Can knitting (or any craft) help you feel better?
I recently joined some members of my local Knitting Guild for the Healing Arts event at Gundersen Health Care. We've participated in this for several years. We set up a table just inside the hospital entrance and display several finished items. We then sit and knit, answering questions and offering to teach people how to knit. Gundersen provides free kits for that purpose. We were later joined by some harp players. So relaxing!
Why does Gundersen do this? I talked to Sue La Crosse, who coordinates the event. She said that she started it about 15 years ago. Back then, she had different musicians come in to play. The area we set up in is just below the waiting room. It's a distraction for people who are waiting for their loved ones who are in surgery. Eventually, they started having crafters of all types do demonstrations.
As a knitter, I know how relaxing knitting can be, though there ARE moments… It certainly has gotten me through some stressful times. Most knitters that I know usually have a "mindless" project on hand to work on when hanging with their knitting group or other times when they know they'll be talking or too distracted to follow a complicated pattern. When I'm alone, I love to dive into colorwork. I'll put on a podcast and get lost in the pattern. It's hard to stop, because each round shows you a bit more of the finished design. The repetitive nature of knitting can be meditative and soothing. This is enhanced when you use a yarn that feels good in your hands.
When I find myself in a knitting slump, I'll knit a few washcloths. They're small, quick projects. I can make my favorite or try out something new. I the end, I have new washcloths for my family, or I set them aside for a last-minute gift or for my knitting guild's charity knitting. After that, I feel recharged and ready to tackle a new project.
Here at Unwound, we have a lounge area at the rear of the store. If the store is open, the lounge is available for you to sit and work on whatever crafty project you bring in. Feel free to bring food and drink. Bring a friend and/or make some new ones!