Knitting Therapy

Knitting Therapy

Hi everyone. It's been a while since I've posted on the forum. Like many there are times when I feel I can contribute and others when I struggle. However, today is a contribute day. So.

I've written on this subject before, but wanted to share with you an interview with one of my favourite fibre artist, who also happens to have trained as a psychiatrist too - Madame Tricot.

In this article (link above), Madame Tricot talks about the therapeutic benefits of knitting (and I'm sure the same is true of many other forms of craft). I hadn't really thought before about why I find knitting and crochet not just enjoyable put so helpful for my "condition", but when I read this article it rang so true. I felt the need to share it with you guys. I have a friend who says she will recite the times tables in her head sometimes when the going gets tough and I guess it is similar in some ways, as that too is rythmic, repetative and requires concentration and focus. So with my adopted approach a great side effect is a jumper (or indeed a cookie monster), with hers, you improve your arithmetic.

If you fancy taking this up yourself, there's loads of free online resources. How did we ever get by without YouTube? Be warned though - knitting can be addictive :). My long suffering husband now refers to our spare room as Yarnia as I have stashes of wool everywhere :)

Here's a picture of my latest crochet creation - a cookie monster golf club cover for my loving, long suffering, very tolerant hubbie. Hope he makes you smile. Sue xx

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8 Replies

  • Used to knit but it's been a long time ... and these days my hands get really numb very quickly so couldn't knit for very long (carpel tunnel).

    It may be a left-brain v right-brain thing ... can't remember which is the 'rational' and which is the 'creative' side but maybe we get too locked into the rational side and moving into the creative side with a craft and using the hands introduces a bit more balance.

  • Yes. Maybe that's it. Maybel leveling the sides up a bit.

    A friend of mine also has problems with her hands, but in her case it's artheritis. There are lots of different types of knitting needles some of which are a bit kinder on the hands than the old metal ones. Bamboo ones or brands like Knitpro or lantern moon. Might be worth giving a more forgiving material a try. They can be a bit pricey though.

  • Problem isn't really the needles so much as the position the wrist is in when I'm holding the needles - bent wrists are really bad news as the nerve gets trapped and that's what causes the numbness :(

    Still, lots of other things I can do - especially at the moment with the weather being reasonably good.

  • I took up knitting about three years ago to help me with my concentration and focus, both of which I feel had been compromised by my depression and anxiety. It had got so bad that I could not read four lines of text and retain what I had just read. I noticed an instant improvement in both my focus and concentration and also felt a sense of calm that was unexpected but very welcome. I have always been a creative person and used to paint and draw but since having to quit art school due to funding being withdrawn I have never been able to do either again. It feels wonderful to be back doing creative things again and has really helped to improve my mood and my confidence. I have also found that when I feel that dreaded feeling of starting to sink down the black hole of depression again if I pick up my needles it helps me to focus on something else and nine times out of ten my mood is significantly improved.

    I find that knitting using bamboo or wooden needles is kinder on my hands and also using circular needles for non circular projects really helps to take the strain off of my hands too. If I knit for an hour I make sure I have a ten to 15 minute break before I carry on and this helps my hands too.

    Knitting can become an obsession but it's a healthy one for mind and body and you get something beautiful unique and hand crafted as an end result. My grandmother and my mother knit so I have always been aware of it but always thought that it was a womans thing to do. I wish that I had started knitting years ago but as they say better late than never.

    I would recommend anyone who is interested in crafty things who suffers with depression and anxiety to give knitting or crochet a go. It can be a cheap pastime and the YouTube tutorial videos are a great way to lean everything you need to know.

  • Hi, Great to hear you find knitting to be of such great benefit too. It's a wonderful way to make unique gifts that don't have to cost a fortune and show how much you care by the effort you put into making them. I'd love to see pictures of stuff you've made if you're OK with sharing. Sue xx

  • Sue Bee Sue - thanks so much for sharing your handicraft - it has really cheered me up today. I havn't knitted for a while but your post has given me some inspiration to get the knitting needles out again and having looked at your cookie monster and Madam Tricots woollen deli creations - it just shows knitting is truly creative and doesn't need to be about boring old garments of clothing (that never quite get finished - I have several sleeves, fronts and backs!!!) - so thanks again.

  • Excellent! I totally agree with you. It's been ages since I made anything "sensible". Check out my work on and you'll see what I mean :) - finger moustache, prozac mobile (every home should have one :)), cactus, fruit, daisy-chain etc. Here's the link: If you're not a ravelry user, it's worth registering - it's free and there's loads of great patterns, many of which are free.

    Enjoy your knitting. Sue xx

  • Hi SueBeeSue. Good to hear from you and your knitting

    is very creative. I did knit little bit and found it relaxed me.

    For some reason I only liked working with fine wool 4ply and I

    Didn't like the chunky wool.

    I will look up your stuff on Ravelry and thanks for inspiring me

    To go out and buy wool and a pattern.