Friday, April 11, 2008

Knitting is the new Methadone

First things first - ta dah!

Strawberry Shortcake?

Yarn: Vesper, Aquamelon
Affectionately known as: Strawberry Shortcake socks
Needles: 2.25
State of Happiness: Utter Glee

Next item...

On Thursday the job that pays for my yarn took me to Wolfville, NS where one of our pharmacies sponsored a talk by a doctor by the name of Kenna Stephenson. Dr. Kenna, as she is known, is a lovely woman who works for the University of Texas. She has a great book called, "Awakening Athena". It is hard to sum up her presentation but let me see if I can do it for you:

1. There is more to a woman's health than her uterus.

2. Our hormones affect more than our menses.

3. If our hormones and our lives were more balanced then we could probably be healthier, happier and on less medication... and we would find fewer spouses at the bottom of stairs.

That's the very, very rough summary. Please, please, please, if you have a chance, look in to Dr. Kenna's work and her book.

Before the presentation  the store owners, my manager and I took Dr. Kenna and her husband out for lunch. When we were leaving the restaurant, she asked me if I had made my scarf - I was wearing my Clapotis. Then she told me that she is a knitter as well and that she had a whole chapter on Handwork in her book.

Kenna then told me that studies of people who knit have shown that their "knitting" EKGs are the same as that of people who are in meditative trances. The brain activity in a knitter is in both hemispheres as they are doing something mechanical, mathematical and creative all at once. Then she told me that she recommends handwork to her patients as a form of therapy.

Good heavens, the woman writes prescriptions for knitting!  We all need her as our doctor!  

We then went to Kenna's presentation and were thrilled that over 300 (THREE HUNDRED!) women showed up to hear what it was all about.  

Near the end of the presentation, I heard her say, "Stephanie, could you come up here for a moment?"

I walked to the front of the room and stood waiting as Kenna explained the value of knitting and how I had suggested to her that she must stop by "Gaspereau Valley Fibres" while she was in town.  Kenna asked if I would hold out my scarf for everyone to see.  There were 300 murmurs of approval.  

Then Kenna said to me, "Wouldn't you agree, Stephanie, that you find knitting therapeutic?"

And I said, without pausing to think, "Yes, I've often said it's the only thing keeping me off crack."

While the women had a good laugh, I went back to my seat and wondered if I had scored a point for knitting or not... 


Pattern:  Azure by Deb Barnhill
Yarn: Sweet Georgia - Life Aquatic
Needles: 2.5mm
State of Happiness: blissfully satisfied


  1. Oh yes, I dare say that it's ability to keep one off crack is a point for knitting.

    Very cool. I must check out that book!

  2. So nice to hear a professional woman advocating for knitting. I still get scorns from people in OT when I knit in public... but it hasn't really stopped me :)

  3. Anonymous7:47 a.m.

    I agree - knitting (and spinning for that matter) are good for both mind and soul. I would even say that knitting keeps your brain young too. Can you imagine what stressed out senile knitters would produce?

    Nice yarn-pattern marriage. And the striped SOCKS! Very nice.

  4. Pretty Strawberry Shortcake socks!

    Knitting may be a healthy alternative to crack, but I'm sure it's a more expensive habbit.

    I would love for my doctor to put me off work for a few days with a prescription to knit!

  5. I am so using that the next time Dave makes a comment about my increasing obsession with knitting.

    "But honey you know a DOCTOR said that it is not only theraputic, but it is medatative! and look it made you a hat..."

    Now I just have to find a way to explain to him why I will start cursing at my project and throw it in the corner only to run over, to start over, cursing and with just a few tears...

  6. heh heh I like the straw berry shortcake socks

  7. Love the socks!

    I recently listened to the Yarn Harlot in Ann Arbor and her talk was largely about the health benefits associated with knitting. She even referenced the same study! I'm sure she would be thrilled to know that she is not the only one spreading the word.

  8. Anonymous12:51 p.m.

    Oh ... I was there - amongst the 300 listening to Dr. Stephenson's talk ... and drat ... I was trying to think of a way to explain that I went to Gaspereau Valley Fibres as part of her talk.
    But I couldn't come up with anything that sounded entirely reasonable. Sigh.

    So I SAW YOU! And your scarf.
    (Clapotis, right?)
    But I didn't put two and two together to realize it was you of A Little Bit of Happy fame.

    Next time perhaps.
    janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca