Knitting and its health benefits are in the news again.
Like me, many of you have experienced the benefits of knitting firsthand. Whether it helps you unwind after a long day, gives you something to look forward to completing, or has other positive impacts on your life, you know that knitting has a positive impact on your health.
The Craft Yarn Council (CYC) has just released an article with a ton of scientific research to back up what we already knew – knitting is healthy! And I’m extra excited about this article because I had the opportunity to be a part of it.
I have written about my personal history before, but wanted to share a bit for those who may not know how knitting saved my life.
About eight years ago, I was in an eating disorder treatment center and I had forgotten how to pursue so many of the things that had once brought me joy in life. Instead of focusing on meaningful relationships, sports, and constructive projects, I spent all of my time focusing on losing weight as my way of feeling successful.
While I worked on getting better through counseling and learning healthy eating habits, I was also reintroduced to knitting. I improved on the skills I had all but forgotten and also started teaching other girls how to knit.
Knitting gave me a sense of purpose. I began to focus on something more meaningful and beautiful than losing weight and I found that I had a talent for helping others learn to knit, too!
A New Path
Knitting helped my life take a new turn. I got a job at my local yarn store where I got to spend my days immersed in a beautiful craft. I was helping people solve their knitting problems and finding myself along the way.
I love helping people learn how to knit faster and easier. Eventually, I established KnitFreedom and was able to reach even more students. Last summer, I went on a big national television tour where I was able to tell my story. Here's the clip from one of my best segments, in Tucson, AZ:
Because of that tour and all of the media attention that surrounded it, the Craft Yarn Council became familiar with my work and interviewed me to be a part of their article on knitting and its health benefits.
The Knitting for Health Movement
The wealth of information in the CYC article is amazing. I was so glad to finally see scientific evidence supporting why knitting makes you calmer and can help you overcome addictions.
I was hoping that there would be more research on the impact of knitting on the brain. I was disappointed that there wasn’t much research available yet. However, I was encouraged to see that researchers are finally setting up studies! Hospitals are setting up knitting groups for nurses and patients to see if knitting can help them with stress and also to understand why it helps them.
When I was on tour, one of the things that I was so touched by was the number of people who wanted to share their personal story with me. People reached out to me about how knitting helped them recover from brain injuries, strokes, and other terrible tragedies.
I was told stories about people who had lost the ability to walk and who had lost their entire family in a tragic accident. They told me how this simple craft gave them a spot of light, a distraction, something beautiful to focus on amidst the chaos and pain.
I can’t wait to see more research on these benefits of knitting. I hope to continue to be a part of this amazing movement.
Knitting for the Future
I am so blessed to have been saved by knitting and I want to use what I have learned to help save others. There are places in our communities that can benefit from this craft who don’t always have access to it.
It is my goal to work with projects that will help to bring knitting behind bars, into therapy groups, and inside clinics like the one that helped me.
On a Personal Note
One of my many goals with KnitFreedom is to be able to give back and stay connected to the roots of what has brought me to where I am today. I don’t know where I would be without the people who cared enough to help me through the most difficult time in my life.
If you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, I would highly recommend the amazing staff at Avalon Hills Eating Disorder Clinic in Utah. No matter how difficult it might be, if someone in your life is struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, tell them you love them and that you think they have a problem, and that help is out there.
Thank you to the friend who did this for me. Thank you to all of you for supporting me and KnitFreedom. I am so excited about what the future holds.
I’d love to hear more stories about how knitting has helped you. It never stops amazing me to hear about how much of a positive impact this craft has on our world. Leave a comment below.