The hidden power of knitting

When you think of relaxation, your mind probably goes straight to a lovely spa retreat, a nice hot bath, or perhaps a spot of yoga? You might be surprised to hear that knitting and associated needlecrafts have a rising fan base who really evangelise about the reductions in stress and anxiety experienced by partaking in the hobby. These crafters report seeing marked advantages for mental health and opportunities to practice mindfulness.

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The coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns provided the perfect opportunity for many to pick up their knitting needles for the first time. It’s easy to see why an increasing number of younger people are taking up the hobby. There is widespread availability of easy-to-follow tutorials and readily available knitting kits, such as those available at simplifying the process of getting started.

According to the BBC creative pursuits will “boost your mood”, providing statistically proven benefits to those who participate. Given the high stress many have experienced during the pandemic, this is all the more important, and many more people have looked to crafts to alleviate their stress.

Celebrity backing

Many celebrities are open about their hobby, with popular faces such as Michelle Obama, Ryan Gosling and Kate Middleton talking about picking up their needles and yarn. What was previously seen as a hobby for older generations with time on their hands has gradually become more accessible to the young, losing the stigma and attracting a younger crowd, at least in part through this celebrity endorsement. Big names such as Harry Styles have done their bit too, not only being open about partaking in the relaxing hobby, but also being an influencer in the rise of the “grannycore” style. The rise in popularity of homemade jumpers and other knitted garments has prompted some to take up their yarn and get creative.

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Charity support

Of course, knitting doesn’t only have benefits for the maker. As a group, they’re known to be a charitable bunch, taking part in various fundraising initiatives. Many hospitals use volunteer knitters to create small hats, cardigans, blankets and small hearts for their tiniest of patients, while community-minded area groups yarn bomb their local area to spread joy in their community.

It truly is a hobby that provides benefits in so many directions, whether that be the recipients of woollen goods, or the creator who benefits from improved mental health.

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