When I was a little girl I used to love to knit. My mum had lots of light blue wool and I made countless accessories for my dolls. They all had little blue scarves and dresses – I felt like a fashion designer!
However this was all many years ago, far more years than I care to remember. My knitting needles were put away and I forgot all about it….
Until a few months ago, when I came across an article in a business magazine about the health benefits of knitting. Apparently studies have shown that the repetitive motion with the needles induces a relaxed meditative state that does wonders to relieve stress, while also reducing heart rate and blood pressure. A number of professionals in stressful corporate jobs had taken up the hobby and reported that it helped them deal with the stress of their high-powered careers.
The article caught my attention. I had always thought of knitting as something for fuddy-duddies, something to while away the time when one had nothing better to do. I clicked on a couple of links in the article and came upon a study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy called The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood: Findings from an International Survey. The authors surveyed 3545 knitters worldwide and the responses clearly indicated that knitting had a significant positive psychological impact on their lives – the knitters were happier and calmer, resulting in an improved quality of life.
There might be something to this, I thought to myself, as I clicked onto Ebay to order some knitting needles and yarn. A few days later I sat down with my new supplies and a couple of YouTube instructional videos, and I set about knitting a scarf.
This was the end of September, and since then I have made a wide selection of beanies, scarves and headbands. My Santa Hat creations were a hit – once my kids starting wearing them their friends asked for one too, so I ended up making around half a dozen!
I must admit that I was quite surprised at how much I have enjoyed knitting over the last three months. It really is relaxing and the process of creating something is very satisfying, as was the positive reinforcement received from friends clamouring for a hat to wear 🙂 It was also great fun on Christmas day to see my family open the presents I had knitted specifically for them – it somehow made it all the more personal and special.
So if you are looking for something to help you calm your thoughts and relax, while whiling away a few hours doing something creative, I greatly recommend knitting. Overcome your prejudices and preconceptions and give it a try. You will not regret it!