Knitting and crochet are good for your brain, its official. An article in the Telegraph this weekend discussed the benefits of creative activities for patients with memory problems and Dementias. Its very timely too because this week is Brain Awareness week.
As an Occupational Therapist (now retired!) I understand the value of activity, particularly creative things, which stimulate the functions of the brain as well as promoting a sense of well being and health. Think of how you concentrate on a pattern, how you use sophisticated hand-eye co-ordination to make the stitches in your work, and how the rhythm of the stitches can have a soothing and calming effect and time flies by. Betsan Corkhill, who has been an advocate of knitting for well being for many years was interviewed a few years ago and has set up “Stitchlinks” a community not for profit organisation with forums around the country. These groups are theory in practice and are spreading the message about the therapeutic benefits of yarn crafts. Why not have a look and see if there is a forum in your area, or perhaps a knit/crochet group you could go to? Enjoy your creative time and the health benefits it gives you, knitting and crochet are good for your brain.
Some people may not be “group” joiners of course, but you can still get all the benefits of your creative activity at home, and give back to the community…. Why not make “twiddle muffs” for your local hospital, here’s the pattern. In case you don’t know, these are knitted tubes, large enough for dementia patients to put their hands in; they usually have texture in them and help sooth patients who are distressed or aggitated. Or how about knitting for premature babies? This is a good link. Have you thought about knitted boobs? No me neither until recently. Women who have had mastectomies are sometimes unable to tolerate implants or silicone “falsies” so soft knitted boobs are a help. (I have Fagin from the musical “Oliver!” singing in my head; “You’ve gotta knit a knocker or two, girls, you gotta knit a knocker or two!)
It seems like a bit of a win-win, you have the benefit of making something and its good for your brain, and the patient or charity benefits too.
My brain has been having a mathematical work out this week. I’m finishing a new shawl design to be knitted in 4ply, and trying to work out how the leaf edging will fit with the right number of repeats has been a challenge. (Maths O level fail, me!) I think I have managed it, and tomorrow afternoon I plan to sit quietly with cups of tea regularly and get the sample finished and the pattern written. The sense of achievement will be worth the effort! Wish me, or rather my brain, good luck!
Bye for now,
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