In a world where we can simply walk into a shop and buy just about anything, we forget that at some point in time these articles were all created by hand. Sweaters, shirts, dresses, hats, scarves, whatever you have used to be fully created by hand.
Knitting, first recorded in the 5th century, is a technique of taking material and manipulating it to create a product that we can use/wear. When I was eight, I watched my mom work on a scarf for about 2 months. Every time the TV was on, she’d be working on that scarf. During her breaks and lunch time, she and a couple of her work buddies had a small knitting club. By the end of the two month period, she gifted me this beautiful multi-colored single stitch scarf…. And of course, being eight years old, I managed to lose that scarf in less than 2 weeks.
Putting aside my carelessness, during my senior year in college my interest in knitting sparked. I got my first pair of size 9 and size 16 needles. I bought them because I saw that they were the only two sizes available at the time. I didn’t really know what I was buying, but I don’t regret it! They’ve helped me create some personal masterpieces! The same month I ordered $75 dollars worth of yarn. I had SO MUCH YARN! I knew one stitch that could create one thing… SCARVES.
So let me take some time to lay out a couple of points on why you should consider knitting!
- It keeps the mind and hands busy.
Anxiety and restlessness is no stranger to some of us. Needing to stay busy, and making sure we are being as productive as we can, can lead to some pretty nervous moments when free time wiggles their way into our busy schedule. By knitting, we can help ease that worry, tricking our bodies that we are doing something very productive.
In addition to keeping our hands busy, our brain is now focused on the patterns we are determined to create for our project. Our muscles in our fingers will find the stitches a bit awkward in the beginning, but then find that it becomes buried in our muscle memory. The oddly relaxing ability to anticipate the next movement to complete and repeat your knit stitch is irreplaceable.
The repetitive motion can be relaxing, and the pattern creation can be mentally engaging. Some studies say knitting makes the brain sharp — as much so that it could decrease the chance of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30 to 50 percent in seniors!
- You can do it anywhere!
Knitting is as portable as our phones! Find a canvas bag laying around the house and put your knitting supplies in there. A few balls of yarn and your needles. You can take your needles with you on trips, outside to the park, while you wait at the doctor’s, wherever! Find out what is the most fun and relaxing location for you.
You might get a couple of strange looks — but I promise you people aren’t judging you negatively. They are just curious about what you are doing!
- It helps build community
During my senior year I spent all day with residents (as a resident assistant), friends, work, and people in general. I needed alone time — an activity that I could do in the safety of my 16×10 dorm room – away from people, away from being needed. The introvert was screaming inside of me. So… I decided to knit . I planted myself on my futon, turned on Netflix, and started to knit like there was no tomorrow.
Knitting soon became a necessity while I was watching TV. When I started the Anime Night and Ghibli Night event, I brought my knitting bag down to the main lobby, turned on the TV and started my routine. Soon enough, residents who were not really interested in watching TV with me expressed their interest in knitting. This was the birth of a new event: Knitting Circle.
I brought the idea to my manager, and he loved it! We put on an event where we provided everyone with standard needles, yarn of their choice, and a space where they could learn new stitches, or improve the stitches they already knew.
- You can show off those skills!
Like with a lot of things, practice makes perfect! By putting together your skills you can perfect your creation and show it off! If you’ve knitted something practical you can take it with you in your everyday life and put it to use! If you have mad skills and knitted a doll, you can show it to everyone, and gain interest!
Whether you are new to knitting or have been a pro for quite some time, I think it’s time to pick it up and start sharing it with others. I know it hasn’t been easy to keep ourselves busy during this time of the pandemic. I think a great knitting habit will help us flaunt our beautiful creations while keeping us calm as we move towards our post-pandemic lifestyle.
Can’t wait to see all your creations!