I am currently going through house sale/purchase anxiety, my first move after 17 years is creating an imbalance of emotions, swinging from wild excitement to sadness at what I am letting go of, to stressing about how the move will fall into place, but always back to wild excitement! So, when I can't be with the horses (always a stress reliever!) I had to find a way to maintain my equilibrium, so another jumper is being created.
All through my life since my mum first taught me to knit at the age of 7 or 8 I have used it as a stress reliever. I have knit jumpers, dresses, cardigans and coats, the more intricate the pattern the more absorbed in it I need to be, and therein lies the relief of anxiety. When my mum passed away 2 years ago I needed something more to help me work through my grief, so I taught myself to crochet, the grief was still there, wound into every stitch, but somehow externalised and therefore less painful for me to bear.
Knitting has been around since the 5th century, the art and patterns being handed down through the ages. It is thought to have originated in Egypt, with blessings or symbols being knitted into socks to ward off bad luck.
A group called 'Knit for Peace' in the UK looked into the health benefits of knitting. They found that there is an enormous amount of research showing that knitting has physical and mental health benefits, that it slows the onset of dementia, combats depression and distracts from chronic pain.
One of the studies, a 2007 study conducted by Harvard Medical School’s Mind and Body Institute, found that knitting lowers heart rate, by an average of 11 beats per minute, and induces an “enhanced state of calm,” similar to that of yoga.
The completed jumper is one that I knit around 25 years ago, still in beautiful condition!