Mariette, a friend of Wovember from Rotterdam, has written today’s post about how particular wool and wool textures are part of her therapy ‘tool kit’.

Through a childhood in difficult circumstances I grew up learning not to listen to my own feelings. In the end I did not even know they were there. After several problems in adulthood (burn out, RSI, depression, anxiety disorder) and several therapies (CBT, psychotherapy etc.), I came upon a more helpful path: through mindfulness and creative therapy I slowly learned to discover my feelings and understand myself better. And wool is helping me a lot.

Touching wool helps me to discover my feelings and to come close to them. I first discovered that while working with Dovestone, a 100% wool yarn from Baa Ram Ewe. I made a sweater with it and and I loved cuddling with the stockinette sections. It seems almost as if the wool itself gives me comfort. Afterwards I made a hot bottle cover with the leftovers, because I wanted this yarn in my bed!

wool-clad hot water bottle
The comforting, wool-clad hot water bottle

After a couple of years in creative therapy I am more daring with staying close to my negative feelings, but it is still difficult to discover them. However, almost always when I squish the cozy I start to cry – no matter if it is hot or cold. It is just the wool that makes it happen. Maybe I can feel safe, because I know that the wool gives me comfort and helps me when I come closer to negative feelings.

I have been thinking about this more and more. It is still a mystery to me what it is about the wool that makes this happen. Not every wool helps as much. Superwash yarns do not give me comfort, that’s for sure. The softest yarns like Merino do not work so well, and maybe it helps when the yarn is woollen spun. On the moment I am knitting with Cornish Tin II from Blacker Yarns, and that gives the same effect as Dovestone.

Am I the only one with this experience? I would love to hear whether others have found wool helpful in their work with negative feelings.

Mariette, thank you so much for sharing this. We appreciate your openness and know you are not alone in this. Feel free to comment and discuss your own related experiences. Words and Images © Mariette.