Knitting: science not fluff

In my previous life (not very long ago) I was the manager of a neuroscience centre -CINN, at the University of Reading, UK.  While there, I was very interested in knitting and the brain, and in the therapeutic benefits of knitting.  I connected with Betsan Corkhill, who is a trained physiotherapist and an expert on the therapeutic effects of knitting, and together we tried to thrum up an interest in funding scientific research on the topic.  (If you haven’t done so, you should read the interview I posted with Betsan here.)  While I’ve moved back into an academic post, I continue to be involved in the knitting research at the centre.

I am happy to report that we have now started a research project into knitting and wellness, run by Dr. Etienne Roesch.  Also engaged in the project are Felicity Ford and Lorna Hamilton-Brown.  Felicity (better known as Felix) is the author of the Knitsonic Stranded Colourwork Playbook which encourages knitters to find inspiration in the everyday and translate it into stranded colourwork design. She recently won a Best Practice award from the International Women’s Day for her collaboration with Kate Davies on a commemorative knitted quilt.  Lorna is an artist and film-maker, and an exuberant “knitting evangelist”.  Her Masters Dissertation from the Royal College of Arts is called Myth: Black People Don’t Knit, and she was awarded an MBE by the Queen.  I very much enjoyed meeting with them this week and look forward to our collaboration.

Lorna, Kelly, and Felix

Lorna Hamilton-Brown, Kelly Sloan, and Felicity Ford

Over 6000 knitters have already completed our questionnaire.  You can too!  Here’s how:

Do you like knitting or crocheting, regularly or even not so regularly? Would you like to be part in a study to explore the psychological effects from knitting and crocheting? If so, you can fill in our set of questionnaires at the address below. This should take only 10-15 minutes of your time. You will also be given the opportunity to play an online game and enter a raffle for a £50 Amazon voucher.

It’s a very stormy Sunday here in the UK, but I am happily holed inside with my knitting.  Hibernation is not just for bears!