Knitting as therapy – Intro.

Image shows part of a ball of yarn in a peach colour, knitting on double pointed needles and a needle case. It has the text 'Knitting as Therapy' in the top right hand corner and copyright stash and notions 2016  

I’ve been on the downward spiral of my mental illness (depression and anxiety). It’s quite possibly one of the worst episodes I’ve endured since I was first diagnosed at the end of 2010. I’ll get through it, but for now it’s probably going to tinge my writing with a touch of grey, instead of the vibrant, positive writing I try to push to this blog.

It’s hard to explain how it effects me. Everything feels overwhelming – my work, my study, diet, exercise, maintaining friendships, housekeeping. I don’t know where to begin – I’ve had writer’s block. I’ve struggled to keep laundry up to date. I have lapses of memory if I don’t write things down. It’s difficult to escape the physical manifestations of anxiety and the ongoing chatter of my mind telling me constantly that I’m a failure and a screw-up. 

It feels like knitting is my main lifeline. 

I knit for many reasons. It makes me feel like I’m not wasting time when I’m watching TV or on the long commute between home and work. I love the feel of luxury yarns and the quest to find the perfect pattern for a special skein. I appreciate the social connectedness of knitting groups, both online and face-to-face, and knowing that there is always another knitter not that far away. After a particularly stressful day, knitting calms me. Big projects, where there are hundreds of stitches on the needles almost put me in a meditative state as the yarn becomes a series of interlocking loops, which in turn become a shawl or a cardigan. 

There’s also a sense of accomplishment that I can cling to in the dark times – those quick projects where after a few short hours a stretch of chunky yarn is turned into a pair of gloves or a funky hat. When I’m feeling like I can’t do anything right, it’s solid evidence that my depression is lying and I have something I can cling to. It’s proof I can learn new skills – five yeas ago I had no idea how to knit more than a basic scarf – increases and decreases were beyond me. Now, I have plans to knit a large complex lace shawl for my future wedding – whenever we decide to actually do it. 

It gives me something to look forward to when I feel like there’s nothing else. 

Do you find knitting therapeutic? How does it help you? 

Happy knitting. 


About Stash and Notions

Knitting addict. Beginner Spinner. Find me on Ravelry as MissRedpen
This entry was posted in Knitting. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Knitting as therapy – Intro.

  1. i don’t know how to knit, but this seems like a great approach to managing anxiety and getting into the moment


  2. Alison Young says:

    I’ve done a bit of writing about crafting as therapy too. Also with the community/social elements that online and IRL meet-ups around crafting encompass. Not sure how deep you wanted to go with it but I have some ideas about where my mind goes on this subject.


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