Knitting is a craft that has been enjoyed by many for centuries. The benefits of knitting are far greater than the finished scarf, hat, gloves, blankets, sweaters, etc. Knitters further benefit from the neuroscience behind the bilateral, rhythmic, automatic movements. Knitters also benefit from the combination of physiological, behavioral, psychological, and social benefits experienced by engaging in this creative craft.
- Knitting teaches key life skills, such as patience, perseverance and communication. Knitting further teaches that mistakes can be undone, that it is not catastrophic to make a mistake, and that goals can be reached despite a few detours along the way.
- Knitting teaches the skill of letting go. Knitting helps us learn the idea of letting small mistakes go so they become part of the design. As we let go, we are more open to love ourselves for who we are, imperfections and all.
- Knitting is linked to improving memory. The bilateral movement in knitting could enhance the connectivity between the right and left cerebral hemispheres, which may lead to an improvement in memory. The bilateral movement required in knitting is also found to help people organize their thought process.
- Knitting can reduce stress. The repetitive movement of yarn and needles induces a state of mindfulness long recognized by meditation adepts as a form of healing therapy. During mindfulness, our focus is brought to the rhythm of the present moment, releasing us from the stress, worries, and pain of daily life. The relaxation response evoked during mindfulness lowers blood pressure, improves sleep and helps individuals manage stress levels.
- Knitting can help depression. Studies suggest that repetitive movement in activities like knitting enhance the release of serotonin, a natural analgesic and mood enhancer. It is the repetitive movement in knitting that takes knitters into the “zone,” where participating in creative work can do wonders to restore a sense of wholeness and stability.
- Knitting creates a sense of community. Knitting groups have given women a powerful expression of communal bonding and creates a sense of belonging.