Therapeutic knitting equals knitting plus knowledge: the knowledge of knitting, the knowledge of the detrimental effects of stress on the body and the knowledge of what the body feels like stress-free. This made me think. I believe this from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. But, I wondered when did knitting go from a stress inducing activity to an activity which channels stress from my body. I think a piece of it for me is when I quit knitting with a deadline. Once I quit knitting things for people for Christmas and started just knitting things I love and then deciding who they would go to, knitting became my yoga, my zen.
Did you know that research has proven the more frequently someone knits, the calmer and happier they feel? I won't go into the statistics on that as I would put myself to sleep.
One of the beauties of knitting is, it is an anytime, anywhere calming activity. I always have a zip lock bag in my purse with a small piece of knitting so if I have to wait in the doctor's office, I knit. If I get caught in traffic, I knit (but not while I'm driving). Any time I am waiting, I can be knitting and instead of increasing stress because of the impatience in waiting, I am reducing stress with the rhythmic, calming movement called knitting.
Lynn and Betsan introduced me to a whole new way to look at knitting and relieving stress. They identified five different kinds of knitting and explained their importance in searching for calm. They encourage having one project in each area on your needles to facilitate the appropriate stress reduction for the appropriate time. The Stash Studio would tell you I have many from each area just waiting to be finished, just waiting until it is "want to" not "have to" knitting.
3. GROUP PROJECTS: Reading about this made me want to be involved in a GROUP PROJECT. It is about friends, knitting and giving, three of my favorite things. Currently, we have a community blanket at Ann's By Design. When people come in for social knitting, they are encouraged to knit a little (or crochet on the crocheted one.) Then we'll give the blankets to charity. Just think knitting with other lovers of knitting, making something for someone in need and wine. Sounds pretty darn good to me.
Now you have it; all of the reasons you should rush right out and buy Knit Yourself Calm: A Creative Path To Managing Stress. Not only is there all of this beautiful insight into the zen of knitting, it also has patterns to go along with the five type of knitting you should have on you needles at all times. I really love this book!