Knitting 'offered therapeutic help to cancer survivor'

Online knitting classes bring crafts to busy homes

Knitting is well known for its ability to relax people, giving them a therapeutic way to pass time, while also being productive in making fabulous woollen items.

It can also offer much support to people going through difficult times. Individuals like Tanya Parieaux, who this week told Issaquah Press that knitting helped her get through her battle with breast cancer.

The Washington resident was first diagnosed in 1996 and then for a second time in 2009 and found it difficult to take her mind off her illness.

"I had a hard time focusing on television and reading books and things, because I just keep thinking I have cancer, I have cancer, I have cancer," she told the newspaper.

But thankfully, Ms Parieaux said: "Knitting was something I did where time would pass so quickly."

After reigniting her love affair with the craft, she soon began working her way round the high dose chemo floor at the University of Washington Medical Center with a selection of yarns and needles, offering lessons for anyone keen to try knitting for themselves.

This soon developed into the Knit for Life charity, which currently meets at 14 hospitals and cancer centres in western Washington, distributing free materials and lessons.

Ms Parieaux explained: "Because of the cost of medical care, which I personally was experiencing myself, I wanted it to be free… so that everyone who sits down with us is equal."

Meanwhile, Amy Christian, manager of the Swedish Cancer Institute Issaquah and Eastside Oncology, where the latest group is based, praised the programme for bringing people together.

"Sometimes, the traditional support group isn't necessarily what works for everyone, and doing something with your hands and being productive and creating something while having people to talk to about your experience and what you're going through really helps," she added.

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