Taking up a simple and calming craft like knitting is a great way to decompress. But if you’re feeling burnt out, you might want to put down the sharp and pointy needles, because recent studies have confirmed that knitting is the number-one most stressful stress reliever in the United States.
When 25-year-old Jolene Barker’s boyfriend broke up with her last month, she decided to relieve some of the stress by knitting a hat for herself. “I thought that knitting would help me heal, but I couldn’t taper the damn thing to save my life,” she said. “It was just a never-ending tube. I felt trapped by all the expensive yarn I’d purchased and also alone because I was just sitting inside by myself trying to figure that shit out.”
32-year-old Kerri Welkie also suffered from futile attempts at the craft. “At first knitting was really great,” she said. “The repetition was meditative, and I got into a nice rhythm. Then I dropped a stitch and it ran all the way down the sweater to the hem. I spent the next 14 weeks dragging it back up and stress-crying until I eventually had a panic attack. I didn’t sleep for five days. It’s just not worth it. Go sit in a hot tub instead.”
Lifelong knitters deny that knitting itself is the cause of stress, but instead emphasize that poor or sloppy technique is to blame for knitters’ personal turmoil.
“Knitting is hard enough,” said Michelle Swenk. “But then to get judgmental looks from the pros at the yarn store? I have to pop a Xanax before I go in there, every time. I’ll never live up to their fancy cable knits.”
Other stressful stress-relievers that topped the study include:
- Mandatory journaling
So what’s left for a stressed out person to do to calm down? Here are some more relaxing options:
- Laying down for awhile
Some doctors also recommend getting a massage, but only from a place with masseuses that won’t make you feel weird.