Knitting as a Meditation
We’re writing about the mental health benefits of knitting this week, so Merion has found you some gentle knitting patterns to soothe the soul…
Knitting has long been known to be a salve for all ills, and as knitters all over the world will tell you, it is particularly helpful for its healing properties where mental health is concerned. We’ve written about this on the blog, and your responses confirm just how effective knitting is for getting you through the difficult times in your lives.
Different knitters find different types of knitting soothing. Some love the gentle repetition of stocking stitch, or knitting in the round, whereas others need a challenge of elaborate lace or cables to distract them from whatever is upsetting them, so I’ve included a few different kind of patterns here, that will soothe most types of knitter!
Find Your Fade is a knitting journey into paradise. The idea is simple – travel through as many colours and colourways as you like, as you knit this giant asymmetrical triangle shawl, made up of sections of gentle garter stitch and simple lace. It has a gigantic following on Instagram, which is a great place to look for colour inspiration! Dive into your stash, if you have lots of 4ply/fingering weight yarn – single skeins you bought because you couldn’t resist them, or choose a selection from our wonderful range! Andrea suggests adding in variegated and speckled yarns, echoing the colour schemes as you work from one end to the other. This really is a work of love.
If you love a project that you can pick up and put down, then a modular blanket is for you! These mitred squares are joined as you go, and full instructions are in the pattern. There are lots of mitred square blankets, but this is a beautiful example and a joyous way of using up your stash! You can make it in any weight yarn – the recommended yarn is Paintbox Yarns Simply DK which comes in 60 shades, and you can add in any variegated or striped yarns you have too!
If you love plain knitting, this is a fabulous garter stitch jumper that will work up quickly in an aran weight yarn, all in one piece! You will need 800g of your favourite aran weight yarn, and this one-sized sweater is very soothing to knit. Audrey Wilson has also written fabulous patterns for an aran weight garter stitch cardigan, shawl and t-shirt shaped sweater that are simplicity itself, and so satisfying! If you want to change things up a bit, try stripes or use a tweed!
Sometimes when times are difficult, what is called for is a repetitive stitch – so if you love a repeat that keeps you on your toes, this beautiful blanket is absolutely gorgeous to knit! The pattern calls for worsted or aran weight yarn, and you’ll need a nice long 5mm circular needle (80cm preferably) to carry all those stitches.
Socks are not for everyone, but, for some people they equal total relaxation. Sock knitters can knit pair after pair and never get bored – and there is something about the working of stitches round and round on either DPNs or on a circular needle that is very restorative. What’s more, you end up with something very functional at the end of the process! Once you’ve mastered the basic sock, there is a great voyage of discovery awaiting you full of cables, lace and textural stitch patterns! This basic pattern for a cuff-down sock from Louise Tilbrook is completely free to download!
Whatever your preference, knitting something will help you feel better, even if all you feel you can manage is a garter stitch scarf, it’s yarn in your hands and needles in your fingers – and that feels very good indeed.
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Last updated: May 16th, 2017.