Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Knitting and Alzheimers/Dementia

While I was blow-drying my hair this morning, a thought came to me. I realize that many of you may consider this thought strange. Okay, with all honesty out on the table, much of what I consider on a daily basis, most individuals would consider strange. However, that is another matter entirely. As I have been knitting, I frequently refer to either the instructions or the chart for the pattern, whatever the case may be. Knitting instructions, in an of themselves are sometimes harder to interpret than Egyptian hieroglyphics. I can assure you, that I am not the only one who holds these truths to be self-evident. Every knitter I converse with says the same thing. Not all instructions are worded in a way that is easily decipherable. In the process of figuring out what majestic work of knitterly art the designer is helping me aspire to, I have a lot of thinking to do. (I am assuming said designer has, in his or her heart of hearts, good intentions for me and my project, and does not purposely mean to frustrate me and my knitting to the point of rashly and angrily deciding to flush said project down the toilet, gobble it up in a garbage disposal or stomp up and down on the darn thing like a two-year-old in a full blown tantrum.) With all of that thinking and interpreting, I am in a full-blown state of reasoning, analytical thinking and decision-making, too.

So, let's take this one step further. There are many articles and probably a plethera of studies about what we can do to keep our minds sharp as we age. Would it be too far-fetched to conclude that knitting can actually help in warding off or slowing down the process of Alzheimer's or demetia? I believe so! (All other knitters out there, please say "I concur!") I know there are other factors involved in these diseases or conditions, but I figure I can now use this one as a sword against all those who look at me while I'm knitting in public (and for those, too, who do the same while I'm knitting in private - you know who you are), and think that I am two rings shy of a three-ring circus. I mean, if the government can give grant money for a study about happiness and smiling being contagious, then why not do a study regarding knitting and Alzheimer's/Demetia? Well, I'll leave it to you to consider for a while...

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