Knitting - A Therapeutic Art

Monday, April 08, 2019 Heba Moeen 3 Comments

Knitting dates back to North Africa - Egyptian times where it originated in 1100 - 1300


The dragon that my nephew requested me to knit
Pick a hobby for yourself, it would help keep you sane after the week's corporate overdose or the lack of (God forbid if you are unemployed in this awful time period of mehengai). If mankind didn't have hobbies, routine would have made us extinct by now, at least that's what I tend to believe and for sure that's what most of the animal kingdom wishes, including marine life. 

Recently, I had been trying to continue watching Netflix again and for that I prefer keeping my hands busy, if not for painting, that is ... well, my first love! Although, there's a different angle to it altogether, I turn on Netflix and fall asleep within minutes, later to continue knitting on my way to work. It's been quite a while since I touched a lovely pair of knitting needles and this weather will definitely not allow touching woolen yarn. So there are alternatives ...

Knitting, for some carries a somewhat weird perception that it's meant only for women who are from the baby boomer generation, the supposedly mightiest of all you may say. Nonetheless, unfortunately, it's more of a dying art in our country whereas, Britain has witnessed a boom with more people taking interest in it, irrespective of their gender or age. And yes, some sources reveal that knitting was invented by men! Revelation enough?

I recall an amusing experience from a couple of years back, I was once knitting during my Sunday MBA class break, we had an hour in between two classes so I decided to kill some time while continuing with my knitting project. One of my male colleagues was somehow unimpressed and inquired why I was doing something that is done by 'jahil women' (oh those women not fairly paid for their hard work). As much as I was taken aback by his innocence, I didn't mind that sudden outburst because the sheer ignorance in his tone was quite funny. I just feel sorry that he was oblivious to its therapeutic effects and the utter sense of achievement!

The earliest traces for knitting that have been found date back to the period of Islamic rule;  in Egypt, during 1100 - 1300, an era that some ignorantly may refer to as the dark ages. This art was later introduced in Spain and was adapted by the Catholic Church for creating liturgical garments. By the 14th century, it had reached the rest of Europe and in 1589, an Englishman, William Lee created the first ever knitting machine. 

Fast forward it to this century when I learnt knitting through British magazines, especially Simply Knitting, the most user friendly of all knitting guides ever! And when they published two of my knitting projects, I simply couldn't hold my excitement. Anyway, moving past this show-off moment ... a couple of weeks back my nephew asked me to knit him a pencil case using a dragon pattern that he liked, as you can picture in the image above. He wanted me to use mid-yellow and red to knit it and here we are, half of it is completed, although I inadvertently used a very lose gauge and realised that I should have preferred finer knitting needles. Below is a close-up of the dragon! Anyone who wants the pattern can get in touch with me and I will be very happy to share it ... after all, I also got it off the internet. And the culture of keeping your art a secret is worth abhorring if knowing that you've also taken something from the internet. Not cool at all! It's like that lame joke often shared by men about a woman simply hating another woman just because she is wearing the same dress and a man hugging another man if he's wearing the same suit. Who cares, if it has become common as long as you like it and if you see someone wearing the same dress as yours then it's an ultimate moment of pride, not hatred!

Okay cutting the long lecture short, here we go! A couple of days back my laptop was hanging like CRAZY! So I took this dragon project to work and every time my laptop would hang, I would at least end up completing half a row ... knit-purl, knit-purl ... And then my laptop would make me work even after working hours because it was trying to die on me throughout the day, this cute little rascal (and failed because we fixed the demon)! And during a few instances I ended up working and sending emails and work related documents to clients even after working hours, giving an impression that I am a possessed workaholic who is available beyond working hours ... Nopes! Not me, never. I like to believe that I am not this word and it was the 'unawakening of the laptop taking my peace away'.

Anyone who is interested in learning how to knit can approach this writer who can help impart some knowledge and skills through the abundance of e-books.
Surprisingly, Facebook popped out a memory today which was related to knitting as well and it was a joker pattern that I absolutely admired knittinng. This character is evil and thought provoking at the same time and worth accepting as part of every society (harsh reality ... we have our own version in Vilayat)!

There was a time when I got absolutely obsessed with knitting paws like these below (this one also got featured in Simply Knitting), if you want the pattern, come take it!


Unbeknownst to most, knitting paves the way to health benefits through its therapeutic powers:

1.  Knitting and crocheting lower heart rate and blood pressure, thus reducing harmful blood levels and stress hormone called cortisol. 

2. Oh hey, self esteem is evident (more emotional of an impact than physical but why not?).

3. Knitting can also help quit smoking ... because you have two hands and not four.

4. People suffering from arthritis may feel less pain and stiffness in their fingers as a result of continuous activity involving their hands. In other words, knitting also helps redirect ones focus away from pain.

5.  It helps combat depression. 

6. On another note, if you are somewhat crazy in the head which most of us are anyway (because of our jobs or otherwise) then knitting helps calm the craziness down, especially if you are also an over-thinker! God, overthinking is palpable and painful!

7.  It helps maintain cognitive health and diminishes the chances of memory loss as you age. 

Above all, one should have a creative side to his or her personality to strive a decent balance in life for life is not just about work, give some time to yourself and feed that creative demon within you, nourish it ... don't kill it please, it seeks thy undivided attention sometimes.

Do share what hobbies you have and let's have some fun together ... provided you come read my blog post first! *Ricky Nelson's 'Garden Party' playing in the head*


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  1. Really loved that dragon over it. Reminded me about some of my childhood memories.

    1. Thanks for liking it. Well what about your childhood memories? I wonder how a dragon has served as a reminder. :)

  2. I used to try to draw it on a paper
    (but failed) as it was portrayed on some games like Mortal Kombat that's what I remembered while looking at it.