There is something vitally important about being actively creative as opposed to being a passive recipient of a destructive force you feel you have no control over, such as stress, depression or pain. 

There is no doubt that developing an interest or hobby is good for you. It gives you a point of focus outside yourself. 

These benefits go deep with physiological, neurological, psychological, behavioural and social changes occurring. Knowing this can enable you to use your craft as a tool to deliberately improve your wellbeing. 

Combine this with knowledge about health and wellbeing and you have a powerful tool at your fingertips any time, anywhere. Knitting's portability plays a key role in making its benefits available when you need it. We have helped people to use it to successfully manage panic, anxiety and pain spasms when out and about as well as problems with sleep and social confidence. 

The skills and feelings experienced whilst knitting are transferrable to everyday life. They can also be used to facilitate the learning of other beneficial techniques, such as meditation, relaxation and pacing making them more accessible to a wider population. 

Knitters learn other valuable life skills such as patience, perseverance, and the knowledge that mistakes can be undone. These skills can be utilised in the self-management of health and illness, in education and the workplace. It teaches you that goals can be reached despite a few detours along the way and often the end goal is richer because of those diversions and lessons learned.

Knitting provides a great way of developing creative ability within the safe framework of the knitting pattern. It provides a structure within which the vulnerable feel safe to begin their creative journey. As confidence and ability develop, creativity can be encouraged until the individual is happy to experiment and deal with the setbacks that experimentation and exploration may bring. 

It's clear that what is happening is highly complex resulting from a combination of the effects of the movements and the psychological and social benefits which will vary with each individual's specific makeup and needs. 

Our work indicates that creative ability is closely linked to wellbeing, psychological flexibility and the ability to self-manage and problem solve. Thinking creatively gives you more options.  



Crochet…a little hook to improve attention?
A Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scanning study of crocheters  

The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood: Findings from and International survey.  

Exploring the Effects of Knitting on the Experience of Chronic Pain.
A Poster presentation at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Pain Society April 2009. 

Therapeutic Knitting Study Day, June 15th 2012
A study day on Therapeutic Knitting took place in Bath, UK on Friday June 15th 2012. It was hosted by Professor Paul Dieppe, Professor of Health and Wellbeing at Exeter University, UK and organised by Betsan Corkhill of Stitchlinks.
Please click here for a report on the day. 

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