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platys
Seriously Hooked

USA
719 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2002 :  10:12:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit platys's Homepage Send platys a Private Message


I always hear people explain that since they knit, they don't need therapy. That may be very true, but I've found that knitting goes really well with therapy and medications. I have social anxiety disorder, and when I get all wound up, sitting down and knitting does wonders. I don't think its quite powerful enough to get rid of all the medications, but there's been many a time where I was able to get through things.

My boyfriend will even say "Do you want to knit?" when I start getting jittery and worked up.

Gail




knitaly
Chatty Knitter

USA
102 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2002 :  10:23:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit knitaly's Homepage Send knitaly a Private Message
I think certain activities have a calming effect on those who watch, too. My boyfriend also likes seeing me knit and spin, and having all the little skeins and work in progress around the house. We hope to move to a bigger place soon and I told him how I could put all my stuff in the extra room, and he surprised me by saying "Oh, but your stuff looks so good. You could keep that in the living room."



Francesca
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2013 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2002 :  12:02:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Gail, I like your thought of knitting along w/therapy. We can't knit all the time & we can't be in therapy all the time
Francesca & Gail, it sounds as though you two have two terrific guys. It's wonderful to have a supportive partner.

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djfleesh
Chatty Knitter

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2002 :  2:13:54 PM  Show Profile Send djfleesh a Private Message
hi gail:

i must say, i had never thought about it that way, but it makes perfect sense. way back in the 80's, one of the women's magazines (mademoiselle, it think) ran a short story about a woman who would knit. in the story it talked about the feel of the yarn moving through her fingers, winding it's way into a garment. that stuck with me, because i think there is an almost hypnotic thingie that happens when we are really in a "groove" with our work. much like the "groove" we may get into during a therapy session, or when our medication is doing what it is supposed to. big hand for your boyfriend too, heading it off at the pass is a great way to work through the not so up times.

fleesh

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schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2002 :  2:24:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
I am not in therapy, but I do find my knitting settles me down when I get real agitated or upset, especially if there is something going on that I have no control over. I am glad it helps others, too! Barb

"OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE LOST, I MISS MY MIND THE MOST!"
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emanonx
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  10:52:47 PM  Show Profile Send emanonx a Private Message
I, myself, am coping with society anxiety disorder. Although knitting is helping wonders for calming me down - not everyone understands why this 19 year old girl is knitting. I have social anxiety so I don't necessarily like alot of people coming up to me and asking me what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and play 21 questions. I am very nice, and don't ever mean to be rude. But it sometimes makes me feel worse off than I already am.

I am so glad that it is helping you though!! Knitting has such great power to soothe :) My hands have become way more dexterious since I began to knit as well!

[Jenn - moonglitter@moonglitter.net]
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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  03:09:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
I have noticed something that perhaps ties into the idea of knitting as a supplement to therapy, or at least illustrates its theraputic effects on me. I'm not in therapy, but knitting definitely IS my mind-calmer. I normally knit in the evening for an hour or two before bed, this after a very high pressure work day at a job I really wish I could quit because I'm burning out, and then coming home to care for my cancer patient husband (the reason I can't quit the job that is causing my burnout) and pay bills out of a bank account that is dwindling every month (the other reason) - let's just say I have a lot more on my plate than normal and no way out of any of it at the moment and I'm a walking burnout poster girl. But anyway, I have noticed that on the nights I skip knitting, for whatever reason - housework, phone calls, etc. - I have disjointed "stressful" dreams, and I will pop awake around 3 a.m. with all the crises I'm juggling just spinning around in my head. I didn't knit last night, and BAM, I popped awake at 3 thinking about a work matter. If I knit for an hour or two before bed, this doesn't happen - my dreams are more coherent and I sleep through the night. I've skipped enough times and popped awake enough times to have satisfied myself that this is indeed what's happening here. Interesting, isn't it? I really think that the act of knitting does something very beneficial to our brain function. Maybe someone will do a serious study and watch what happens to brain waves while knitting, because it's definitely something good. Maybe more therapists should recommend knitting as an adjunct to standard therapy!

