Knitting For Sanity

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A friend at my pilates class remarked that she felt so much calmer when she made time for meditation and I said I felt the same when I knitted, 'after all' I said 'knitting is the same as meditating'.

Nancy has written such a good post about knitting and mental health. I'm not going to repeat what she has so eloquently said except to say how much I agree with her.



I have been knitting non-stop for the past three days, at least it seems that way, I have managed to produce meals, bake bread and wash clothes so I must have put the needles down at some point. Nevertheless I have been knitting a lot and therefore feel at the peak of mental fitness.



I am knitting this. It's very easy to knit and the changing patterns provide plenty of interest, if you can knit and purl then you can knit this. It's worked from a chart which is easier to follow than I feared. The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted and the colour is Pearl Ten, or mud as I am calling it. Mud is good though, I am so over bright happy colours, I crave quiet, muted, grown up colour.



But what to do when the knitting is finished? Well there's always cake, and cake is good for one's mental health too, if not for one's physical health.



What about you? What do you do to keep sane?

~

By the way, thank you to the anonymous commenter who suggested I Freecycle my surplus quinces. I did just that and they have gone to some grateful pigs......quince-fed pork, yum.



29 comments:

  1. I'm tempted to be flippant and reply 'Drink'. However I think I do drastically need something to keep me sane - the problem at present is finding any time for it at all. I'd lean more towards meditation than knitting however - once anything starts to resemble a task to be completed it just adds itself to the pile.

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  2. What a lovely wrap that is you are knitting/ So cosy and I love the colour - it will look good with everything. Lucky pigs - fed on quinces! For mental health I find walking does the business - preferably alone in the countryside with just my thoughts for company!

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  3. I always feel in a meditative state when I am hand quilting; those small, regular movements, the feel of the cloth ....and of course I've long believed that knitting was the way women historically (well, last 100 years) gained time and repose for themselves even when they were knitting for others. There are meditative states, and meditative states, of course, but on the whole yes, I agree with you.

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  4. I crochet, or sew. I don't know how to knit but I feel relaxed just watching someone else do it.

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  5. Oh I couldn't agree with you more Sue, knitting and crochet and hand stitching is the most medatative and relaxing thing ever. I am convinced its good for my immune system too, by relaxing I lose any stresses from my life and the clickety clack of the needles soothes my troubles away keeping me well. Love your shawl and the colour is very mature and grown up x Penny

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  6. It's true about the knitting being so mentally restful, except that I sometimes enter a trance-like state of clickety meditation in which long-suppressed embarrassing memories flood back to me and I clutch the needles in frozen distress.

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  7. Anonymous6:14 pm GMT

    sue lovely knitting...have you a recipe you could share or point me to for that great looking cake ?
    thankyou tessa

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  8. I used this recipe Tessa with 1 cup of sugar rather than 2 and with an icing made from melting 200g of chocolate with a tablespoon of golden syrup.

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    1. Anonymous7:03 pm GMT

      thankyou sue
      tessa

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  9. I completely agree with the meditative quality of knitting. That can work to one's disadvantage however. I knit a seed stitch scarf last winter, and the constant back and forth between knit and purl produced a very slight rocking motion that made me start falling asleep if I knit for longer than about 15 minutes. As for marathon knitting sessions, I just had one of those. I received the homework for a knitting class later than I was supposed to, which resulted in me having the clear the decks and knit pretty much for an entire day. My hands were so sore afterwards I could barely pick anything up. I guess I need to do hand calisthenics. Your hands must be much stronger than mine. Must be all that kneading when baking bread. Anyway, gorgeous wrap Sue. Beautifully done.

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  10. Knitting is not meditation for me, I get in terrible knots, lose stitches, poke myself with the needles. Crochet however, that is very medative, as is a bit of hand sewing or tapestry. Surely cake has to be good for ones mental health as well! xx Oh, forgot to say, those sort of anon comments are the kind that you can deal with hey - kind and useful!

