When Knitting isn’t Good for Your Soul – Part Four

It’s said that you can’t have too much of a good thing, but is that true for knitting? In the last three weeks we’ve looked at the benefits of knitting mentally, socially and physically. As with most things, good or bad, knitting can be harmful when over done. The first problem that comes to mind is the physical injury that can be the result of repetitive behaviour. I remember when I was in art school and working on a knitted project my teacher warned me not to spend too much time knitting. She said that I could get repetitive stress injury or even carpal tunnel syndrome if I over did it. Knowing when to take a break and proper posture are key to preventing either of these conditions.

I find it hard to believe that knitting in public is still an issue, but it is. People in knitting communities often share incidents where they’ve been told knitting in class or at a social gathering is rude. Younger knitters report people saying things like ‘Aren’t you too young to knit? I thought that was what grandmas do.’ Not to mention the sexist comments made to men who knit. Which is ironic since knitting started out as something men did to keep warm as fishermen and soldiers (that’s another whole article). Studies show that the reason for this attitude comes from the fact many people view knitting a female and domestic thing and are uncomfortable with seeing that in public.

June 9, 2018 is World Wide Knit in Public Day. As knitter’s we can use that day to change stigmas attached to knitting. To show how knitting is a valuable thing and anyone can do it, old, young, men, women. That it is “Better living though stitching together”! – mission statement from World Wide Knitting Day website.

Stash, this word alone can be problematic, it’s a word used by drug addicts to describe their secret hoard of drugs. I’m sure it’s meant to be a tongue in cheek term for all that yarn we have stored in our basements, closets and garages, but it can also express a hoarding problem. Excessive yarn purchasing can become hoarding and financial problem if not kept under control.

If you often say to yourself “Just one more row” – stop and think if that’s actually true or can you put your knitting down mid-row and walk away? I personally struggle with this and have let supper get a bit over cooked more than once because, I just wanted to keep going. My personal take on this is that it’s like video game addiction which has the effect of the addict not engaging in other activities and procrastinating.

At the beginning of this article I discussed the mental health benefits of knitting so it’s fitting that I finish with a mental health disadvantage. Studies have found that some knitters come to rely on knitting so much that instead of relaxing them it causes anxiety. These knitters report feeling most anxious near the end of or between knitting projects because they don’t know what their next project will be. I also know from personal experience that anxiety can come from knitting deadlines for knitted gifts. You worry whether they will like and appreciate it and if you will get it done on time.

I didn’t want to end this article on a downer however it’s important to tell both sides of the story. At the end of the day I believe the benefits out weight the disadvantages. So go knit, share and teach others this wonderful thing. And enjoy all that warm, soft stuff you’ve made.

This is the fourth and final part of Knitting is Good for Your Soul. Part one can be found here , part two can be found here and part three can be found here.


Credits Psychology Today website articles

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