Once a week, a group of women and men who live in The Mustard Seed’s permanent supportive housing units meet to knit, chat, and spend time together. The group creates beautiful knitted items – but more importantly, they create a sense of community, reducing stress and improving the well-being of the residents.
Karon says her father taught her to knit when she was five. She says she likes the repetitive motion. “I get into the rhythm, and I enjoy the social aspect. I find it very relaxing as well.”
Research shows it’s good for your brain
A recent study of more than 3,500 knitters in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy demonstrated that the majority of knitters with depression felt happier after knitting. Dr. Carrie Barron and her husband, Dr. Alton Barron, authors of The Creativity Cure: How to Build Happiness with Your Own Two Hands, write that crafts, such as knitting, can lead to long-term happiness and well-being.
The group offers a way to build friendships
Brenda, another knitter, says, “We talk, we laugh…it gets me out of the house, otherwise I would stay in my room. I wouldn’t have the courage to make new friends if it wasn’t for this place. I’m normally a shy person.”
The knitting group is prolific – they have already made several blankets that have been raffled off and have more ready to go. The proceeds go towards purchasing more knitting supplies. Like most resident activities, the knitting group is run by a dedicated volunteer.