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  11. I'm sure you could find something else to knit. I'm guessing you might have some spare yarn squirreled away somewhere that you could use? The scarf looks divine - I too thought it would be a challenge when I saw your post about it the other day. So pleased to hear that it isn't. I may have to add it to my queue.

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  12. Knitting and sewing and making things keeps me sane. If you have several projects on the go it's easier when you reach the end of one...

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  13. Some daily quiet craft time - card making, scrap booking, and crochet make me a much nicer person, ready to face the rest of the day. Hope you've had a good weekend.

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  14. Yes! Handwork is cheaper than a therapist. That's what I tell myself every time I look at this gorgeous royal blue wool I'm working into a wrap. :-)

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  15. Needlepoint is just the same for me, a meditative process for sure.

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  16. Brilliant post Sue, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I can knit but don't find it particularly relaxing. I would say that hand sewing and crochet have the same effect on me. It's about finding some time to myself, along with the huge "I made this!" satisfaction of completing a project. And yes, my colour choices of late have been muted - i think autumn and winter do that to me. x

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  17. Gorgeous wrap!

    I find any kind of handwork is good for my mood, my husband gets worried if I don't pick up some kind of needle during the day

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  18. I'm another who knits, and stitches. And cuddling a whippet works for me too. Your wrap is looking good Sue :)

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  19. Oh Sue, it is looking beautiful (and most mutedly grown up and sophisticated). But you cannot possibly give up on the bright colours all together - you just wouldn't be you in beige. In fact, wearing colour is a huge mood enhancer in my opinion. It's much harder to be miserable in orange or turquoise than in grey or black or navy, chic though they look.

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  20. Knitting, gardening, cooking and staring at the flames in the fire! Your knitting is looking lovely Sue x

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  21. Anonymous12:01 pm GMT

    You might enjoy this post:
    http://eggsontheroof.com/the-unjustified-quince/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EggsOnTheRoof+%28Eggs+On+The+Roof%29

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    Replies
    1. I certainly did enjoy it, thanks!

      Delete
  22. That knitting is impressive! And 'Mud' sounds good to me - seasonal and natural. As for keeping sane, it always has to be walking. Ideally somewhere quiet and green (or, at this time of year, brown). Not to mention my cup of tea as soon as the baby goes for an afternoon nap - I live for that some days!
    Knitting is also valuable in building friendships and communities - I saw an article on this in a magazine: http://www.knitforpeace.org.uk/
    Sarah :)

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    1. How interesting, thanks Sarah

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  23. Lucky you - knitting is definitely not good for my mental health, as it simply deepens my low self-esteem regarding my technical ability.... I love doing it, but I'm so bad at it, it's embarrassing.

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  24. Knitting has always had that calming effect for me, Sue. Your "mud" wrap is lovely...the combination of stitches give you just enough details to keep the process interesting. Brooklyn Tweed designs all seem to have a wonderful balance of plain and detailed bits.

    I saw a great display of ripe quinces at the farmers market on Monday. And I thought of you.

    xo

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  25. I love to knit and have used it therapeutically on myself - just some days ago I finished some baby booties I started in 2009 right before my final oral exam at university :-) Now the baby is on its way, so they had to be finished... I also knit in front of several professor's offices, it always helped to keep me calm. BUT: sometimes I get rather frantic when starting a new knitting project and just - can't - stop, even if very hungry or being quite tired...
    Riding my bicycle is also wonderful for calming down. Yoga. Cuddling with my husband. Walks.

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  26. Pati from London4:45 pm GMT

    I learnt how to crochet to de-stress from my Uni work 3 years ago or so. I find it therapeutic and helps me use a different side of my brain. Since then I have tried to be more creative with my life as this keeps me sane and have learnt how to bake, make jams, how to use a sewing machine, made a few sewing garments for my kids and have loved it!! Now my brain is full of ideas I want to do when I finally finish college this summer. When I was in my late teens I learnt how to play the guitar and it did keep me sane too, Pati xx

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