I find knitting and crochet incredibly soothing. Knit classes should be available on the NHS, as it is cheaper than medication or therapy – although possibly more addictive! While I learnt to knit and crochet as a child, I only took them up seriously later in life as a form of stress relief in my former career, and I am so glad I did – I haven’t looked back! It is the only real activity, other than reading (or playing guitar, badly), that helps me to completely tune out and lose myself. I suppose it’s a form of mindfulness, although more on that another day. It doesn’t matter what I am doing – if my day has been particularly mundane, it is wonderful to fall headfirst into a complex lace pattern, requiring intense concentration and silence. If my day has been busy and I just want to veg (or I am feeling under the weather, physically or emotionally) then something basic does the trick just as well – plus you can watch a film at the same time. Bargain!
I haven’t been particularly well of late and as a result had lost my knitting mojo. I was worried. I was still just as stressed, but without knitting I had no other way to unwind. I knew that I had to knit to get my mojo back, but how? And with what?
I turned to an old friend, the garter stitch. There was a time when I (wrongly) thought little of the humble garter stitch, but it is such a lifesaver and I really love the simplicity and the resulting squishiness! For some yarns, garter stitch is a great way to go. I love those little resulting ‘pops’ of colour. So, to get me back on the knitting path, I needed just plain knit. I picked the very popular (and fun!) ten stitch blanket by Frankie Brown, but made a couple of alterations. I worked on 20 sts, as I knew that I didn’t want to be turning every ten stitches (or knitting backwards, as I tend to do on short row sections) and I added a slip stitch join to get a lovely box-spiral ridge. While working on it, if I dared to put it down for a second, my gorgeous Tibetan Terrier would run to sit on it and claim it as his own. Luckily, I tend to work all my knitting on circs, otherwise he could have done himself an injury! I knew that it was never going to be the prettiest blanket, because all the balls were different, but the aim was just to get me back on track. So with no other intended recipient, it rapidly became ‘Bilko’s Blanket’. When I finished, I added a 5st applied i-cord edging, just to make it that little bit more substantial. It goes everywhere with him!
My little stinky fella is pooped after a long walk so I couldn’t tear him away from his blankie long enough to get a photo of it on its own (and he loves to play to the camera anyway!), so this shot will have to do for now.
Not that I don’t have a million and one other projects on the go, but once Bilko’s Blanket had been cast off, I needed another garter stitch saviour, and so began the ‘Curious Case of the Log Cabin‘.
Oh, happy day – I was hooked again!
3 thoughts on “Knit therapy”
There’s lots of info and resources about the therapeutic value of knitting (and other activities) at http://www.stitchlinks.com
Hi Helen, lovely to hear from you – and thanks for the great link too! x
You are so very right about knitting and crochet. Like you, I learnt as a child but really took it up seriously as an adult as a way to relax! Good for you to make an effort to get back into it.