A new study from Britain has found that knitting may offer some benefits for the brain. The results are very early, but more studies are underway and scientists hope to find further evidence that knitting and other craft activities can help alleviate depression and anxiety and increase happiness.

There is a growing body of evidence that creative hobbies can be good for happiness and well-being, but this recent study focused solely on knitters. Over 3,500 knitters were surveyed and the researchers concluded that knitters reported better cognitive function and that knitting frequency was correlated with feelings of happiness and calmness. Knitting in a group seemed to make the benefits even more profound. 

Some researchers posit that activities like knitting create a state of “flow” – which is what creates the feelings of well-being and happiness. To learn more about this theory, check out this TED video in which Dr. Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi explains how flow can lead to increased happiness: