Monthly Archives: March 2013

Knitting to save your Sanity

It’s no secret that some of the BD team, and many of our customers, rely on knitting to keep us sane. Despite the misgivings of many an airport security agent, the world is actually a safer place if we’re packing knitting needles. Turns out that what I thought was a manifestation of my dislike of crowds and my love of slightly old fashioned woolen things does in fact have some serious therapeutic grounds.

 knittingsanity

This is just one example from Tumblr of the many people who share this point of view (psst you can see gems like this on our purls of wisdom board on the Biggan Design pinterest page – http://pinterest.com/biggandesign/).

There are groups, such as stitchlinks, who run support networks based around knitting, even actively researching the therapeutic benefits of knitting and the possibilities it suggest for future health management strategies.  There was even a Study Day dedicated to the field of Therapeutic Knitting in Bath last year, this event brought together academics, patient reps, group leaders and clinicians from a whole range of backgrounds, the press release tells of Occuptational Thearpists mixing with textile artists and fMRI specialists.  It is now a cause of some considerable interest to find and utilize the ways knitting can have a tangible, beneficial impact on people’s lives. A Daily Mail article last year told of how one woman’s turned to knitting to help her through chemotherapy, it said:

As I watched the jumper grown inch by inch, I felt a quiver of pleasure, and for the first time I dared to hope that I might actually live to wear it …

A growing school of thought believes that repetitive actions disable the brain’s ‘rage pathway’ – the area that becomes active when we are under attack, causing adrenaline to sour and your heart to race. Neuroscientists believe that these tasks – knitting, weeding your garden, doing a jigsaw or even running – deactivate the rage pathway, and renew our sense of ‘agency and control’, making us calmer and more at peace.

Tessa Cunningham, ‘What would you turn to when facing death?’ Mail Online, 26 Nov 2012.

It seems that, whether you rely on your knitting simply to keep your silly frustrations with the world at bay or to dispel dark clouds of illness and mortality, you are not imagining its success. I myself can vouch for the power of knitting  with some of our luxury yarn to help me through a trivial but traumatic temporary Internet blackout!

So there we have it folks. Knitting: not only will it save your sanity, it might just save your life.