Posted in Carolyn Upshaw, Hobbies

Knitting’s Positive Effects on Mental Health

Knitting pic
Knitting
Image: lifehack.org

Outdoor enthusiast Carolyn J. Upshaw is a graduate of Cincinnati Technical School with an associate degree in business management. In her free time, when she isn’t pursuing activities such as mountain climbing or snorkeling, Carolyn Upshaw enjoys knitting.

Knitting as a hobby has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to a surge of interest in the practice among people in their twenties. No matter a person’s age, taking up knitting can have several positive impacts on a person’s mental health.

Perhaps not surprisingly, knitting helps to reduce the symptoms of stress. The practice typically requires a knitter to sit still and focus on performing a few repetitive motions with the hands and fingers, giving the process a soothing, meditative element. Focusing on the task at hand and relying on muscle memory to complete the work can draw one’s attention away from feelings of stress and anxiety.

Knitting has also been shown to play a positive role in preventing cognitive decline in older adults. A study published in 2011 by the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences found evidence that elderly individuals who regularly engaged in crafts like knitting and crochet showed fewer signs of cognitive decline than those who did not participate in such activities.

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Posted in Carolyn Upshaw, Hobbies

The Benefits of Knitting

Knitting pic
Knitting
Image: lifehack.org

Carolyn J. Upshaw is a practitioner of crafts, and she possesses significant knowledge and experience in a variety of disciplines. Among these various skills, Carolyn Upshaw is an accomplished knitter.

Knitting is a wonderful hobby that allows an individual to not only learn a new skill, but create something in the process. In addition to the joy that hand-crafting an item can bring, research also indicates that knitting can have a positive impact on a person’s physical and mental well-being. Here are some ways that knitting has been shown to be helpful.

Researcher Dr. Herbert Benson, who studies the link between the mind and the body in health and wellness, says that the repetition of activities such as knitting can help lead a person into a meditative state. Once a person is comfortable enough to knit without much thought, they then go into “auto-pilot” mode, which can lead to a state of mind that reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels in the blood.

Additionally, people who are suffering from chronic health conditions or are otherwise disabled can see a boost in self-esteem from activities such as knitting. As they begin devising a plan of how they will knit a piece of clothing, they can be inspired to plan other healthy activities for their life as well.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia also found in 2009 that women who suffer from anorexia nervosa showed significant improvement in their battle against the disease when they were taught how to knit. Nearly three-quarters of the 38 women involved in the study reported that knitting lowered their fear levels and gave them something else to focus on.

Posted in Carolyn Upshaw, Hobbies

Knitting Tips for Beginners

Knitting pic
Knitting
Image: craftsy.com

Having graduated in 1987 from Cincinnati Technical School in Pennsylvania, Carolyn J. Upshaw holds an associate’s degree in business administration. In her leisure time, Carolyn Upshaw enjoys participating in a number of hobbies, including knitting.

Knitting can be a wonderful and fulfilling pastime. For those looking to take up the hobby for the first time, there are some things to keep in mind that can help you get off to a great start. Here are three helpful tips for beginners to knitting.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knitting supplies available. Focus on buying a few different types of needles and then experiment to see which ones you enjoy working with the most. Get comfortable with the actual process of knitting, and learn the basic techniques before spending a lot of money on different supplies that you may not end up using.

On the subject of cost savings, start out with less expensive yarns. As as a beginner, it is likely to be common to rip out stitches and make other knitting mistakes. This means that the yarn, more than likely, is going to be frayed and stretched. Consider your first yarns a training ground in this respect. You may be tempted to buy fancier, more expensive yarns, but it’s important to stick with more budget-friendly yarn while learning.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to watch YouTube tutorials on performing certain techniques. Some people are better able to learn when they can watch in real time how a stitch is performed. While books are an important learning tool, watching tutorial videos can sometimes help bridge the gap between the concepts in the book and the actual practice of implementing them.

Posted in Carolyn Upshaw, Hobbies

Bonsai Care Tips for Beginners

Bonsai Care pic
Bonsai Care
Image: proflowers.com

In her free time, Carolyn J. Upshaw pursues a variety of outdoor hobbies. An avid gardener, Carolyn J. Upshaw enjoys planting and cultivating bonsai trees.

The first step to growing a bonsai tree is to acquire a specimen. You will need to decide whether you wish to grow the tree indoors, in which case you will need a sub-tropical variety, or outdoors.

You will also need to choose whether you would like to cultivate a ready-grown bonsai or a pre-bonsai, which includes tree material you can shape yourself. Starter kits are also available, though some intrepid gardeners opt to take the three to five years necessary to grow a tree from scratch.

When your tree is ready for shaping, you will need to learn to prune. The most successful pruning uses concave cutters, which allow wounds to heal fastest. You can begin pruning by removing all but one branch growing at the same height and cutting away any branches that are unusually twisted or that grow thickly at the top of the tree.

Pruning is generally most successful during the spring and summer. All year, however, you will need to be careful to keep the tree in direct light and water it as needed. While summer is also the ideal time for feeding the plant, fertilizer helps keep it healthy through winter and spring.