Olympic gold medals and crafts

It’s official: knitting is good for you. Actually, knitting, sewing and quilting are all good for you. They absorb your attention and require the engagement of your hands. They de-stress you by drawing your mind away from its key preoccupations.  I have written about this before (click here to see the post).

So it’s wonderful to know that British athlete Lizzy Yarnold is a knitter! In addition, she is unafraid to speak about it.  Lizzy’s sport is the scary-looking Skeleton. Here she is in action.

Lizzy Yarnold on her Skeleton
Lizzy Yarnold on her Skeleton from her Twitter account @TheYarnold

The Guardian dated Monday 19 February reports that on the morning before the big race Lizzy woke early after just a few hours sleep and ‘chilled with knitting’.  Clearly, this did the trick! She has just won an Olympic gold metal for the skeleton in Pyeongchang, four years after winning gold in Sochi.  Huge congratulations, Lizzy!

Lizzy Yarnold
Lizzy Yarnold, photograph by Mike Egerton/PA

The Guardian goes on to report Lizzy as saying ‘My nan taught me to knit years ago and passed away two years ago and so it’s a great way to feel connected with her’.  How great to hear about skills being passed down the generations.

Another example came to my attention this week of textiles providing therapeutic benefit and confirming emotional links to a grandmother: a beautiful quilt made by Sherrilyn Wood. It is fashioned from fragments of her grandmother’s housecoats, Sunday dresses and golf shirts and was made as a gift to the quilter’s father.  Sherrilyn is speaking at the QuiltCon event in the USA about quilting and the bereavement process.

Georgia Marie Wood (1917-2003) by Sherrilyn Wood
Georgia Marie Wood (1917-2003) by Sherrilyn Wood

Three weeks ago, I blogged about the idea of a Crafts Weekend here in Durham (UK) for absolute beginners to learn to make a quilt. I know that this is a pastime which (once the basics are learnt) can last a lifetime. So I’ve gone ahead with a couple of dates. All the details are here.

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