7 thoughts on “Self-Medicating with Knitting Therapy: A Guest Post on How Craft Heals

  • March 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    I greatly enjoyed this article and the references brought forward for consideration. However… one that was left out is physical therapy. I had a stroke and a brain bleed last August 2018. It left me with severe difficulties in making speech, cognitive thought and hand/eye coordination. The first thing the day of my stroke I was able to ask for was my knitting. The nurses and my doctors were astounded by the fact that I could pick up my project and work the stitches in pattern. I was lucky enough to have a nurse attending me who is also a knitter. She helped me struggle through the pattern, coordinating my needles and doing the complex pattern of stitches. (I owe here a great deal!) while I won’t say that my skills are back to where I was before my stroke I can honestly say that I have NOT lost the skills, simply misplaced them for the time being. I have joined a local knitting group and the ladies there are continuing to help me slog my way through. My husband has termed this my “String Therapy.” I owe so much to my nurse, friends in the knitting group and my husband (especially for his sense of humor and financial support) that I will always look at my knitting as a way of saying thanks to them for helping me to regain what could have easily been lost.
    Thank you for your article and good luck with your studies.
    Rebecca Robinson

    Reply
    • March 27, 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks Rebecca. I love this topic. There’s an entire section in my book (Crochet Saved My Life) devoted to occupational therapy. I love learning more about it and am happy that you’ve left this comment so that we can think on it more. I’m also really happy that you not only found this form of therapy but also have support for it.

      Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Thank you. Very insightful and personally helpful.

    Reply
  • April 2, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I was a bit shocked when my therapist suggested knitting or crocheting as a hobby that might help with anxiety. It has worked for me. I have never considered myself to be very artistic or crafty. Knitting is that odd combination of craft, creativity and pragmatism. It gives me a sense of micro-purpose and occupies my thoughts … and at the end I have a nice pair of socks or a hat for the fun of it.

    Thanks for this article.

    Reply
    • April 8, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      You’re exactly right about that combination … people who are intimidated by a blank canvas can find some comfort in the craftiness of pattern-based skills like knitting.

      Reply
  • April 23, 2019 at 7:05 am

    I so agree with this article. Crocheting brings so many positive aspects to my life. Crocheting calms me and brings me joy. I enjoy starting with a string and ending up with a useful item. I use crocheting to express my love to my family and friends. this past Christmas, I gifted 95 hats, cowls, socks and one poncho to family. Crocheting is a way I connect to my community. I make baby hats and blankets for the hospital. I make hats and scarfs for my local homeless shelter and woman’s shelter. I make comfort shawls and lapghans for the cancer center. I belong to 2 knit/crochet groups. The fellowship that is felt in these groups are healing and supportive.

    Reply
    • April 24, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      I think it’s so wonderful that you’re able to use craft to connect with community. I find that it also connects us to generations past and future which is something that feels really healing to me. We can sometimes feel so alone in the world but we aren’t at all and craft can be a way to remember that.

      Reply
 

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