KNIT TO IMPROVE WELLBEING
EWE Foundation is spreading the word and encouraging the use of Therapeutic Knitting across Europe as well as promoting further research to provide a growing evidence base.
Through our work we are linking with, and getting to know, like-minded people across Europe and the wider world. Sharing information, and learning from each other gives us a stronger collective voice to promote further work and research in the exciting field of Therapeutic Knitting and crochet.
If you would like to be part of this Therapeutic Knitting Community get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As the European Wool Exchange we are promoting the use of 100% European wool for Therapeutic Knitting. Using 100% wool expands the benefits to farmers, producers and importantly to our planet Earth which in turn will benefit all those who live on earth. Ultimately we are all connected
WHAT IS THERAPEUTIC KNITTING?
Therapeutic Knitting is a concept developed by founder of Stitchlinks, Betsan Corkhill, who has been researching the meditative, creative and social benefits of knitting since 2005.
She defines Therapeutic Knitting as:
The combination of knitting + knowledge in order to deliberately improve wellbeing.
It’s about having the knowledge of how to enhance the benefits of knitting as well as if you have a medical condition, knowing how you can use knitting to manage, and in some cases such as anxiety and panic, cure symptoms.
It’s important to know that Therapeutic Knitting isn’t just for those who have health problems.
Those who are fit and well can use it to manage their day-to-day stress as well as life’s more challenging events such as bereavement, divorce, pandemics, world news. And with challenging world events in the news every day, it’s become even more important that we manage those stressors every day.
If we allow daily stressors to build without bringing our bodies back into balance, we will eventually become unwell.
Therapeutic Knitting enables us all to find a place of safety, familiarity and comfort even if all else is chaotic around us.
The act of knitting is, in the main, therapeutic (providing you’re not knitting to a tight deadline). However, Betsan, who is a former physiotherapist, now working as a health coach, quickly realised that people could learn how to enhance the benefits to improve their wellbeing.
It is widely recognised that sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to health. Therapeutic Knitting encourages you to set a gentle reminder to get up to stretch and move every 30 minutes, so it is very much about using knitting as part of your health care.
Therapeutic Knitting involves knowing that different projects can facilitate different mind states, overcoming perfectionist tendencies, learning to set realistic deadlines, or even better, having no set date for completion. It’s more about the process, using colour and texture to enhance the experience as well as choosing the materials (needles, yarn and type of project) that will work best for your aims.
For example, we can use Therapeutic Knitting to manage anxiety, panic, pain, to improve mood, as well as to raise feelings of self-worth and to learn to enjoy solitude. Therapeutic Knitting in a group adds the extra benefits of providing a safe social space to make friends and build a local support network.
The portability of knitting gives you an effective tool at your fingertips any time, anywhere
putting you in control, and that’s really powerful.
You can watch Betsan Corkhill’s presentations on
1st European Wool Day: Knitting to improve health and wellbeing https://youtu.be/RPsbVRRr1z4
2nd European Wool Day: Therapeutic Knitting: Finding Stability, Safety and Wellness even in Adversity and Illness https://youtu.be/b2GG19Dbd8M
You can download:
More theoretical information is available in Betsan’s book: Knit for Health & Wellness: How to knit a flexible mind & more. This is a more practical book of Betsan’s: Knit Yourself Calm: A creative path to managing stress with stress-busting knitting projects.