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Knitting is a relaxing and therapeutic pastime, and this winning combination focuses on mindfulness and the perfect stress-busting knitting projects. Whether you choose a portable project to knit on the go, a group project to do with friends, or one that introduces new skills to stimulate a creative mind, this book is the perfect path to keeping calm.
The book is aimed at beginners as well as more advanced knitters, but does not include anything more complex than basic knit and purl stitches, increasing, decreasing and some simple colourwork.
Lynne Rowe covers the essential techniques at the start of the book, followed by projects that have been specifically designed for mindfulness. The projects themselves are split into five sections: Quick and Easy, Portable, Group, Big, and New Skills. Within these sections, you can choose to make things such as a wash cloth, a hat, a blanket, a shawl and an evening bag, amongst others.
Every single one has been designed to promote calm and mindfulness and all the projects are beautifully photographed with clear and simple knitting patterns.
The Introduction is written by Betsan Corkhill, an experienced healthcare professional who founded the community interest company stitchlinks.com in 2005. It has grown into a global online community for those who enjoy the therapeutic benefits of craft, and in particular, knitting. Betsan has also advised on the projects included in the book and repetitive techniques to promote a calm state.
The five sections have different ways of promoting calm and the feelgood factor:
Quick and Easy: the projects in this section are designed for when you when you feel like a quick fix to raise your mood. Use your favourite colours and textures to enhance the benefits of the rhythmic movements and the feelgood effects. The feeling of success you experience will motivate and inspire you.
Portable: These smaller projects are even more portable, so keep one in your bag at all times. Use it to manage stress on the go, on your commute to work, in your lunch break, when travelling or at any other time when life is getting a bit much and you need to feel calm.
Group: Getting together with friends to knit, chat and laugh over a cuppa is one of life’s joys. Supportive friends help us to live longer, healthier, happier lives so why not combine the calming nature of knitting with the support of being with friends? It’s a powerful way to switch off your stress fight-or-flight response and switch on a bit of fun, play and laughter.
Big: It’s a lovely cosy feeling to sit quietly at home with your Big project on your lap, keeping you warm as you knit. Let it be your constant friend, the one you turn to to find calm and consistency when the world around you feels a bit frantic. As you get into the flow of the pattern, its familiarity will enable you to settle into a soothing rhythm whenever you need to knit yourself calm.
New Skills: Learning new skills on a regular basis is essential for nurturing a healthy brain, opening new neural pathways and even encouraging the growth of new brain cells right into old age. This section focuses on a range of new skills to encourage you to experiment with different stitch patterns and combinations of colour and textures. They are designed specifically to stimulate your creative mind.
Whatever your skill level, there are plenty of projects in this book to help you achieve calm, bust those stress levels and enjoy a pastime which is creative, fun and produces beautiful projects to wear, or for the home.
Quick & Easy: Washcloths
Portable: Cartridge Stitch Cowl
Group: Squares Blanket
Big Projects: Nursery Blanket
New Skills: Tea Cosy and Mug Cosy
Herringbone Stitch Evening Bag
Hot Water Bottle
Casting on (the 2 methods)
How to knit and purl
Garter stitch and stocking stitch
Knitting in the Round
Making a pom-pom
Picking up stitches
Tea Cosy and Mug Cosy:
Hot Water Bottle Cover:
Lynne Rowe was taught to knit and crochet by her grandmother in her early childhood and has been hooked ever since. She has developed a wide range of specialist skills and loves to pass these on to others through her workshops and classes. She is best known for her whimsical designs which feature regularly in the UK’s most popular craft magazines, along with articles and technical guides. Her practical approach makes her patterns straightforward, easy to read and fun to make and her aim is to encourage as many people as possible to knit and crochet. Lynne lives in Congleton, Cheshire.
Books touting the stress-busting properties of crafting are commonplace, and this collection, cowritten by two knitters who have researched the therapeutic benefits of knitting, provides a bounty of simple, low-frustration projects. Rowe and Corkhill group their designs by typequick and easy, portable, group, big, and new skillsso knitters are free to choose the one appropriate for their situation. Most include fairly simple, easy-to-memorize, basic stitch patterns. Knitters who prefer exploring more complicated techniques will find a few projects in the new skills section, which includes simple stranded knitting, cables, and duplicate stitch. VERDICT Rowe and Corkhill see the mindful aspects of knitting as something serious and enduring rather than trendy, and it shows. Beginning knitters looking for a way to unwind will find both projects and tips in this collection.
This book was borne out of a survey into the benefits of knitting undertaken in 2013 and reported in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy. It is said that knitting is relaxing and helps reduce or manage stress. I would agree with that as a lifelong knitter, apart from the times when I make a mistake and hate knitting with a vengeance. A rare occurrence as it happens. This book includes 16 projects designed by Lynne Rowe and wellbeing expert Betsan Corkhill. Simple and quick projects help you to familiarise yourself with the joys of knitting. There are group projects, portable ones and larger projects. The projects don't just go for basic garter stitch, they introduce pattern too. There are the standard hats and scarves but also washcloths, socks, a huggable teddy, blankets, bunting, shawl, bag, purse, mitts, hot water bottle cover, a teacosy and mug warmers. Please note the socks use 5 needles and the hat is knitted on circular needles - this for me is the most stressful kind of knitting. Socks can be knitted on two needles. Basic knitting instructions are given at the back of the book with step-by-step clear photos. The book takes you from basic knitting - garter, rib, two-row patterns up to chevrons, cables and intarsia. A good balance of projects and a great starter knitting book.
I really like this book. The title suggests you will find stress relief, much like the mindful colouring books, by using it. To me, it also indicates that a novice to knitting, a complete beginner, will be able to access this craft. Indeed, the book is aimed at the beginner knitter - although there are some more complex techniques in the "New Skills" section - and the projects on offer are those typically found in basic knitting books: scarves, hats, fingerless mittens, a basic teddy bear, bag, shawl etc.
