Whether you struggle with anxiety or simply love a giant, cozy hug, weighted blankets are amazing self-care. If you haven't heard of a weighted blanket, it is an extra heavy thick blanket that evenly distributes pressure to your whole body, providing security. They are soft, secure, and have multiple benefits. Think of a weighted blanket like a safe cocoon.
For many years, weighted blankets have been used in hospitals to reduce patient stress and anxiety. In recent years they have become available to the general public. Designed to be most effective when they are 10% of your body weight, they are known to ease stress and anxiety, help with panic attacks and even allow for a more restful night sleep.
Although they are cozy and warm and snuggly, there is actual science that substantiates the benefits of weighted blankets. One study reported that laying under a 30 pound blanket for only 5 minutes reduces anxiety. Another study found that 60% of patients hospitalized for a mental health crisis reported lower anxiety levels when using a weighted blanket.
Deep pressure stimulation is the concept behind the effectiveness of weighted blankets. It is the same concept that leads us to swaddle infants to increase their sense of security.
As weighted blankets grow in popularity, they are offered in various materials and colors. The chunky knit Napper is our personal favorite, but it is plain and expensive. There is no need to pay for a mass produced, plain colored weighted blanket when you can knit your own bright and colorful DIY weighted blanket.
First, decide what type of feel you want your weighted blanket to have. Whether you prefer Merino Wool or organic cotton, muted colors or big bold hues, this is YOUR weighted blanket and you are free to create it however you choose.
If you are knitting a weighted blanket for someone with sensory issues, mercerized cottons are wonderfully soft and don't have any scratchy fibers. Plus, cotton is heavy, so achieving the proper weight isn't a challenge.
Famous for its renewable and biodegradable properties, Australian Merino wool can be used to create the most luxurious weighted blanket around. Softness, warmth, and strength are easily achieved with this wool and the best part- no pilling.
If you plan to knit a lighter weighted blanket (in the 5 pound range), a soft, snuggly polyester/nylon blend will work well. Still bulky with a bit of weight, this yarn is best for a child's weighted blanket.
Need help with Finger Knitting? Read this--> How to Cast On and Finger Knit Super Bulky Yarn
With this free weighted blanket pattern, you will be in a finger knitting groove in no time. Knitting your weighted blanket will take approximately 4 hours to complete and the end result is spectacular.
A video tutorial can be found in the Zen Yarn Gardeners Facebook Group. Join us there.