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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Knitting as Physical and Mental Therapy

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

Click here to post it!

Knitting as Physical and Mental Therapy
Created By: R J Jamieson

Almost four years ago I had a health crisis which triggered the onset of Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyalitis. Suddenly I was unable to do even the smallest task in my home. Even personal care was difficult. I spent my days in my bed or on the sofa, completely exhausted and incredibly weak.

I have always been on the go. Working, running home businesses, caring for my husband and four children, and helping others. The stark contrast of doing absolutely nothing severely affected me. I felt useless, lazy and hopeless.

I have knitted and crocheted sporadically since I was six when my grandmother first put a crochet hook in my hands. I decided to try and do some crochet squares to pass the time and feel I was doing SOMETHING. Crocheting was too hard on my painful wrists so I turned to knitting. Using soft cotton yarn I began knitting garter stitch strips. They were light enough for me to handle in my weakened state. I though I could put them together into blankets when I was stronger. Having something useful to do gave my an emotional boost and at least my state of mind was improving.

Whenever I had the energy to hold up the needles, I worked on my strips, alternating bright colours to keep me interested despite the pervasive fatigue. Eventually I completed enough to make a blanket. I was able to crochet them together and voila, a blanket for my oldest son. Now my other children all wanted a blanket too. I continued to work on these over the months and years.

With the help of my Naturopath I began to gain some strength and the fatigue eased little by little to the point that I was able to sit up more and do a few things at home. Cook the odd meal, do a load of laundry, sweep the floor. As I gained strength and mental clarity I began to try other simple projects such as dish cloths and scarves. I got such a sense of accomplishment and joy from completing these projects and giving them to friends and family who could use them.

I continue to knit every day when I am resting. I have learned to read more complicated patterns and to work more complex stitches than garter or stockinette. Recently I tried my hand at simple cables and knitting with two colours, one in each hand. It is slow going, but I keep practicing to keep my mind from dulling. I am currently attempting a whole sweater. It seems to be coming along well, if slowly. I have made some two needle mittens successfully after several starts. I have even taught a friend how to knit and now we enjoy knitting together, and she is finding it helps relieve stress for her.

Knitting is helping me to improve my physical and mental health. I know that without it I would not be as well as I am today. Sharing the products of this hobby gives me great joy.

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