Episode 142 – Craft Psychology – Dr. Anne Kirketerp

Episode 142 has a very exciting program! We now have scientific evidence to support why we should invest our time in knitting, and this is the topic of our featured interview with Dr. Anne Kerketerp. Dr. Kerketerp is a Danish psychologist and researcher with a Ph.D. in Psychology but she is also a fully trained craft person. For the past years it has been her mission to expand the research behind the psychology of crafting and she recently published a book called Craft Psychology! In Knitters of the World, we take you to the south of France to meet the designer behind Yarnflakes, Audrey Borrogo. And on top of that, we have a fashion show, updates on our knitting projects, and a crazy comedy of errors tutorial with myself!

Craft Psychology - Dr. Anne Kirketerp

As a researcher, Dr. Anne Kirketerp noticed that there are more than 50,000 published scientific articles linking physical activities like sports or exercises with health and mental wellbeing, but only 400 scientific articles linking crafting with health and wellbeing. So whenever people have problems, doctors and psychiatrists can easily prescribe physical exercise because there is a ton of scientific evidence supporting the benefits. But as a crafter, Dr. Kirketerp knew firsthand how good crafting is for our wellbeing.

So it became Dr. Kerketerp’s mission to enhance the scientific evidence that crafting can promote mental well being and overall health. This would make it easier for doctors and psychiatrists to prescribe specific forms of crafting to patients with ailments like anxiety or early onset dementia, rehab after an accident or even eating disorders. What is additionally brilliant about crafting or knitting is that it is passion-driven, and that’s often not the case with prescribed exercise.

From interviewing 200 crafters she saw that how we pursue our craft can be categorised along 2 dimensions. The first describes whether our knitting project is more creative (making everything up ourselves) vs. recreative (following someone else’s instructions). The second “individual – social”-dimension describes whether the project involves one individual or multiple people collaborating. The health benefits gained through knitting can vary across the four resulting quadrants of this diagram.

One of the potential benefits of knitting is entering a state of flow. During flow, you are highly focused on the task you’re doing, you feel very in control (or competent), and you lose track of time. You also don’t get distracted by your thoughts or environment. But there are certain conditions for getting into flow:The difficulty of your project must match your skill level and you need a clear goal and immediate feedback. It also helps to be in a distraction free environment, so nothing breaks your concentration. During flow, the brain releases dopamine and serotonin which helps us cope with negative stress. We also become more creative and learn faster.

Finding Dr. Anne Kirketerp

Patron Special - Craft Psychology

Dr Anne Kirketerp’s book “Craft Psychology” is currently being translated from Danish into English and will be released on the 23rd of May. She is kindly making the first two chapters available as a free download to Fruity Knitting Patrons! So you will able to get an early taste of the book! I think this is a great offer because it’s such an interesting topic. So, thank you very much to Dr. Kerketerp for this generous offer! Fruity Knitting Patrons can find the chapter here.

Knitters of the World - YarnFlakes - Audrey Borrogo

in Knitters of the World, we take you to the south of France to meet the designer behind Yarnflakes, Audrey Borrogo. Her grandmother taught her the basics of knitting in childhood. But when she wanted to enhance her skills, like most knitters in their 30s, Audrey turned to online resources like YouTube and blogs. Meanwhile Audrey has become a knitwear designer!

Audrey always tries to bring balance into her designs. She loves to use a variety of techniques, ranging from lace, colourwork, twisted stitches and geometric patterns. She is particularly fond of Japanese lace which she incorporated in her Oleander sweater that she is wearing. Her Dedale Cowl was, originally, a mystery KAL and is inspired by the character Daedalus from Greek mythology. Daedalus was an architect and craftsman who was ordered to imprison the Minotaur in a Labyrinth on the island of Crete.  

Finding YarnFlakes

Patron Discount - YarnFlakes

Audrey is kindly offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a 30% discount on all her self-published patterns in her Ravelry store. She really has lots of gorgeous patterns, so enjoy looking through her shop and thanks very much to Audrey for the generous discount! Fruity Knitting patrons can find all the discount details here.

