Knitting and stitching can be extremely useful tools in the classroom. One head teacher told us "The effect is instantaneous, overwhelming calm".

Some teachers in mainstream schools and colleges are using knitting to enable them to teach pupils with ADHD and kinesthetic learners (those who need to fiddle or tap while they take in information). Knitting appears to occupy the brain sufficiently to lessen or stop hyperactive or disruptive behaviour whilst at the same time enabling the pupil to take in information and to learn. One teacher told us "It opens up a window for learning".

Others are using knitting groups to open up channels of communication with difficult students. These teachers report members of groups, who may have been initially aggressive towards each other, beginning to communicate and talk. They report improvements in performance in school work and social integration since taking up knitting. In addition, self esteem is raised in those who may have previuosly lived with constant criticism.

One story tells of an English Literature teacher in the 1960s who encouraged his whole class to knit while he read them the set stories and plays. The story teller told of how she remembered what he had read and was able to recall the information later. She also remembers his lessons as the most enjoyable she had.

Many others have also told us that knitting has improved their memory. It's known that multi-sensorial events are remembered more readily, so perhaps this is an explanation. Others believe that being a bilateral exercise, knitting could be enhancing the connectivity between the right and left cerebral hemispheres of the brain, which may lead to an improvement in memory.

Knitting's bilateral movement patterns could also explain why those with dyslexia and dyspraxia have found improvement in their conditions since taking up knitting. They have also found knitting helps them to organise their thought processes and that these benefits are transferrable to other areas of life.

Knitting and stitching raise self esteem and teach key life skills, such as patience, perseverance and communication. Many stories also tell of how knitting teaches that mistakes can be undone, that it's not the end of the world to make one – goals can still be reached despite a few detours along the way. Indeed, the end product may be considerably 'richer' if a bit of exploration is done on the way!

If you're thinking of starting up a therapeutic knitting group based in a school, please let us know. You'll find information on starting up a social knitting group on our Groups page. When you download your free Core Pack you'll be sent a link to our Specialist Packs. You may also like to visit Stitchlinks Plus where we are putting together a list of other possible beneficial activities which will provide your students with suggesions for a variety of skills to learn.

If you have a story of knitting or stitching being used in the classroom, please let us know. Perhaps these crafts have also enabled you to learn new skills. Why not tell us about it?