During old age, one of the most important things is finding enjoyable and healthy ways to spend your time. Some of the typical activities partaken by the elderly are crocheting and knitting. Although these have often been used interchangeably, they are different.
While knitting uses two needles, crocheting uses only one. With knitting, the stitch patterns resemble loops whereas with crocheting they resemble tiny knots. Even though they both involve using yarn, the techniques are different which is why most people would prefer one over the other. This preference is usually dependable on one’s personal choice and their ability as well as the end goal in terms of the patterns they wish to come up with. Despite this, knitting for seniors is usually recommended as opposed to crocheting.
Apart from being one of the most enjoyable hobbies one can come up with, knitting with a pair of circular knitting needles also has many other benefits ranging from the end product to the effect it has on the physical body as well as psychological one. It is believed that staying active mentally, slows the progress of dementia.
The impact of knitting on the body has mostly been compared to that of meditations as it allows the person practicing it to feel at ease. This calmness comes from the fact that after the body gets used to the repetitive motions they become more relaxed and stress-free. The activity usually requires the person to pay attention to what they are doing which also contributes to this calmness as it prevents the mind from wandering. In addition to these, when an elderly take on knitting they take on a project which when is completed becomes an accomplishment that they can be proud of thereby helping them feel good about themselves.
One of the best ways to keep yourself busy is to start knitting. Most elder people usually have a lot of spare time that can easily translate to boredom. Knitting for elderly therefore helps them focus on something else that uses their creativity to enhance their skills.
They can even teach those skills to younger generations which make it more enjoyable. Although it is perfect for introverts and seniors under home care, knitting can also be used to enhance social behavior such as in cases where a few people who enjoy the activity come together to share their skills and experiences.
Most elderly people struggle with memory loss issues whether they are short term or long term. At that age, most face conditions such as dementia that causes memory impairment. With knitting, the person gives their brains a challenge which helps in keeping the brain sharp. This is mostly applicable when they use different styles and patterns each time. This new challenge to the brain every time keeps them motivated and improves cognitive reasoning. Another advantage of being acquainted with a pair of knitting needles comes from the fact that the brain and the hands have to communicate to perform the task at hand. This constant communication, in turn, improves the “motor skills” and helps the person become more flexible.
Whether you want to knit a blanket or other pieces of clothing, there are several patterns you can choose from. Some of the patterns are complicated and therefore suitable for younger people while others are simple yet still great for elderly people. Some of them include:
For the blankets, you can try the eleventh-hour pattern which is not only “enchanting” but also very beautiful. The best aspect of this pattern is its simplicity which is also the factor that makes it great for the elderly. The result is always an amazing piece of a blanket with strong edges that don’t tear off easily.
Another pattern is the “mill throw” which involves knitting different panels that are then used to join the patterns together. This pattern may be time-consuming but it is great at keeping the elderly busy and the end result is always unique and gorgeous. The yarn afghan is another cute pattern that is made using small squares of different styles which are then knitted together at the end. Other available blanket patterns for the elderly include color block, ten stitch zigzag, and basket weave.
Other patterns that the elderly can try out are the honeycomb stroller, Sunny blanket, four corners blanket, and heart blanket. These usually make a smaller blanket that they can use to cover their legs for extra warmth.
With these patterns, knitting for seniors should be a thrilling and engaging exercise. They are simple and easy to remember which means they do require a lot of effort on their part.
Caleb Gonzales is a retired carpenter who grew a passion for knitting after learning the art from his wife. After she passed away he has since taken on the responsibility of knitting socks, hats, scarfs and the sorts for his grandchildren.