A new initiative has been launched in Exeter that will see knitting groups established to help people improve their psychological wellbeing.
The Knit-Stop is a social project that has been made possible thanks to £22,270 in funding from HealthContact through The Health Lottery, the Exeter Express and Echo reports.
A host of knitting clubs will operate completely free for members as of next month and it is hoped that men and women of all ages will join in. Although they will initially run for six weeks, it is likely that members will be given the chance to continue meeting up if they wish.
Even those who are unable to knit can still come along,, as instruction and plenty of colourful yarn will be provided.
Project coordinator of The Knit-Stop Debbie Judd said: "I truly believe - and I've seen it happen - that knitting in groups can help keep people and communities healthy and happy. I want our knitting groups to give all people, whatever age and whatever issues they may face, the chance to explore the therapeutic and creative possibilities of knitting in a supportive, friendly and fun setting."
However, it won't just be participants who reap the rewards - their comments and experiences will also be used by researchers at The University of Exeter Medical School to analyse the therapeutic benefits of knitting groups.
HealthContact's Chris Lunn said the organisation is "delighted" to be able to support such a worthy cause.
Anyone who is interested may be pleased to hear that two of the venues involved with The Knit-Stop are The Hidden Treasure Tea Room (where knitting starts on February 28th at 14:00 GMT) and St Sidwell's Community Centre (February 28th at 13:30 GMT).
Groups like this could be springing up all over the country if the research proves their benefits to wellbeing. The government is currently trying to combat what it says is an epidemic of loneliness and community-based hobby groups may well be among the best ways to fight it.