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nanknits
New Pal

47 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  10:05:44 AM  Show Profile Send nanknits a Private Message
I started knitting again, after learning many, many years ago as a kid, when my job was being threatened and I had too many anxieties to count.

One day I felt a great urge - almost an obsession - to do something with my hands (I work in a professional field that's almost all words, words, words) and felt driven to get to the craft store and pick up a learn-to-knit knit and cheap yarn and go to it. My husband thought - okay - at least it's a cheap obsession. Ha! Not for long.

I quickly discovered that Lion Brand Chenille and Red Heart weren't quite as satisfying as some of the other options.

One of my colleages and his wife were having a baby, and I told him I was knitting a blanket. Oh, you knit? he said, doubtful. "Yea - I love all that stabbing and throwing and twisting!!!"

Still love it, and now that I'm unemployed again - I lost the first job, and only found temporary work and that closed out in August - I confine myself to my stash and to smaller cheaper projects, but I still find knitting a great calmer, a great outlet.

And yes, my therapist noticed I was better once I started knitting - although I didn't tell him about the obsessive thing.

I keep telling my stressed out hubby he should start knitting - but he hasn't bought it yet. Maybe I just want someone to enable my obsession.




Peace, Nancy
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platys
Seriously Hooked

USA
719 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  10:38:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit platys's Homepage Send platys a Private Message
When I told my therapist I was knitting, she was more excited about the social possibilities than the soothing aspect. I announced one session that I had started (gingerly) going and knitting with people I met online, and that I had signed up for courses. She exclaimed "Great! Now we just need to find a way for you to meet some men!" Not that men are crucial to well being or anything, but I was in a relationship that was less than great at the time. What's hysterical is that I'm constantly surrounded by men, since I work in IT. I'm the only woman with my job title in my multinational corporation. Hee. I need fewer men!

That's another great thing about knitting - I know men do knit, but being a knitter automatically plugs you into a community of women, and into an entire hidden history. The fact that I knit ties me to my great grandmother who crocheted (she died earlier this year at the age of 100). My family, while a bit confused by the knitting at first, now see that as really valuable - great grandma may be gone, but there is still someone in the family who can turn out afghans.


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nanknits
New Pal

47 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2002 :  10:14:14 AM  Show Profile Send nanknits a Private Message
I also experienced the knitting and history connection. I mentioned I learned to knit as a child - in fact, I learned lots of the traditional crafts, knitting, crocheting, embrodiary, quilting - even basket-making, braided rug making and weaving rattan into the seats of chairs, as well as staining wood etc. All this was from my mother, and her mother was a master quilter and embrodierer. I can't do much embrodiary now, - presbyopia - but love the connection with knitting.

All the women in my family could do something in the traditional needlecrafts - I remember my older sister knitting a beautiful aran sweater for my brother. And when my younger sister went to Wellesley and started to knit - everyone was just fascinated - she taught others to knit there.

I think there may be a connection between appreciating the work of one's own hands, the result of personal labor and delight and better self-esteem. I think that is what my mother was trying to do. She was also fascinated with the connection between traditional crafts and our cultural heritage. One of her friends did a doctoral thesis on Amish women and their culture.

Certainly, the refrain here on the message board about the lack of appreciation of hand-made gifts - and my own observation about how cheap mass-produced stuff is - may reflect something of a cultural denigration of women's work. It may seem strange to be a hand-knitter because it does reflect a 'whole community of women' who glimpse, maybe faintly, a different way of understanding self in the world.

How's that for philosophical!

By the way, Gail, you may be right - you may not 'need' a man!!! Just me and my yarn!

Peace, Nancy
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2013 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2002 :  1:39:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Even though I have written one post in response to this topic, I am here again .
Gail, who knew you'd have all these wonderful responses!!
Catherine M, I am sorry that you have so much on your plate & I will send you & your DH good thoughts. The idea of a study for those of us who knit & how our brain waves are affected (& how we sleep & dream too)is an excellent idea. Your awake pattern on the nights when you don't knit is a solid impetus to "Knit Every day!" Is there a bumper sticker in here somewhere?!

