Knit and Natter Friday: 6th March – Knitting is Good For You!

We loved looking at this big colourful haul of gorgeous knits from the Knit and Natter Group, who meet at Alnwick Medical Group on Friday afternoons. At the top of the picture are baby jackets, mostly premature size. I love the contrasting edges on the ones at the top right. We also have some beautiful blankets and premature baby clothes from a lady who loves knitting but doesn’t come to the group. The multicoloured blankets left and front are knitted in beautifully soft chenille yarn. The pink/purple baby clothes and blanket were all made out of one big ball of ombre wool. The blanket is knitted in a design of alternating stocking stitch and moss stitch with a moss stitch edge. Isn’t it effective?

We were joined by a couple of members of staff from the practice today. Of course, we can’t let anyone visit us without doing any knitting so we found them some wool and needles and got them started. One had knitted before and soon picked it up again. The other was a complete beginner and after a bit of tuition she was doing brilliantly.

They were there to gather information for Social Prescribing Day (next Thursday, 12th March. Our knitting group was set up as part of the medical practice’s social prescribing work. At the end of the session we took part in a video interview and answered questions about the knit and natter group and what we get out of it. It was interesting to reflect on why we enjoy doing what we do. From my point of view……

  • It’s good to interact with a friendly, supportive group of people with a shared interest. We enjoy each other’s company.
  • We can share skills and learn from each other. There must be several centuries of knitting experience in the group!
  • There’s a shared sense of achievement in completing a project or learning a new skill.
  • Knitting for charity is a worthwhile use of our knitting skills to help others.
  • Communal knitting is fun!

One question that really made me think was about the importance of holding a knitting group in a doctors surgery. I think it legitimises knitting as a worthwhile activity that’s good for physical and mental wellbeing. I know that those of us that knit have known this for years, but there are still people out there that consider it to be a boring solitary hobby, primarily for elderly women! Nonsense!

There are real benefits to mental and physical wellbeing

  • The repetitive action of knitting has a calming effect, lowering heart rate and blood pressure (like stroking a pet or doodling)
  • It’s a mindful activity. By concentrating on the activity of knitting you can slow down, focus on what you are doing and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • It keeps your hands moving, good for the blood supply and muscle tone in the fingers.
  • There’s always something new to learn. Learning new skills encourages the development of new neural pathways, great for maintaining a healthy brain and improving memory.
  • Knitting groups are a great way of combatting social isolation and its effects of mental and physical health.

Now that this is being endorsed by healthcare professionals maybe more people will take up knitting!

What do you think are the benefits of knitting?

Knit and Natter Friday #10

It’s been another productive week for the Knit and Natter Group, who brought along these items for the charities we support. We meet every Friday from 2.30-4pm at Alnwick Medical Group’s Lower Building. Work in progress today included a jumper, a baby cardigan, a colourful bag, socks, and a hat to match the lovely purple and white premature baby coat in the picture.

We were talking about a tv programme that some of us saw the other night (about health). Apparently knitting is good for you! Of course we all knew that. If you learn new skills, then you lay down new neural pathways and that’s really good for your memory. Even experienced knitters are always learning new techniques. Reading patterns is a skill in itself, like learning a new language. Also, that gentle repetitive action of knitting has a calming effect (like doodling, or stroking a pet). Then there’s the social value of communal knitting and nattering and donating knitted items to charity. Basically its all great!

How do think knitting benefits you?

Knit and Natter Friday #3 – 29 November

More lovely knitwear for our charities.

Those attending today’s Knit and Natter group at Alnwick Medical Surgery, once again brought along an impressive haul of beautiful handknitted items. The little angel tops for premature babies are proving popular with some of the knitters, along with hats, baby cardigans and bootees. The item in the foreground is one of the “fish and chip baby” tops that we’ve made for a maternity clinic in Zambia, Knitted items were needed because newborns were being wrapped in newspaper (like fish and chips) to keep warm. We are grateful for all the donations of yarn and knitting needles that have been donated to help us make these items.

Over the weeks we’ve also swapped knitting and crochet patterns, taught each other new techniques and made some good friends. Sometimes there’s more nattering and laughter than knitting!

We were all pleased to see that the refurbishment of the room where we meet is going well – we now have new lighting and windows!

The practice staff are very supportive and have totally embraced knitting too – here is Jon, who managed to find a spare moment to knit in a break from officiating at a swimming gala.

I wonder if he read my post Where Do You Knit?

Knit and Natter Friday #2

The knitting group at our local GP surgery was meeting this afternoon This amazing selection of hats and baby clothes have been made by members and friends of the group in the last week alone. I can’t take credit for any of this I’m afraid. I will try and make a contribution soon.

The room where we meet is being renovated, so we had no lights today. One of our group members has kindly donated some plastic crates to keep the knitted items in (we’ll send them off to the relevant charities when we have a big enough batch). Now all that beautiful knitwear will stay dust-free during the renovations.

As it began to get dark this afternoon, rather than try to knit, it was a good opportunity to wind some wool off a skein – and I had help from a lovely lady who was telling me all about how she did this as a child – she and her sisters used to wind wool for her mother, who was a very keen knitter. I love to hear her knitting stories.