|'Knit for Health and Wellness. How to knit a flexible mind and more…' pulls together the work to date.
It is available in e-book, pdf or print format directly from us.
Take a look at our Knitting Equation for a quick summary of the meditative, creative and social benefits of knitting.
The word 'knitting' has been the biggest barrier to this work – everyone has their preconceptions about it. We urge you to look at it from a different perspective – that of a bilateral, rhythmic, psychosocial intervention which has the power to transform people's lives.
We have been collecting narratives since 2005 and continue to do so from knitters, stitchers and crocheters around the world. The stories we've collected so far have been themed and have been invaluable in helping us form a number of theories.
As you'll see from our Knitting Equation the benefits are complex and closely entwined which makes researching them difficult. It's hard to tease apart, or independently test, the various mechanisms involved. Indeed, they are all so closely interwoven and interactive that we could well change the very nature of what is occurring by attempting to unravel the complexities.
See studies in progress.
See completed studies.
There is no doubt that developing an interest or hobby is good for you. It gives you a point of focus outside yourself.
These benefits go deep with physiological, neurological, psychological, behavioural and social changes occuring. Knowing this can enable you to use your craft as a tool to deliberatley improve your wellbeing.
Combine this with knowledge about health and wellbeing and you have a powerful tool at your fingertips any time, anywhere. Knitting's portability plays a key role in making its benefits available when you need it. We have helped people to use it to successfully manage panic, anxiety and pain spasms when out and about as well as problems with sleep and social confidence.
The skills and feelings experienced whilst knitting are transferrable to everyday life. They can also be used to facilitate the learning of other beneficial techniques, such as meditation, relaxation and pacing making them more accessible to a wider population.
Knitters learn other valuable life skills such as patience, perseverance, and the knowledge that mistakes can be undone. These skills can be utilised in the self-management of health and illness, in education and the workplace. It teaches you that goals can be reached despite a few detours along the way and often the end goal is richer because of those diversions and lessons learned.
There is something vitally important about being actively creative as opposed to being a passive recipient of a destructive force you feel you have no control over, such as stress, depression or pain.
Knitting provides a great way of developing creativite ability within the safe framework of the knitting pattern. It provides a structure within which the vulnerable feel safe to begin their creative journey. As confidence and ability develop, creativity can be encouraged until the individual is happy to experiment and deal with the setbacks that experimentation and exploration may bring.
Our work indicates that creative ability is closely linked to wellbeing, psycholgical flexibility and the ability to self-manage and problem solve. Thinking creatively gives you more options.
If you are a researcher or health professional and would like to be a part of this exciting project, please Contact Us.