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Knitting can have several mental health benefits, including:
- Stress Relief: The repetitive and rhythmic nature of knitting can help induce a relaxed state similar to that achieved through meditation and yoga. It can help lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Improved Concentration and Cognitive Function: Knitting requires a certain level of focus and attention to detail, which can help improve concentration and cognitive function. It can also stimulate several different areas of the brain, including those responsible for attention span, visuospatial processing, creativity, and problem-solving.
- Reduced Anxiety and Depression: Engaging in a task that you enjoy, like knitting, can help distract from negative thoughts and feelings. The sense of accomplishment from creating something can also boost mood and self-esteem, which can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Improved Fine Motor Skills: The precise finger movements required for knitting can help improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions that affect these skills, such as Parkinson’s disease or arthritis.
- Social Connection: Knitting groups and clubs provide a sense of community and social connection, which can be beneficial for mental health. They offer a space to share skills, get feedback, and form friendships.
- Mindfulness and Presence: Knitting requires you to be in the moment, focusing on the task at hand rather than worrying about the past or future. This practice of mindfulness can help improve mental well-being.
- Therapeutic for Eating Disorders: Some studies suggest that knitting can be a beneficial component of treatment for eating disorders by promoting relaxation and a sense of productivity.
- Improved Sleep: Many people find that knitting in the evening can help them unwind and prepare for sleep, potentially improving sleep quality.
Remember, while knitting can provide these benefits, it’s not a substitute for professional mental health treatment. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider.
Here are some of the top knitting websites:
- Ravelry: A community site, an organizational tool, and a yarn & pattern database for knitters and crocheters.
- Lovecrafts: A website with a wide range of knitting patterns, yarns, and accessories.
- All Free Knitting: Provides various designs for garments like scarfs, tote bags, ponchos, and more.
- Winwick Mum: A blog dedicated to knitting, particularly sock knitting.
- Just Be Crafty: A blog featuring many free knitting and crochet patterns.
- Mama In A Stitch: A place where you can find simple and modern knitting patterns.
- Brooklyn Knit Chick by Patty Lyons: A blog by a renowned knitting instructor and designer.
- Craftgossip: Provides knitting patterns, news, and reviews.
- Berroco: Offers a variety of free knitting patterns.
- Purl Soho: Provides a collection of knitting patterns and supplies.
Please note that the ranking of these sites can vary based on personal preference and the specific knitting needs of the individual.
According to the UK Hand Knitting Association, over 6 million people in the UK like to knit. The number of knitters in the UK has increased by around one million since the start of the pandemic. However, some sources suggest that there are over 7.3 million knitters in the UK. Please note that these numbers might vary depending on the source and the time of the survey.Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash