Your wellbeing is only a needle and thread away 4



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There is an old saying, “Idle hands are a devil’s workshop.” By extension, the opposite must be true – and hands that are busy knitting must be a workshop for all things positive. There are many studies that prove that taking up a hobby of some kind relieves stress, and it’s commonly known that solving puzzles and sudokus are good for you. However, knitting in particular has shown benefits that include relaxation, the ability to cope with illnesses better and a decreased risk of cognitive impairment.


Relaxed, repetitive motions such as the ones used in knitting can help calm down the body and the brain. Especially after a long, tiring and/or stressful day, working on something you enjoy that involves motions you don’t need to think about helps to create a better mood.

Coping with illness

This also holds true when working on a knitting project through illnesses of the body and mind – including depression, anxiety and fatigue. There are many stories all over the world of people being able to cope better with some kind of affliction, when they can escape the reality of their illness with the fantasy of a knitting project.

Prevent/cope with arthritis 

Another major benefit of knitting is that it helps prevent arthritis, because you are constantly using your joints, which helps keep them healthy. Knitting builds up cartilage, making it stronger, instead of wearing it down, and does it better than typing does – without causing problems down the road. If you already have arthritis, don’t let that stop you! Soak your hands in warm water and use larger needles to create your masterpieces, and you will be glad that you’ve kept your fingers dexterous.

Develop motor and brain skills

Knitting helps develop and refine fine motor skills, keeping your fingers and hands feeling good as you master the craft. Additionally, all patterns involve some aspects of math, keeping your mind sharp. It’s really good to have something to focus on for the brain that is so relaxing at the same time.

Build social interaction

Knitting in groups is also quite beneficial, whether in a class or just as a get together with friends working on different projects. Being among friends can help combat loneliness and isolation, which if left to fester, can contribute to health problems.

With knitting, and many other hobbies, people are taking a mini-vacation from their problems. They can forget about what’s bothering them, and they get into something that uplifts their mood.

Do you knit to unwind, or do you prefer other crafts?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I have been knitting for over 50 years and love it. Cant watch television without my knitting. My three boys always wore hand knitted jumpers when they were young. Now I knit baby jumpers and gloves for a trade table in an aged care facility where I am a volunteer. So relaxing.

  2. I, too, have been knitting for many years together with tapestry. I love being able to create my own patterns for knitting. I am also a volunteer with a seniors register, and it is surprising how often someone asks how to do something or other with their knitting; or we exchange patterns. I am now on baby knitting again for my great nieces and nephews new babies, so guess I will be busy for some while to come.

  3. I also love knitting and crocheting. If l don’t do that in the evenings, l’m tempted to eat, so l get out the knitting instead. Have been knitting/crocheting for 60 years and am now making baby rugs and rugs to give to nursing homes, hospitals etc. Making big blankets of squares, some very bright and colourful and others in softer colours. Someone always enjoys having them and l (like the two previous writers) love doing it.

  4. I am normally a very active person, both physically and mentally. Knitting has helped save my sanity in recent weeks, after having surgery on both feet. After the first few weeks recovering from surgery and the worst of the pain, I realised I was going to have many hours to fill in, with very limited mobility. I used to be a prolific knitter for decades. A friend posted an article related to her knitting on fb, just prior to my operation. She very kindly chased up yarn and needles for me, to knit squares for charity rugs, when I was ready to start knitting. It is such a wonderful activity, for all the reasons mentioned in the article. I strongly suspect the squares are going to be flowing for a long time to come! Thanks Lesley!

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