BY TAMAH MULLER
Just reading these eleven words can immediately relieve stress for anyone familiar with the act of knitting.
With all the negativity that is bombarding us every day from our televisions, computer screens or even streaming out of radio speakers, there is not one of us that would not welcome some peace of mind and a little quiet, to settle ourselves into some much-needed relaxation.
It may be difficult to believe, but knitting can soothe some of the craziness we deal with in our daily routines. There are several advantages to knitting that are becoming widely known, as more research is being conducted, with amazing results that benefit anyone who chooses to wield two knitting needles with some yarn to create a beautiful fabric.
- Meditative benefits – The repetitive motion of knitting needles coming together to form stitch after stitch is very calming. Any type of repeated motion can settle a person’s nerves, lulling you into a more relaxed state of mind, while also lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as resulting in relief from stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that knitting generates just as positive an outcome as meditation on your mind and body, but with knitting, you also have the added sense of pride in accomplishing a project that will keep you warm and comfy for years to come.
- Sharp mind – Reading and understanding knitting patterns are skills similar to piecing together a puzzle or solving a math problem. Knitters apply these skills on a regular basis, to achieve the correct measurements for the item they are producing. Consistently engaging our brainpower is a great way to keep our minds sharp while keeping cognitive impairment at bay.
- Patience and focus – We all need more patience and focus in this bustling world we experience daily. Spending an enormous amount of time checking social media sites, news outlets and playing video games contributes to our loss of focus and patience when it comes time to face the real world around us. Knitting brings us back to the present and provides us with real-time problem solving and genuine feelings of fulfillment.
- Eases arthritis – The hand, wrist, and forearm movements that knitters use while knitting is beneficial to anyone that has arthritis and can assist in easing their pain and discomfort. Exercising these muscles and joints can help keep them flexible, and strengthen them over time, consequently delivering another form of relief.
- Produces happiness – Knitting also develops a good mood. How could one not be happy after experiencing the benefits described in this article? From the meditative sense of well-being, staying mentally astute, being more patient and focused in our everyday interactions and easing the physical pain of arthritis – all are benefits of a cherished pastime that we never expected the first time we picked up our needles and cast on. Always be sure to cultivate a hobby that stimulates a cheerful way of life.
- Socializing – The mere definition of knit (verb):
– to make (a garment, fabric, etc.) by interlocking loops of one or more yarns either by hand with knitting needles or by machine
– to draw together or come together closely, as if knitted
makes us realize that creating closeness in our lives is valuable to all of us. Interacting with other knitting and fiber enthusiasts is not only healthy but truly gratifying. It is fun to share information about a newly learned technique, a website or podcast that one has discovered or upcoming KALs (knit alongs) for any that may be interested. Additionally, complimenting each other on current or just completed projects is a common occurrence, often leading to others showing up the following week having started one of their own. The social aspect of this amazing hobby is sought after by many, as is evident among the increasing number of fiber retreats offered all over the world year-round. For those looking for a fiber group closer to home, there are many ‘knit night’ gatherings that can be discovered by searching the group’s section on Ravelry.com. ‘The Darn Yarners’ is a local knitting group that meets every Monday evening at Panera Bread in Clemmons from 6 pm to 9 pm. Please feel free to stop in and join our group of knitters, as we enjoy meeting new people and forming new friendships with like-minded souls.
“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit, either.”
– Elizabeth Zimmerman