Wool Therapy: The Benefits of Knitting

Those who've already tried wool therapy agree that it's useful for calming the mind, as well as organizing their ideas and thoughts.
Wool Therapy: The Benefits of Knitting
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Written and verified by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Since the rise of mindfulness, many people have started to enjoy activities that, in addition to offering them a hobby or a momentary distraction, help them calm down, organize their ideas, thoughts, and emotions, and also exercise their brain. This is the case with knitting.

As its name indicates, wool therapy consists of the action of knitting as a therapeutic measure. It’s not aimed at any specific audience. Therefore, any interested person can put it into practice when they want to.

If you haven’t yet practiced it, you may think of it as a rather basic activity. However, it has different degrees of difficulty ─which is extremely helpful when it comes to improving your skills and favoring many of your cognitive processes. Indeed, there are several benefits of knitting, as you’ll see below

Knitting: no longer just a ‘granny thing’

Many older women used to knit to make clothing for their relatives and close friends, while, at the same time entertaining themselves. Consequently, for many years this activity was considered a ‘granny thing’. However, over time this perception has changed.

Today, many people recognize that they need to take a break from their routine. To take a moment for themselves and disconnect from a world of multitasking and endless distractions. In this sense, activities such as wool therapy are extremely helpful. Therefore, it’s no longer uncommon to see people of any age learning to knit.

Beyond the action of knitting and making a certain garment, wool therapy offers a hiatus. In fact, you think of nothing other than what you’re doing. This, without a doubt, gives you several benefits.

Wool and needles, depicting the benefits of knitting.

One of the main reasons knitting became a form of therapy is because, as the activity unfolds, you learn to focus your attention on the present moment. It works in much the same way as yoga, mindfulness, and meditation.

The benefits of knitting

When knitting, you watch how the needles pass through the yarn to reproduce a pattern that you’ve previously chosen. Furthermore, your hands must hold both the needles and the yarn, as well as move in certain ways and at a certain rhythm. All of this might seem like a simple process, but it’s far from it. Actually, it constitutes an exercise for the mind, as complex as playing chess, playing an instrument, or writing.

Knitting allows you to exercise your hands, but it also stimulates your learning and memory capacity and encourages your concentration and creativity. In addition, it promotes positive and comforting emotions.

Experts from Mental Health America (MHA) indicate that wool therapy has proven to be extremely useful for:

  • Releasing tension.
  • Cultivating patience.
  • Promoting wellness.
  • Increasing self-esteem.
  • Encouraging creativity.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Encouraging concentration.
  • Reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Mitigating the feeling of loneliness.
  • Distracting the mind in situations of chronic pain.
  • Reducing the risk of depression and dementia.
Woman knitting in her bed

When you pay attention to details such as following a pattern, the color and texture of the wool and the needles, the feeling of the materials against your skin, and the gradual shaping of the garment, your mind stops going to the past or the future and stays in the present. This is what allows you to release tension, both physical and mental, calm down, and experience a sense of satisfaction.

Generally, you’ll appreciate the benefits of wool therapy in the medium and long term, once you’ve acquired the habit. Therefore, you should carry it out as regularly as you can. 

You can practice it anywhere, whenever you want

One of the main benefits of knitting is that you can practice it anywhere and at any time. All you need is a pair of needles, a ball of yarn, and a place to sit comfortably.

If you want to learn, there are many online tutorials available. Alternatively, you could ask a relative or a friend to teach you. Another option would be to enroll in a course to learn, share with other people, and exchange your experiences, advice, and ideas, as well as devise collective projects.

Consequently, if you need to take a break from your routine, reconnect with your interior and regain your inner calm, give wool therapy a try.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.