By Melodie Veldhuizen
Knitting and crocheting are pastimes which hopefully will never die out. From the feedback on the facebook groups, Kom ons hekel en brei (Let’s crochet and knit) and Hekel sonder grense (Crocheting without boundaries) as well as research results, it is clear that knitting and crocheting know no age restrictions. Many elderly people relate that they learnt these crafts from as early as three years from their mom or granny and are still knitting and crocheting with enthusiasm. Others were taught by friends. There are young people who mastered the skill with the aid of YouTube and support on facebook groups. Whether you have been crocheting or knitting for years or mastered the skill just recently, you assuredly have already experienced many of the benefits first-hand. If you as a young person are still wondering if you should tackle this, just have a look at the benefits emanating from this hobby.
- It forges bonds between people of all ages, creates a feeling of intimacy and relieves loneliness. The elderly are often lonely and enjoy sharing their craft with their grandchildren or the children of neighbours or friends. Consult your granny or your friendly neighbour for lessons and advice and companionship, or join a knitting or crocheting group.
- Knitting or crocheting alleviates tension and anxiety, irritability, frustration and restlessness. Only a few rows prior to or during a challenging situation will calm you. It helps to draw your attention away from schoolwork, studies or other worries and relieves depression. The repetitive, rhythmic movement of knitting and crochet needles and the pleasure it provides causes the release of dopamine, a neuro-carrier and a natural antidepressant in the brain, which makes you feel good.
- You can take it with you anywhere. When you are travelling with someone as a passenger or have to wait for someone somewhere, utilise this time to knit or crochet.
- The creative possibilities are endless. You can literally knit or crochet anything. Take advantage of technology for unlimited access to creative ideas and patterns.
- In a world where young people would rather stand out than be absorbed by their surroundings, knitting and crocheting come in handy. It is unique. Who wants to wear clothes and accessories that you can buy in the shops if you can make and wear something special that looks different from anything your friends are wearing?
- Often it is cheaper and of a better quality than bought items – a big bonus for a broke scholar or student or even a young stay-at-home mom.
- It’s fulfilling, because you create something tangible that you can use yourself or give as gifts to friends, family or even donate to charity.
- It contributes to a positive self-image because you are acquiring a new skill, are productive, can mean something to somebody else and create something beautiful that evokes compliments and appreciation when you give it to someone. You feel proud when you have achieved a goal, such as finishing a product, small or large.
- It decreases the risk of dementia or slows down the onset thereof. Research results confirm that knitting and crocheting can help to prevent age-related memory loss. It can lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 30-50%. It keeps your brain supple, improves your memory and keeps the mind young and sharp. Start now and reap the benefits in your old age.
- Unconsciously it improves your mathematical skills as you are continuously busy counting, multiplying, measuring and creating patterns.
- It prevents sleeplessness. When you struggle to fall asleep, the rhythmic, repetitive movements will calm your body and mind, so that you are speedily transported to dreamland.
- Combined with prayer, knitting and crocheting heal you emotionally and spiritually. It is also an opportunity, while knitting or crocheting, to think of the people on your prayer list and pray for them.
- It helps you with the handling of loss and the grieving process. Any loss can make you feel as if it’s the end of the world. For young people a broken relationship or the loss of a precious friendship is difficult to handle. Find consolation in the calm handling of knitting and crocheting and in the joy that this small piece of creativity gives. You will find that you heal day by day, stitch by stitch.
- It makes you believe you are in control when you feel as if everything, for whatever reason, is out of control. You are in control of which knitting wool and which colours to choose and what you will be making and this will make you feel less helpless.
- It keeps your fingers supple – while you are still young this may not be an important factor, but apply this now for the day when you will not be so young and the wrists begin to stiffen.
- It helps with pain control, chronic pain, as well as pain caused by injury. Knitting and crocheting draw the attention away from your physical pain.
- It helps with weight control as your hands and thoughts are busy and prevent you from nibbling constantly.
- Physical manual skills: You use both hands, which is why it is a wonderful way to exercise the muscles of both hands and is an ideal way of strengthening young children’s hand muscles even before they go to school. This will be to their advantage when they learn to write.
- You experience the joy of giving. When you have made enough items for yourself, it provides inner joy to share your handiwork with grateful friends, family and charities.
- You will already start building a legacy for your future descendants.
Al Free Crochet. https://www.allfreecrochet.com/Tips-for-Crochet/Crochet-Health-Benefits
Crafty Yarn Council. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/know.html
I Like Knitting. https://www.ilikeknitting.com/daily/previews/knits-happening-why-knitting-is-hip-again/
Lion Brand Notebook. http://blog.lionbrand.com/10-most-important-health-benefits-of-yarncrafting/
Little Things. https://www.littlethings.com/how-knitting-boosts-your-health/6
My Grandmother’s Old Singer. https://mygrandmothersoldsinger.com/benefits-of-knitting-and-crocheting/
New York CBS. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/10/18/hand-knitting-chunky-blankets/