Sunday, March 3, 2013

Prescription: Knitting

Throughout my career as a women's health nurse practitioner, I have had the opportunity many times to enable women to cope with stress in a positive way. As holistic providers of health care, nurse practitioners utilize coping stategies with patients, and suggest yoga, running, brisk walking, journaling, etc. This is one of the differences between nurse practitioners and physicians that I love in my profession, taking a. holistic view, as we know that nothing pertaining to the body is an alone concept but our bodies all relate from one system to the other.
 
I have found stress to be the culprit, the sole culprit, of many diseases, even in women's heath, gynecology. While most focus on the gynecology aspect, I think more and more, physician's are looking holistically as nurse practitioners in that the root of the problem could have started in any other area of the woman's life and the body is certainly in connection with all systems.
 
As a woman myself, over the 20 years of being a women's health nurse practitioner, I have zoned in on ways to improve my practice of NP by staying abreast of evidence-based care, as well as keeping in touch with alternative methods of managing symptoms of disease and prevention of health issues.
I have found out by experiencing many of these issues my own self through the past years and finding what really works as evidence shows.
 
Knitting and/ needleart has been referenced in studies a few times and many conclude that it truly does change the neurotransmitters in our brains and increases the happy hormones, increases endorphins just like runners.
 
 
 
and many other sites.
 
 
A book, Just Keep Knitting by Lonna Cunningham
 
 
My true love is cross stitching and designing but in November of 2012, I attempted again to try knitting and I am in love!  I'm a beginner, of course, but intrigued with hours of the repetative nature of the soothing activity.
 
Many readers of my blog probably wonder when I will show more cross stitching. SOON!
I haven't forgotten and do I miss. How I wish I could do both~~~simultaneously.
 
However, in the last couple of weeks, my novice, soul-soothing activities have included working through a Craftsy.com knit class by Stephanie Jafel, called Knit Lab. Thisclass was offered back in November with a deep discount, I assume for the holidays and I leaped into it, not knowing all the length and depth of information I would learn. I love the Craftsy workshops because once you pay for them (some are free), then you have endless access to them forever and can go back and replay the lessons, stop the video and and try that stitch again.
 
In Knit Lab, she shares about 5 other of her own patterns for knitters and after learning just how to READ a pattern with her teaching knowledge you follow along with the class materials which are simply printed off in a pdf format.
 
I'm starting to make the Lacey Keyhole Scarf.  Her pattern is only available if you purchase the class. The class takes hours for beginner information and I have listened to all those twice.
In this small project, garter stitch is used, how to increase, how to decrease, how to make a button hole, and beginning lace, knit and purling, and yarn overs.
 
You can see the skein I picked (only takes one skein) and have cast on plus 9 rows.
This scarf is small and narrow and can also be converted to a headband that is very cute!

 
Of course, I cannot put the pattern steps on here, however, this is the start for one of the 2 pieces. I will be gartering for a while then start the lacy pattern! I love the color in a vintage soft pink.


This very soft yarn is small, but not smallest, and I'm using a 7 Bates needle. Only one skein for this project.


I think I have the garter stitch and long-tail cast on, down pat.

 
This selection I picked because that yardage was exact as what was called for, and it is super soft
with 85% cotton and 15% silk. Cascade Yarns, Pima Silk.
 
 
 
 
The class teaches how to exactly read the label and every part of a label is important to the knitter.
 
 
Other projects not related to the class I have completed this week include starting a yellow kitchen dishcloth with Peaches and Cream cotton. I have found that for dishcloths, Peaches and Cream at only 1.70 or so a skein is a good, mildly abrasive, yet soft cotton for the kitchen or cleaning in general. I can stitch 2 dishcloths from a skein. However other brands I have sampled from Hobby Lobby I prefer more for washcloths for the bath as they are softer.
 
 
I picked this Springy yellow to brighten up for the warmer months ahead.
It's like a ball of sunshine when I pick it up to stitch.
 
 
 
 
 
These three are knitted for different purposes.  Different brands.
The colonial blue on the left is knitted with a cotton-blend, Italian cotton, very soft and will be useful in the bath as a washcloth.
The second one is in a Antique Gold and this one and the teal one is I Really Love This Cotton brand from Hobby Lobby. Those are 100% cotton but so much softer than Peaches and Cream that washclothes are in store for these as well.
 
 
So these are the softest washcloths ever! I hope to make a good basket full for the bath.
 
 
Going back to Peaches and Cream after stitching the softer cottons is a change. I have noticed that this cotton I work better with aluminum or glass needles vs. wood so the cotton will slide easier on the needle.
 
 
So I have found in life, many lessons, but in stitching and needlearts of all kinds, especially true.
 
Find things that you can create for function and durability, for color therapy, for stress management,
and for just learning something new to stimulate our brains, yet calm our souls.
 
 
 
Abbie is comfortable this morning with her skirt flying up, taking a nap in a quilt that someone long, long ago, spent their creative juices, making something fun, and functional, probably unknowingly helping to cope with the difficulties in life by soothing the soul.
 
So, your script for today is:
 
Soulfully Stitch
 
1 session BID (twice a day) prn (as needed)
refill: forever
Name brand necessary
 
 
Jennifer
 

6 comments:

  1. Awesome prescription! Love all of your springy colors!

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  2. Thank you Jennifer for your beautiful blog and endless encouragement. I love the prescription! (and am so happy to hear there is evidence to support the therapeutic benefits of stitching). Your past few blogs re knitting and dishcloths make me immediately think of my Aunt Clara. She is 88 and I keep her supplied in cotton yarn for dishcloths as she is still able to knit them despite her impaired vision.
    Thanks as always for sharing your life and loves with us - you are truly an inspiration. Have a great week, Wanda

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  3. Thank you Jennifer for your beautiful blog and endless encouragement. I love the prescription! (and am so happy to hear there is evidence to support the therapeutic benefits of stitching). Your past few blogs re knitting and dishcloths make me immediately think of my Aunt Clara. She is 88 and I keep her supplied in cotton yarn for dishcloths as she is still able to knit them despite her impaired vision.
    Thanks as always for sharing your life and loves with us - you are truly an inspiration. Have a great week, Wanda

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  4. I always love your posts Jennifer, but this one is especially nice. Loaded with information that all us ladies can use. Also, many nice pictures to help us stay updated on your knitting adventure. I can feel your enjoyment of it through your post for sure.

    Love you lots girlfriend.

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  5. I just started knitting too! I'm making a scarf also. It's not pretty to watch me knit as I haven't got a good rhythm yet! I also work as a nurse but have had some medical problems and have been off work for 2 months, plenty of time to knit and cross stitch! Plus, I have a house in the north Georgia mountains too that I can't wait to get back to.

    I enjoy reading your blog so much, keep up the good work!

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  6. So true, I always feel better if I have stitched or knitted at the end of the day. Or spent a day at the weekend being creative making things. Good job on all your cloths and knitting.

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Jennifer

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