So why is this book different? Both Betsan Corkhill (the healthcare professional) and Lynne Rowe (experienced knitter and teacher) write a foreward or introduction about how therapeutic knitting can benefit your health, as well as how to use this book. Each section is introduced thoughtfully - phrases include 'quick fix to raise your mood', 'feelgood effects', 'the feeling of success will motivate and inspire you.' Projects are well organised in sections that follow 'a creative path' as suggested by the sub-heading (Quick & Easy; Portable; Group; Big; New skills) and beautifully photographed against neutral backgrounds or the beach - very tranquil! The font is well chosen and the layout of each page colour co-ordinated and not remotely 'busy' as some knitting patterns are. A beginner would not find themselves overwhelmed.
All techniques needed are easy to understand and well illustrated - the 'knitting-in-the-round' description is the simplest I've ever seen! - and all techniques are listed in the index at the back for ease of reference. Not understanding how to achieve an effect is one of my biggest causes of stress, so this element of the book has been well researched.
I wouldn't necessarily buy it myself (I was sent a copy in return for an Amazon review) as I'm an experienced knitter with a small knitting business and create my own patterns. However, I have several friends who have occasionally come to me with advice on knitting as a possible means of stress-relief, and I've always helped as much as I can. In future, I will be recommending this book, and indeed will be listing it on my Facebook page (Kwerky Knits). I can see myself buying it as a gift too.
Let me leave you with a description of the opening title page photo: feet in knitted socks (from this book) resting on a comfy cushion (from this book) beside a teapot and mug in cosies (from this book)...a roaring fire in the background. Feeling calm yet?!
I found the book quite good and as a novice knitter it was lovely to see some easier knits!
Would have liked to have more information about how knitting can make you calm, and using the information to link to the patterns. As it stands, it's a perfectly ok knitting book, but it doesn't seem to cover the concept of how and why knitting makes you de-stress.
This book might not be what I expected but I like it.
I need to say that i'm not a prolific knitter. I know the basics but that's about it. This book is perfect for beginners, or people like me who have little experience of knitting. There is a section at the end that covers the basics with clear pictures that I find really useful. The "projects" are split into groups: quick and easy, portable, group, big, and new skills. I think a few of them stand out as the kind of projects I want to have a go at: the patchwork blanket that incorporates lots of different stitches and colours (I'm sure you can pick it up easily whenever), the nursery blanket looks quite trendy, and so does the evening purse. Other projects look a bit old fashion (I don't see many uses for a knitted shawl these days!)
From the cover picture and title, I was expecting a real link to "calm" or "relaxation". There isn't, and that's the book's main flaw. I find the choice of yarn colour sometimes a bit off: they're not exactly calming colours if that makes any sense, and sometimes contribute to the old fashion look of the projects. Apart from the introduction explaining that knitting is relaxing (like a lot of crafts in my opinion) there isn't much about how to relax whilst knitting. I personally think that throwing myself into a fair isle pattern would be fairly stressful! And I expected the projects to be big fluffy jumpers, or those chunky blankets, but they're not. They're just basic things you make when you start knitting, like plain hats, scarves, and cushion covers.
To sum up, I think if the book ditched the claim to help "managing stress" and sold itself as a beginner's knitting book, I'd be perfectly happy with it.
A fantastic book. Clear instructions and plenty of pictures to enable knitters of all abilities to have a go at the projects.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
I've tried to learn to knit twice before, with pretty dire results, my hands just don't seem to get it.
The book arrived swiftly, and well packaged.
I read through twice, and the instructions are clear and concise, with a few hints and tips. The last week I've actually managed, with the help of this book, to knit a recognisable shape.
Hopefully with a little more practice I'll be able to progress onto knitting clothes or toys!
The only thing stopping it being a 5* review is that I expected there to be more of a link to mindfulness and using knitting as a sort of calming or selfsoothing therapy. Unfortunately this isn't as well done as I'd hoped, and is just a few suggestions to be calm while attempting to knit. Otherwise an excellent book for a novice knitter such as myself.
I found that the idea of starting a big project would be calming as you have something long term you can keep going back to, which to me is calming and something to look forward to!
This book is fabulous. Lots of easy patterns and really relaxing and fun to do. After having major surgery it truly has been wonderful to sit, relax and concentrate on some simple, fun patterns. I am making the bunting at the moment for my granddaughters Wendy house. I stopped knitting a couple of years ago but am so thrilled to have been given this book. Starting again on these small fun projects has definitely given me the knitting bug again
I find knitting itself quite therapeutic and a great stress reliever so this book is great to encourage this, its also ideal for beginners as it has simple instructions and the layout was clear and simple and not too' fussy'. it has a simple explanation into each technique ie stitch, tension, and casting on etc at the back of the book which I found interesting and very helpful being a novice. It was good that there were different options such as 'quick and easy projects' and if you had some time you could go onto the 'big projects' which I found nice, and also under theses headings were little tips such as taking your knitting on the go to help manage stress while out and about!
A helpful little book. Good advice as to how knitting can make you calm and some lovely patterns to try. Some patterns were easy and some required a little more knitting experience but overall very appealing. The only criticism would be that the the info in the introduction about the way each section was to be of benefit could have been re-iterated on each pattern. Overall I feel some people will find it useful others may just enjoy the patterns but any benefit is helpful.
Overall I think this is a great book if your looking to relieve stress as a beginner but even if your not I still think it has some lovely projects which you would enjoy and in itself will help relax you, the book itself does not tell you how to knit yourself calm but the actual process of it-it works.I cant wait to try some of the more challenging projects :o)
By Lynne Rowe