Rehabilitation therapy is one of the first courses of action stroke victims go through to help with their lapse in motor function. It can be an incredibly challenging time for anyone who has experienced a stroke, and the frustration of having to complete formerly easy actions slowly can be demoralising.
Understanding the Benefits of Knitting for Stroke Recovery
At Jaarn, we believe that there is a gentle, soothing form of therapy which is starting to come through as a new way to help with hand movements. Using knitting as a method of recovery is increasingly gaining traction, and is giving stroke survivors new hope. Keep reading the blog as we discuss the health benefits of knitting.
How Does it Work?
Though there is no official data on knitting and stroke victims, there are some strong anecdotal cases for it. Those who got back into their old pastime of knitting found that it acted as a form of rehabilitation therapy. It helped to improve their motor function and coordination. The intricate act of looping and threading clearly helped many hone in on their hand movements.
The Stroke Association recommends knitting as an activity to try if you are recently recovering from the effects of a stroke. They recommend taking up activities that you enjoy first and foremost. It is so important to regain your quality of life, and the best way to do this is to find activities that spark enjoyment in you. Knitting is low-energy but requires some problem-solving, and small but precise movements; perfect for reinvigorating your brain.
Is ‘Knitting Stroke Therapy’ Real?
While there are no specific knitting therapy classes for those who have experienced a stroke, many have benefitted from the logic of ‘just jump back in.’ This essentially means, get back to your normal life one step at a time. There is anecdotal evidence of those who enjoy knitting being able to start their pastime again in small steps. If you really miss your old hobby and want to get back into it, why not pick up some yarn and needles?
How Do I Start?
As with any new hobby, it can be hard to know where to start. The great feature of knitting is that you just need the two basics to give it a go: yarn and needles. If you aren’t quite comfortable with starting with smaller stitch patterns then opt for larger needles; these are ideal for any beginner, medical conditions excluded. Here are some patterns to try, in order of difficulty;
Level 1: Knit a Scarf
This is a great way to practice the tightness of your stitches. It establishes the very basics of knitting and helps you to learn how to change yarn (particularly if you want to add a stripe or two.)
Level 2: Knit a Blanket
This is useful for big knitting needles. This allows you to use wider, chunkier yarns, and maybe even learn the art of adding in a pattern.
Level 3: Knit a Hat
This is a good progression from a blanket and scarf. This teaches you how to knit in circles, and take measurements.
Level 4: Knit a Jumper
This will be the ‘made it’ moment of your hobby. Knitting to a specified size and trying it on will show you just how far you’ve come.
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If you are curious about how knitting can work as a form of rehabilitation therapy, then why not give it a try? Starting with simple patterns is a great way to try your hand at knitting and pearling, and maybe even work up to bigger projects. Be sure to get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!