Recent neurological research tends to confirm that mobility and dexterity in the fine motor muscles, especially in the hand, may stimulate cellular development in the brain, and so strengthen the physical foundation of thinking.
“In the Middle Ages, the craft of knitting was introduced alongside weaving and braiding. Although the origins of knitting are obscure, old woodcuts and medieval illuminations place its appearance in Europe at about the same time that the game of chess and the mathematical approach of algebra became known to Westerners. Indeed, among the earliest knitted textiles discovered in Europe are two Islamic-inspired knitted cushions, whose patterns one of whose patterns suggests castles on a chessboard. It is significant that the most intellectual of games and the most cognitive approach to numerical problems accompanied the development or knitting. It was as though a new degree of adeptness in the hand had to go side by side with newly-discovered capacities in the head.”