Some charities teach women to knit as a means of clothing their families or supporting themselves (from here (en.wikipedia.org))

“Tend to your knitting!” is usually said when someone ought to mind his or her own business. But during these days of social isolation, closed schools, stores and just about everything else, knitting is really a positive hobby that can be your ‘business’!

Hobium yarns sent an email, “Knitting and Your Health” (April 14, 2020), that cited five ways knitting can be beneficial during these days of stress and quarantine at home. Certainly, these four axioms don’t apply strictly to knitting. Crocheting, tatting or any other hobby that requires concentration and some skillful handwork can qualify, too.

Here are five reasons for you to consider doing some sort of needlework or craft, or teaching your kids how to do one:

  1. Knitting (a craft) requires focus. You have to pay attention to what you are doing, so you’re not so aware of other stimuli and the environment around you. This is definitely a MENTAL HEALTH BENEFIT.
  2. Knitting (a craft) helps produce serotonin, known as the happiness hormone. Serotonin leads to a rapid recovery in persons being treated for DEPRESSION…and if you’re really down about what’s happening in the world right now, try picking up a needle and some thread or yarn or a hammer, wood and glue and making something beautiful or useful.
  3. Knitting (needlework) helps keep your MEMORY in shape. Research found that persons who knit are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. While you may be a long way from fearing Alzheimer’s, you can help your memory and brain by doing something creative with your hands.
  4. Knitting (needlework) stimulates brain cells (neurons) in four different lobes of your brain. For people recovering from a disease like Parkinson’s disease, knitting helps with their MOTOR SKILLS. Have you ever tried to handle two knitting needles and a strand of yarn, or even one needle like in embroidery or crocheting? It takes a lot of coordination to get it right, and that’s a great help to your coordination when doing other tasks. Most crafts require a keen eye and nimble fingers—at least to learn the art of it and that is good training for the nervous system.
  5. Knitting (needlework) is a good break for kids with AUTISM who are being trained rigorously. Needlework lets them empty their minds and provides relief from the stress of training. Anyone who is really under the gun studying such as home schooling during this crisis can benefit from a break by doing needlework or another hobby…and the end result is something tangible to hold and admire.

These are positive benefits any person or family can enjoy. Make a contest to see who can learn to do a new skill. You may have to rely on a friend for materials to get started or on a store like Walmart, but do it! Or order your articles on-line. They’ll arrive at your door pronto!

Youtube has many, many videos that teach any and all the skills you need to knit, crochet, tat, tie knots, sew, embroider, do macramé, weave potholders and more. Explore the menu and sample programs if you’re questioning which craft to learn. Free patterns abound on the internet, too, so Google and get going!

Chose a small project to get started. You’re more likely to finish the project and you’ll have something to show for your struggle quite quickly. Gradually try something more difficult as your skills grow and improve. Along the way, don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself and learn from your mistakes! You’ll be an old pro before you know it!

Learning a new craft or resuming one put on the shelf will help use your days productively and break the monotony of waiting. Time will pass more quickly. Your outlook will be brighter, your memory will be sharper, you’ll build confidence and motor skills, and you’ll have something useful as the end product. And that ain’t no yarn, either!

— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance

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