Knitting and Crochet Group's benefits are three-fold: first of all, our members learn the techniques, both basic and advanced, of knitting and crochet. This involves teaching by those who have a particular skill, learning by others. We also use resources like the internet, books and patterns – sometimes, in the case of the latter, these are vintage or shared ones. Absolute beginners are welcome to the group as are people who are already proficient.
Secondly, it is well-recognised that knitting and crochet are therapeutic. Both skills can be used as a distraction from physical pain as well as from stress and anxiety. Giving your hands something to do is an absolute boon when you feel restless; the repetitive act of making stitches is soothing, using some lovely, soft, colourful yarn is cheering, and a difficult pattern is great for adding a few new neural connections in the brain.
Whatever you have crafted, you can be sure it will receive a smiling recognition when you bring it to our next meeting. One of the unspoken tenets of the U3A is to offer friendship and support to members. Ours is a relatively small group that meets in the house of our leader; a by-product of this is that we have been able to share good times and bad and help each other.
And thirdly, as well as making things for ourselves, family and friends, some of us provide knitted and crocheted articles for charities like Oxfam, Teddies for Tragedies and 'Knit a square' for Aids orphans in South Africa. We also knit for premature baby units. Producing items for the poor and needy in itself has psychological benefits for the individual.
On top of all this we enjoy each other's company, swap stories about our day to day lives and often have a good laugh whilst enjoying a cup of coffee.
Because of the current situation, we can only meet outdoors, weather permitting, with social distancing in place, but we have managed to have 4 sessions so far since the restrictions on meetings were eased slightly.