Stitches West: Knitting Brings Health Benefits

Stitches West, a knitting trade show for knitters and crocheters and those who would like to learn the craft is taking place this weekend in the heart of Silicon Valley.  It turns out that technology, sprouting out of Silicon Valley, has also transformed the crafting industry.

The Knitting Ranch, in the mountains of Colorado, brings together knitters from around the world to participate in virtual knit-alongs - - - no horses are needed - just yarn and needles as ladies log-in from their computer to see their instructor and other knitters.

Seniors are knitting in record numbers as technology has also allowed more boutque farms with llamas and sheep and alpacas producing wool that spinners are spinning into beautiful fibers and dyers are also in the game.  Square needles are now available for seniors who may have arthritis (we all develop some arthritis after age 50).

Caregivers and seniors can enjoy the many health benefits of knitting - which is being touted as the new yoga as a method for ridding your body and mind of stress.  Knitting also can be beneficial to keep the mind engaged and active which has been shown to both prevent memory loss and slow the progression of memory loss.

Knitters also form a community which is one of the top ways to maintain good health.  Just having others around to share in your day to day life has been shown to be a top way to maintain physical and mental health.  In the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania is profiled simply because the residents were enjoying good health and long lives, even though they were not necessarily eating a healthy diet (home-made Italian meals were the norm) and were not necessarily engaged in active exercise programs.  However, the town was a bit hilly and they did walk about the town as everyone knew each other in the community.  The town was settled by immigrants from the town of the same name in Italy.  Roseto has remarkably low rates of heart disease and has been studied by a physician and medical scientist, Stewart Wolf, and a sociologist, John Bruhn, who concluded that neither diet nor exercise nor genes nor location explains this anomaly of good health and long lives: it was a family- and church-based lifestyle, or culture of community.

Knitters enjoy the same communities, whether offline or online,  where they are engaging in conversation with other knitters and learning new patterns.  And they are sharing their new finds, from yarn to knitting bags, in blogs as well as at their local yarn store or knitting group.  Purls Just Wanna Have Fun is a blog by one active knitter. 

Caregivers also have communities, with the senior they are caring for and the health professionals they are working with and with other caregivers who can share in their daily joys and challenges.  Caregiverlist's Career Center provides one home for professional caregivers to discuss caregiving, continue caregiver training and keep up with senior care industry news such as nursing home daily rates and Medicare on



, ,


Log in