Support Fruity Knitting as a patron

One of the first things people assume when we tell them we’re full-time YouTubers is that most of our work hours consist of knitting. That would be a very luxurious job 😀 In reality, we work at least 40 hours a week, usually more, and we get our knitting done outside of work hours. So, as you can hear from this, producing Fruity Knitting is not only great fun but also takes a lot of time and effort. And it’s our way of making a living. We’re not sponsored by anyone and we don’t make money off YouTube advertisements. All ad revenues go to whoever owns the copyright of the music we use.

So, if this show adds value to your knitting life, then we ask you to support Fruity Knitting financially as a Hebridean, Merino, or Shetland patron. You can become a patron for the price of just one coffee per month. And when enough of you do this, it makes a big difference to us!

Under Construction - A Comedy of Errors

In the last episode, I showed you my latest project, the Lola Pullover by Claudia Quintanilla. I was feeling very happy because it was flying off my needles, and I proudly held it up, having finished the body with only the two sleeves to go. Then, not long after releasing the episode, I read through some of the comments, and I came across a comment that said, “Is it just me, or can I see a mistake in Andrea’s latest project?”

My original mistake: I have two wagon wheels squashed together.

I immediately went and grabbed my knitting, and sure enough, right across the chest, there was an obvious mistake in the lace pattern that I hadn’t previously seen at all. The design has an intricate all-over lace pattern. The round circles which look like wagon wheels are arranged in vertical rows. But each subsequent row is offset from the previous one, creating a staggered effect. But when I put the sleeves on hold and joined the body in the round, I started on the wrong pattern row. In the end, I had two wagon wheels squashed together.

I made the scary choice to cut open my lace knitting, fix the mistake and graft everything back together! I filmed myself along the way, but this is not a tutorial; rather, it’s an experiment caught on camera. After hours of concentrated work, trying, unpicking and trying again, I successfully grafted the two pieces back together again! I celebrated, Madeleine congratulated me, until… 

I realized that I had grafted the wrong rows back together again! Madeleine says that it’s definitely still an improvement. I think I will leave it and wear it as a garment with a story to tell… 

Music Credits

  •  Prince Igor, Polovetsian Dances (Borodin), performed by MIT Sympphony Orchestra, used under Attribution-NonCommercial License.
  • Canyon Breeze performed by Montana Skies, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
  • Sugar by Peggy Lee, from the album “Songs from Pete Kelly’s Blues”, ℗ A Capitol Records Release; ℗ 1955 UMG Recordings, Inc., Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group.
  • J.S. Bach, The Well Tempered Klavier, Fugue No.2 in C minor, BWV 847 performed by Kimiko Ishizaka, used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

6 thoughts on “Episode 142 – Craft Psychology – Dr. Anne Kirketerp”

  1. Oh, gosh! This was the episode for my young student and me today! I’ve been gone for awhile and she continued working on her sweater and had several issues to take care of. Finally it was ready to sew the shoulders together and we were so busy watching Andrea fix her lovely blue lace sweater that we didn’t notice Nora put the wrong shoulders together until she was done. It was an easy fix, but we had a good laugh about this episode being the perfect one for us today!
    Andrea, we admire your persistence and we think you should just call that final mistake a design element and enjoy the lovely sweater!
    My students and I love your program and look forward to new episodes. We are eagerly looking forward to the next one from Festival.

  2. Great show on Craft Psychology! I understand that the book is in English now but so can’t see where to buy it. Any ideas?

  3. This episode was so inspirational with Dr Anne. It certainly justifies what many of us do, but often feel that sitting around and knitting is a guilty pleasure, but having a different perspective is refreshing. Yes it’s true that not all of us were ever designed to exercise for relief of tension and stress, often the opposite occurs when the attempt was made.
    The sweater that I would have set aside after discovering the error also provides hope that one should persevere if the object is beloved. Glad to know that even professionals are willing to share their glitches! Brave on figuring out a reasonable solution.
    Looking forward to next episodes.
    PS. Have been making Alan Dart projects for years and have usually felted them with some pattern modifications so that looser gauge will not distort finished item. Gauge is truly the answer. Love your figures.

  4. I’m going to have my husband listen to Dr. Kirketerp’s interview. He works with AA members, has an active woodshop and garden, and rides his bicycle thousands of miles/year. He will certainly appreciate the discussion of “flow”. Thank you for including it. And I’m going to get her book.

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