I say yes it relieves it, but then there are varying degrees and answers to this question.
STRESS: The body's desire to choke the living sh**t out of some a** who deserves it but your mind knows better and simply smiles and nods. Sound familiar??
It is that conflict that can create hard to relieve stress. Place that awkward co-worker in that sentence and you can come home from work feeling wound up. Try knitting. Try a simple garter stitch scarf.
For me, I like the rhythm of the needles in the evening while I am watching some light hearted television. I can't be doing a intricate pattern and be relieved of stress. For me, it has to be something simple and methodic and rhythmic and the feeling of producing something simple to feel calm.
Some May Need to Dive Into an Intricate Pattern and Lose Themselves
This is not me. But if you need an outlet, especially in those colder months, and you don't feel like driving yourself to the gym or running in the snow, or ranting at whoever will listen (like my hubby, who rants on the phone to co-workers to get stress out of his system) and diving into a complicated knitting pattern works, then hey, who am I to judge! You may find some peace and quiet and that complicated knitting pattern are a great challenge and distract you from other stressful situations.
So, ask yourself some questions. Do I love a challenge to relieve stress or do I want something that will calm me down as I knit and sip a chamomile tea (this is me). Once you know that answer then you can use knitting as your stress reliever. You need to know this answer upfront before you invest in materials, yarns and patterns.
Will Your Knitting Project be Thrown in a Corner to Collect Dust?
I have friends who had mind testing jobs and were frazzled at days end, and then chose a complicated sweater pattern for their stress relieving project. Well, they lost their cool as their nerves were already frazzled and off to the corner it was sent never to be seen again!
Find Something You Like - But Don't Get Stressed Out Looking For It - Scarves and Blankets are the Easiest to Start With!
Just get started. Grab a ball of yarn and some needles and if you have not knitted for a long time, then simply practice. It will take your mind away from your worries just for a little bit and give your brain a break in the cycle.
Any good hobby can do this, but sometimes it is nice to have something portable like knitting that can go from room to room.
I am writing this near dinner time, as I am quickly coming to the witching hour when I am meant to be "off" electronics! It is the glow of electronics and the complications of sleep apnea that keep me awake at night. I sit far enough away from the TV that this is not an issue, but feel like I should be doing something instead of festering about day to day things.
Stretches in the Commercial Breaks
If you are watching what I call "mindless" TV which is usually sitcoms or something funny and not too deep that will keep you awake with thinking all night like some intense documentaries can do, then get up and stretch or walk gently around the house during the commercial breaks and then get back to your knitting. This keeps the blood flowing and does count as exercise and a break for your eyes.
Garter Stitch is My Favourite
This stitch is the first one I was taught many moons ago by my Grandma, and it is my fall back stitch when I want to create without a lot of thinking. Garter stitch scarves are now my favourite, and if you look to the side of this blog you can see a post for one I created just recently and wear all the time.
I try to make the finished product look interesting by using multi-coloured yarns. But I am digressing, as this post was about stress.
Just click on the above pictures to see Amazon and the many affordable knitting projects you can get into, along with this book on how to use knitting and crochet to relieve stress.
There are beautiful dyes cottons and yarns that will make wonderful scarves for yourself or get started on those Christmas and Birthday gifts.
Yes, knitting does relieve stress, I really do believe that. You might as well be creating something from those hands instead of wringing them while fretting. Get creative with yarn and cottons and have some fun. You never know you may just discover that next really cool one of a kind "knitted thing" you made out of your stressful day.
I told my friend the other day how I had picked up knitting again after a number of years away from it. I told her it had been nice creating some relaxation for me in the evening instead of being hunched over my computer and suffering with insomnia.
I told her I stuck to simple patterns right now, because I didn't want the stress of counting or figuring out new stitches while watching TV, I just wanted something to grow from my needles and be useful and feel relaxed. She loved my knitted knitting bag post and thought it would be nice to try her hands at knitting again.
She then told me, that she never picked up knitting, but would love to do it, but was stressed trying to learn which is not how it should be. It can be fun to learn something new, but she was having trouble with it and threw her needles in a fit of frustration. So, I decided to research other options and told her about the Addi King Size Knitting Machine.
At first glance you think it is only for round knitting or tubes. I remember thinking why would I need all those tubes of knitting? But in fact it can do the round knitting in different sizes which is perfect for hats, and it can also knit flat panels up to 18 inches wide. There are 46 robust needles on this machine, and you simply do not join the ends when you want to make flat panels.
Once you set it up, you can get knitting and create products in minutes and change colours too. I was thinking this would be great for any craft business that sold knitted products. I love to hand knit, but this could be fun to do too, especially in the evening while relaxing listening to music or watching TV. You could create a scarf or hat in a sitting.
It is made in Germany and has a lifetime guarantee which impressed me. Many of the reviews were positive and the company seems to answer questions. It might seem like an investment at first, but if you find it difficult to hand knit, such as with arthritis or you just never picked it up, using a knitting machine can be another way to relax and get creative without the frustration.
If you knit for a craft business, this would certainly speed things up. Even if you have larger projects you could make large panels then stitch them together. There are all kinds of ideas brewing from within right now about this machine. It secures to a table so it won't be moving around.
Right now you can get it on Amazon, just click the picture to find out more. Right now I am working on a project that uses up different bits and pieces of leftover yarn. I hate waste, so tried to come up with a project for that, I will post next week. Stay tuned!
