Why I Knit (and Why You Should Consider It)

knitting on needles

Photo credit, Elitatt

I love knitting (obviously), hence why I have a blog and a shop and write patterns and so forth, but sometimes all the business stuff gets in the way of me actually knitting.  I spend time writing posts, updating my shop, researching new patterns, shipping items, doing bookkeeping (which I hate), and analyzing sales and costs and page visits and the price of yarn.

But today, this very morning in fact, I picked up my needles for the first time in probably a week (which is a long time for me).  Instantly I was reminded of why I love to knit in the first place, why I started this business, why I want to share patterns and ideas with the world, why I want others to find joy in knitting.  It’s not just for housewives and grannies anymore.

Knitting is calming, more so than many other “relaxing” activities.  Soaking in a hot bath, enjoying a cup of tea, laying on the beach or beside a pool, getting lost in a good book–while all relaxing and fully enjoyable–somehow don’t compare to how I feel when I’m knitting.  When I pick up my needles, all the stresses and problems of life just melt away, pushed to the edges of my mind to make room for knitting.

If I’m following a tricky pattern or trying a new stitch, I find that the focus and concentration on just one thing helps keep my mind from wandering, which in today’s distracting world can be increasingly difficult (for example, I’ve already taken 3 breaks from writing this to look at other open tabs in my browser).  That focus seems to reset my mind, so I’m able to think clearer even when I’m done knitting.

Conversely, when I’m knitting a familiar pattern or a simple garter stitch where I’m repeating the same motions over and over again without thinking, my mind becomes blissfully empty while my hands fall into a soothing rhythm and my eyes follow the strand of yarn passing over my needles.  Sometimes when I’m in this state, answers to problems that have been plaguing me for days just pop into my head.  Sometimes I’m able to daydream about whatever it is my mind wants to daydream about.  Sometimes I just sit there and enjoy being able to block out the rest of the world.

Other days though, knitting can be very social. One of my best friends in college was a knitter, and instead of going out to party, we’d spend our evenings knitting together, talking for hours into the night about whatever, and enjoying each other’s company. I truly believe knitting brought us closer together as friends.  And I know plenty of knitters who have knitting groups, or take their knitting with them everywhere they go, which can be quite the conversation starter.

But enough about me, what about you?  Why should you knit?  Plenty of reasons:

  • to relax
  • to reduce stress
  • to be social
  • to try something new
  • to expand your skill set
  • to feel a sense of accomplishment
  • to create something awesome from basically nothing
  • to make your own gifts
  • to make your own fashion statement
  • to express your creativity
  • to block out the rest of the world, if only for a short while
  • to be productive with otherwise unproductive time, like sitting in a waiting room
  • for fun!

And honestly, you don’t have to knit to get a lot of these benefits,  You can crochet, or sew, or learn some other craft that (like knitting) can seem a little old-fashioned. Using your hands to touch and feel and create is incredible empowering and a wonderful experience.  I encourage you to pick up a few needles and try it yourself, you may be presently surprised by the results.

colorful knitting

Photo credit, Sarah

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