End of August and beginning of September means back to school for many kids around the world. My school years were over a long time ago and even my kids have nearly finished their compulsory schooling. Emily is about to start her final year of school. This time of year always makes me think of learning new skills.
For a while now I've felt that learning new skills as we grow older is good for us. I'm not a physiologist but I have observed in my workshops that, whatever their age, knitters who regularly challenge themselves to learn new things seem to pick up new techniques quicker than their peers.
And according to research, learning is good for you. Challenging and stimulating our brains may well be the key to a vibrant later life. Learning new skills can also increase your confidence and happiness.
According to this article, the exercise of learning itself stimulates the brain and helps to keep your mind sharp. Learning something new in one area can have a ripple effect in others, contributing to longevity and good health in later life.
By discovering things you're good at and expanding your skills, you can increase your self esteem and gain a sense of pride from your achievements. And it's good for your brain. Learning stimulates the brain and keeps it sharp.
There's also the social aspect of taking a class, especially when it involves a hobby. You get to spend time with people who share your passion. You may even make new friends.
So why not spend some time improving your favourite hobby this autumn? I teach in yarn shops around the UK as well as online. This autumn I'm teaching lots of classes at Spin A Yarn and Social Fabric in Totnes, at the 3 Bags Full event in Cornwall, Sitting Knitting in Birmingham and La Mercerie in Wales.
I've started listing this autumn's workshop programme on my website.
If you prefer an in-person class I'm teaching Professional Finishing Techniques class at Social Fabric on 18 September.
So which new skill will you be learning this autumn?
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