how to knit from scratch and taught many of us new stitches and different ways of doing things.

Of course, knitting together also provides a wonderful safe place for learning, conversation, and making new friends! We currently meet in our local coffee shop one afternoon a week, they are happy to reserve a table for us, we all enjoy a coffee and a lovely piece of cake and then out comes the knitting. Our group has grown as more people see us there regularly, so we are making more new friends and sharing ideas.