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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2002 :  6:39:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
Thanks for the good thoughts, Marfa - btw, I've been meaning to tell you I get such a kick out of your opening, "How do." My Dad is the only other person I know who uses that expression, and I love it. I have to ask, where are you from? I do hope somebody will analyze the effect of knitting on brainwaves, I bet it's significant - between the textural experience of the yarn and the soothing repetitive motion, it has to be doing something good in there. I seriously do consider it theraputic, and if I don't do it, I know it.

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anotherbev
Warming Up

90 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2002 :  1:30:39 PM  Show Profile Send anotherbev a Private Message
I definitely agree with this topic. I was working a 2-part "temp" job--very horrible mornings in one department, and half-way enjoyable afternoons in another. When I would pull out my knitting during lunch, I did actually feel it calming me down (I take meds for anxiety too, but the "temp" thing really winds me tightly). I got "released" earlier than expected from said assignment (unfortunately not before we bought a vehicle we really needed), so I've been knitting a whole bunch!!!!!
Have an interview for a new "temp" position tomorrow... it's so hard not to take it all too seriously, but I am working on it. I guess I'll be hitting the needles this evening to prepare.
Bev

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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2002 :  3:17:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
quote:
I think certain activities have a calming effect on those who watch, too. My boyfriend also likes seeing me knit and spin, and having all the little skeins and work in progress around the house.


I'm back again, because I have to comment on the above. I really do think that watching knitting can have some sort of benefit for the spectators - I don't know if it's the same repetitive motion benefit we receive as we knit, or if it soothes the mind as a sort of classic peaceful homey picture, or what. My husband was hospitalized for more than five weeks last year while undergoing some very risky (put him into a coma, actually) cancer treatment. I logged endless hours in the not very comfortable chair in his room, knitting away, while he sort of zoned in and out during the pre and post coma stage. I remember that several times he said it was so nice to wake up and see me there knitting - it made him feel like everything was okay. And amazingly, it was - he wasn't expected to come out of that hospital, and though he's still quite sick he's watching the news and waiting for Domino's to deliver a pizza even as I type this. He still takes great pleasure in watching me knit, he's fascinated with it. It sounds slightly crazy but I have a "medical emergency" knitting bag - everything is in it, including enough extra skeins to allow me to go a day or two without replenishing it. He's had to be hospitalized a couple of times in the past year and each time I grab my knitting bag even before the car keys. It's been good for both of us. I'm not sure how knitting works on spectators, but it does something good.

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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2013 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2002 :  3:33:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Catherine, the "How do" comes from my former colleague & still very close friend, Susan - I adore her & when I use her greeting on the phone or on line w/emails & here on the Forum, I feel some of her loving energy. (I'm from southern Ohio, a small city - Portsmouth.)
Your emergency knitting bag idea is excellent - I hope you don't have to use it for a long time by the way! I bet that a number of folks will borrow this idea from you. It's good too that your DH feels that things will be OK when he sees you knitting by his bedside. It's theraputic for you both & what could be better than that?!

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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2002 :  10:43:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
So many of us (myself included) say that we are obsessed with knitting, but I think of the word "Obsession" as being very negative! And creation cannot be negative to me - semantics maybe?

Jonathon Larson (who wrote the musical Rent) said "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation."

So I like to think of it as rebuilding a torn down world/mind/life/sanity... one stitch at a time.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2002 :  12:59:17 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
I don't like living in the suburbs where we live right now(give me the city any day!)and my husband works bizarre hours. This loneliness prompted me to find ebay. Finding ebay wasn't the problem, buying from it was! Discovering this forum is a far better and less expensive way to pass time. I have learned a great deal about other knitters and knitting methods, and knowledge is therapy to me.

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." Gandhi
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