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heart disease overview > stress management >

Knit Away Your Worries

1 of 6

The subtle, rhythmic click-clack of knitting needles can be a stress reliever. Test out that theory with this easy-to-make big-stitch scarf.

Photo by Jason Donnelly

When the daily stresses of life get out of control, find a quiet spot and pick up some knitting needles.
           
The repetition and rhythm of knitting (or crocheting) elicit the relaxation response in your body, say researchers at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. It’s the opposite of, or counterbalance to, the brain’s flight-or-fight response to stressful situations.
           
Knit this scarf to help you unwind. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
Yarn: Biggy Print by Rowan, 100% wool, 3.5 oz. (100 g), 32 yards, super-bulky weight: 4 skeins #246 Razzle Dazzle

Needles and extras: Size 19 (12 mm) knitting needles, blunt-end yarn needle, crochet hook (size G or larger) for fringe

Gauge: 6 sts and 9 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in pattern; take the time to check your gauge

Finished scarf measurements: About 7-1/2 x 60 inches

For more help, visit YarnStandards.com for a downloadable booklet with knitting information compiled by the Craft Yarn Council of America. The booklet contains standard sizing information, abbreviations, yarn weights and sizes, and more.

Download a printable PDF of instructions here.

 
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