As if we didn't need even more incentive for stash enhancement... this just in from the Mayo Clinic, via CBS News: Knitting and crochet are good for you! Finally, science bothers to look at humble needle arts and in so doing catches up to what knitters had figured out and kept quiet all these centuries.
Knitting is good for the brain! All the mental work that we do while knitting -- counting rows, following complex Fair Isle or aran or lace patterns, figuring out where to hide the latest additions to the stash before anyone catches you -- stimulates the brain and reduces memory loss in the elderly by 30%-50%. Notice in the video that they refer to knitting and crochet as "intellectual activities." Finally, someone realizes that knitting isn't such a daft activity after all!
Knitting is good for the mood! The repetitive action of knitting soothes away stress and can even help relieve pain and depression and improve the immune system. Okay, maybe not so much when you're first learning and your shoulder are up around your earlobes with tension, but as experienced knitters know, the tension goes away and the knitting or crochet gets a lot smoother. Lots of meditative techniques rely on repetitive actions: repeated prayers, handling prayer beads, repeating a mantra, chanting, what have you. What I like best? Knitting and crochet put that repetitive action to work, so not only do you have a soothing activity, but you have the pleasure and satisfaction of having something nice when you're done. What the video didn't mention is that setting and achieving realistic goals is also one approach to managing depression, and that's exactly what we do when we knit. Okay, so some of us aren't quite so realistic when we plan to knit a whole baby blanket today for the shower tomorrow, or 50 pairs of socks in December as Christmas gifts. Call them learning experiences.
Did you see that lovely purple Clapotis that one woman was wearing? Um... maybe I feel a cold coming on... yeah, I'm sure I've been exposed. And stress, yeah. I've had some stress this week. It would be a really good idea to get some nice silk blend and make a Clapotis for me. I'm sure it would be. And some sock yarn while I'm at it, because sock yarn doesn't really count as stash, right?