The Health Benefits of Knitting
by Ashley Weeks Cart
I’ve been saying for years that it’s my way to de-stress and unwind…
“The repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state like that associated with meditation and yoga. Once you get beyond the initial learning curve, knitting and crocheting can lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
Often people ask “Where do I find the time?” And the reality is, unlike sewing or baking or other tactile crafts, knitting is very portable. I knit when waiting at the pharmacy for a prescription to be filled, or at the bus stop for the kids, or in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. I pull out my needles while sitting in the pool bleachers during Sunny’s swim practice, in the waiting room at the girls’ dance classes. I have a project in my purse at all times so whenever I have a few free minutes, I can crank out a row or two. And I usually carve out 20-30 minutes every evening to listen to an audiobook or watch an episode of a TV show while knitting as my way to shut down before bed.
When all put together, it’s amazing how productive I can make those otherwise lost minutes that I would spend aimlessly scrolling through my phone. I also like to knit during long meetings, lectures or presentations. I always have to gauge my audience as I think people assume that I’m not paying attention if I’m embroiled in twiddling needles, but in actuality, I listen better and absorb more if my hands are engaged in activity. It’s actually an awesome way to process information and stay focused in the present.
Sunny has asked to learn to knit, so we picked out yarn for her inaugural scarf (a rainbow assortment, naturally) and we’ll see how she takes to it. Given how much she’s enjoyed Cat’s Cradle, I have a feeling it will be a successful match. I’m happy to extend a love my grandmother taught me when I was young to another generation, especially given all the benefits.
And here’s the latest little sweater for our Gummy Bear. A simple and practical kimono design. More details on my Ravelry.