Knitting 'offers relief from Parkinson's Disease'

Mulberry 'hires grandmas to hand knit designs'

Knitting is often credited with having therapeutic benefits, and one woman from New Zealand claims that it also helps her to cope with Parkinson's Disease.

Thelma Parkinson, an 88-year-old from Te Aroha, Waikato, told Stuff.co.nz that she had been knitting for more than 80 years and after being diagnosed with the condition three years ago she has found that her favourite hobby is the one thing that stops her from shaking.

She told the publication that deserving children in the area are reaping the rewards of her condition, "because for some reason knitting stops me from shaking," she said.

Ms Parkinson explained that the relief is probably due to the focus she must maintain while using her knitting needles.

"My brain is concentrating on the knitting so the symptoms seem to stop," she said.

This is often very helpful should her condition wake her up in the night, as Ms Parkinson joked: "I've been known to sit there in the dark and knit away quite happily until I fall asleep again - I'm pleased no one comes in and sees me because they would probably think I'm daft."

Thanks to her incessant hobby, Ms Parkinson has made a large collection of children's toys, which are then bagged up and taken to charities such as The Salvation Army, St John and the Child, Youth and Family Adoption Services.

She told the site that she felt very humbled by the gracious response from the charities and loved receiving letters of thanks.

The expert knitter went on to say how she learnt to knit at the age of seven, however after asking her mum she was told that the family couldn't afford to buy her a set of needles as they had nine kids to care for.

Instead, she approached a local butcher and began using wooden skewers and string, before buying her own needles and yarn. 

To make your own knitted toys why not check out Rowan's Esther, Ernie & Enid Easter chicken patterns?

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