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Research shows knitting is beneficial to your brain

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Sure, those sweaters and hats your grandma knits you are great. But a new case study suggests that the process of knitting is even better than the result.

Sarah Huerta, who was diagnosed with PTSD after her brother died, found a creative outlet in knitting that relieved her pain and sadness. Huerta isn't alone: In a recent study of more than 3,500 knitters by The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81 percent of knitters with depression reported feeling happy after knitting.

Recent studies have also shown similar effects in subjects who participate in other forms of crafting and creative activities, including quilting or crossword puzzles. "Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain," said Jacque Wilson at CNN. "It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging."

Participating in crafts isn't a replacement for grief therapy, but it may help those in pain find an outlet to deal with their sorrow. And as an added bonus, you'll be the one giving homemade gifts next holiday season.