Still trying to keep things simple with my knitting projects, I came up with this idea for a slightly different looking bag. It could be used for anything but as my wool and accessories were piling up on the coffee table I decided it was time for another useful project. But I wanted something a littler different looking even though I knit simple stitches (garter stitch and also stockinette stitch being my favourites).
With a garter stitch you basically knit every row and with a stockinette stitch you knit one row and then purl the next, making it a easy project for those TV watching nights or nights relaxing on the couch to music and not having to use complicated stitches or having to count. The only thing you have to watch is the length, so have a tape measure nearby. If you have never met me, so to speak, my main theme of this knitting blog was to come up with simple and yet useful projects to do instead of being parked in front of a computer which was causing insomnia for me.
I just completed this project yesterday, and added all kinds of bling to personalize it for myself. I had a lot of fun doing it too. I already have it filled with my yarns and accessories, so it is bulging a little in picture, but totally works for me. I lined this with heavier fabric I found in the scrap bin at my local fabric store, and added many bits of buttons and bling and flair from my dollar store. I used a multi-coloured yarn for this project to add some interest as I totally used the simple stockinette stitch in this project. (knit one row purl the next)
This could be a purse, or even a pillow if you used a pillow form and then closed the ends. It is simply strips woven for the front panel and a plain panel on the back. The beauty of these simple bags is that you can use any yarn or wool you desire and as long as it all fits, then you can make all kinds of different sized woven bags. I made sure the cast on stitches matched. Example: back panel = 40 cast on stitches and then 4 strips across = 10 cast on strips each.. which equals the back panel.
This is how I made mine sticking with the simple knitting theme of stockinette stitch.
I found this yarn at my local craft store. Bernat makes a similar weight yarn if you can't find this particular one. You need something a little chunkier for a bag. I did find this package deal of some really nice colours of this particular Loops & Threads brand online below which is soft and easy to knit with.
I created 8 strips for the woven front of the bag, 4 x vertical and 4 x lateral. I cast on 10 stitches and using the stockinette stitch I knitted until the strip was 13 inches long. I created 8 of these (four along top and four along sides for weaving)
I had to lightly press it with a damp towel and iron. That is the only problem with stockinette stitch, the edges tend to curl. This one is not quite pressed yet, but wanted to show you the idea of the knitted strip.
Once you have created 8 strips, it is time to do the back panel. Cast on 40 stitches and basically knit in stockinette stitch (knit one row and purl the next) until 13 inches long. I was making mine a square bag to make life easier, so strips and back panel all measure the same.
Press lightly with a damp towel (don't put the iron right on your work it will melt or make crusty bits!)
This is my back panel (still needs a bit of pressing, but you get the idea)
Make Up Your knitting Bag
Take your strips and lay 4 of them vertically on a table butting sides, and then carefully weave the other 4 from the sides, this can get fiddly but be patient. Pin where the squares meet to keep it all together and you can add some bling at this point. I used lots of random buttons and sewed them on with needle and thread through both layers to help keep the piece together and added more randomly along with some beads and other décor. If you prefer a neater more organized look you could put a button on each square, this helps to keep the woven pieces together in your panel.
Once you are satisfied with your front panel, lay it on the back panel with wrong sides together and then using whatever method you prefer to sew the bottom and sides together. I used a running stitch with the wool and wool sized needle making sure to catch all the ends of the strips into the side seams. I was going for a rustic look so just made it strong with a couple of rows of running stitch using the yarn about 1/2 inch in from edge. I like the look of the cast on and cast off edges so had them showing in my outer seams.
Lining Your Knitting Bag
I wanted this to be a heavy duty bag, and so I found some upholstery fabric (as you can see in my picture above) in the sale bin at my local fabric store. I made it 13 inches wide and long but used the fold at the bottom for extra strength, therefore only the 2 side seams to deal with.
I sewed the side seams with a 1/2 inch seam allowance and pressed open, and then took the top and using the iron turned the edges to the wrong side of lining fabric. This makes it easier to fit in the bag and stitch.
I slipped my lining into my bag (with right side showing) and then carefully using a needle and thread I hand stitched the lining to my knitted project at the top edges. This is the way I do it, I am sure there are many different ways but this worked for me. If you found you had made some knitted strips too long, this is where you could hide the extra behind the lining.
I laid out my entire project on the coffee table when I was putting it together. I have decided I need to take a project right to the finish line before starting another one. This was always a bad habit of mine, not wanting to stop knitting and putting it together. But I made this one fun with all the bling and flair. This took me an afternoon to put all together.
With this type of bag and the open weave on the front it is best to line it for extra strength. Plus I did sew a lot of random buttons on the outside to give it even more strength where the woven strips met. You can't see all the bling I used in the photo but I basically had fun at the dollar store with this project.
It could also be used as a great pillow and simply put a pillow form in afterwards.
I hope this has inspired you to get creative with your knitting needles. This woven style in not reserved for patchwork quilts or other fabrics, using your yarn in this way can add lots of interest without getting into complicated stitches.
Until next time... Have fun!
My name is Diane and I love all arts and crafts including painting, drawing and knitting (I painted the bee above!) I decided after many years to take up knitting again and needed simple patterns that I could do while watching TV or listening to music that would help dial down stress. I hope you enjoy some of my own projects as well as ones I have found.