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Woman teaching others to knit around Massachusetts after it improved her mental and physical health

How a woman improved her mental health through knitting and why she hopes others do the same
How a woman improved her mental health through knitting and why she hopes others do the same 02:21

NEWTON -  For one Massachusetts woman, picking up a pair of knitting needles has helped her mental health. Now she's helping others do the same.

Why knitting?

"There's something about the repetition of it and the movement," said Kristen Lambert, founder of Third Piece.

Lambert has been knitting now for 10 years. She started her business inspired by other women who turned to knitting in stressful times.

"Your brain and your body is allowed to be very mindful at that point in time," she explained.

Now, she works to inspire others by going to businesses across New England, from local dentist offices to Google, helping employees manage stress by teaching them to knit.

Physical and mental benefits to knitting

"You can actually see the physical effects to it on top of the mental," added Lambert. "Your heart rate can start to decrease, your nervous system can start to hopefully find a rhythm to it."

A graduate student from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that knitting brought calmness and structure to people with mental illness. Knitters in the study said the occupation improved their short and long-term health.

"There's a lot of repetition that helps to send calming signals between your brain and your body," explained Lambert.

Boston Medical Center ICU nurse Amy Hunter says the practice has helped her mentally and physically.

"It was a great way for me to find an outlet where I could do it at home and it was something other than looking at my phone," said Hunter.

Hunter worked with Lambert when she taught a group of BMC nurses some techniques to help their stress amid the pandemic. Hunter says she now tries to knit at least twice a week.

"I will say I'm not the best at it, but it doesn't really matter it's just something I think as an outlet for calming me down from work," added Hunter.

"Really nice outlet"

Lambert hopes to continue to share the benefits of knitting with different communities, one ball of yarn at a time.

"You work what - 40 plus hours a week, so having the ability to step away from the screen and do something with your hands is a really nice outlet," said Lambert.

For first time knitters Lambert sells knit kits, she also hosts knitting circles at her Newton studio.

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