Did you know that women age 60 and older have a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer's disease in their lifetime? Women are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's compared with breast cancer, according to a report from the Alzheimer's Association.
The good news is you may be able to delay or even prevent Alzheimer's disease if you knit when you are in your 50s and 60’s. The Mayo Clinic team found that those who spent their 50s and early 60s reading, playing games and engaging in various craft hobbies, including knitting and quilting, had a 40 percent lower risk of memory impairment than those who didn't have hobbies. In later life, these same activities reduced the risk by between 30 and 50 percent.
Another interesting fact is that 24% of women and men mistakenly believe they are only at risk for Alzheimer's disease if they have a family member with it. This is simply not true. "Anyone with a brain is at risk," says Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer for the Alzheimer's Association.
I first experienced Alzheimer’s disease when I was 18 and worked in a nursing home to help pay for college. One of my patients was a wonderful elderly man whom I cared for daily. He was tall in stature, character, and wit. I’m sure he was a wonderful father, husband and a pillar in his community, and now he was struggling with the realities of Alzheimer’s. One day while his wife of 50+ years was visiting, he had an episode where he became very disoriented, and we had to restrain him until he regained his orientation. I sat by his side to calm him down and watched him as he stared across the room at his wife. She had a look of sadness and despair that she could not hide. I then looked at him as I held his hand and saw a stream of tears rolling down his cheeks. He realized something had happened, but he had no recollection of the event. To this day, I still feel the helplessness yet deep love and conviction shared between these two soul mates as they dealt with the effects of this disease.
There are no easy cures for Alzheimer’s but keeping your brain active seems to be a good preventative measure. When the weather is cold outside, or you are just older and less active, skills like knitting and crochet can provide stimulation for your brain and a little bit of fun! You have to follow the patterns or your patterns will not come out right. Many of our students comment on how they have to “focus” to get the pattern perfect. It becomes a challenge for students to reach and expand their knitting skills. We push our students to strive to be the best they can be while giving a helping hand all along the way.
We encourage questions as we feel the only stupid question is the one that is never asked! If you feel you would like to give knitting a try, stop by our store and we can get you on the road to success. We have a full calendar of classes on knitting, crochet, spinning and even needle felting to carry you through the summer while you explore the fiber arts.
In case you have not heard about us, Alpaca Direct is a direct merchant of high-quality yarn, socks, apparel and gifts. We carry a full line of fiber art accessories, including hundreds of needles and thousands of yarns. Our unique selection of products also includes Peruvian hand-loomed lace scarves, warm alpaca socks and cuddly alpaca teddy bears.
Our building is handicap accessible, with ample parking and is easy to find. We are located on Hayden Avenue, just two blocks west of Hwy 95 at 1016 W Hayden Ave. in Hayden. your local destination for luxury yarn, socks, apparel & gifts. “Like” us on Facebookand Yelp for exclusive coupons, product spotlights & news!
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We've been seeing faux-fur pom poms everywhere lately—they're so cute! They add a touch of chic to any knit hat pattern.
Shop owner Kelley figured out how to make faux-fur pom poms at home, easily and inexpensively, with faux fur from the fabric store and items she had around the house. She's so clever.
Here's a video of the process.
I discovered the Norrland Hat pattern on Ravelry and decided to take on the challenge. I love the trees and snowflakes, and I have never done colorwork and cables at the same time. Since I love learning new things, I bought the pattern immediately and cast on.
I made some modifications, including turning the hat into a slouch instead of a beanie, and I wanted to explain those in case you want to modify your project, too.
Hats are the knitting trifecta: small projects that are useful and make great gifts. You can most hats done in a short time, and many are one-skein wonders.
Here is a variety of free hat patterns, from beanies to slouches to earflap hats, that are guaranteed to suit your gift-knitting needs this season and for years to come.
Note: Please use the following sizing chart for general reference only. Sizes between different vendors and manufacturers may vary. Please match your measurements to those in the size chart below.