Sea Green and Sapphire

A blog about a love of colour, addiction to fabrics and joy of crafting…

Therapeutic Knitting


My therapeutic knitting project

My therapeutic knitting project

Those of us who love knitting know that it is a very soothing, relaxing and meditative activity (at least as long as it is going well…), so I was very interested when I saw an article about therapeutic knitting in the Knitter magazine. It is true that all sorts of hobbies have been marketed as being therapeutic – and I’m sure doing any activity you really enjoy is going to enhance your mood and possibly even boost your self-esteem. But in this article, the author Betsan Corkhill, from the charity Stitchlinks, argues that knitting in particular has some special qualities that can be used to treat people with conditions such as chronic pain, stress or clinical depression. 

Knitting is of course easily portable and can be done virtually anywhere, but its therapeutic value lies in its “bilateral [=using two hands], rhythmic, automatic movements” which Betsan Corkhill believes induce a meditative-like state of mind and deep relaxation. She argues that it is easier to achieve this meditative state by knitting than trying to learn meditation for example. The state of deep relaxation in turn lowers the levels of stress hormones, thus reducing the levels of pain, anxiety and depression. In addition, creating a succesful end product stimulates the reward system within the brain, resulting in a flush of the feel-good chemical dopamine, she argues. Thus the neuro-science of knitting explains why it can be succesfully used to treat conditions such as panic attacks, binge eating, drug addiction or post-traumatic stress disorder. 

This in itself is of course very interesting, but what I personally would like to know is whether knitting can help those (such as myself) who suffer from a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So, purely in the interest of science of course, I think I will conduct a one-woman experiment into therapeutic knitting – who knows perhaps I will discover the miracle cure for ME/CFS that so far is so lacking. And, if I am succesful, perhaps NHS could even start supplying knitting yarns on a repeat prescription…


Author: Heidi

I love colour wherever I find it, in art, photography, gardens, nature. I also love all kinds of fiber arts; spinning, dyeing, knitting, felting, sewing.

2 thoughts on “Therapeutic Knitting

  1. That’s a lovely colourway to that yarn – is it one you’ve bought, or did you dye it yourself?

    • hi Sarah,
      Yes it is lovely isn’t it! I did not dye it myself, but it is an Araucania yarn (from Chile) which I bought from Stash Fine Yarns (a UK-based shop). I can’t remember the exact details right at the moment, but if you want the details I can check it tomorrow.

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