Hey folks, welcome to 2016!
The New Year journey usually starts with making resolutions. Here is one you can definitively add to your list: why not start knitting?
Of course, one can easily picture Grandma spending countless hours making those itchy sweaters you had to wear during your childhood. But knitting has become more and more popular over the last few decades, even among the younger generations. Just to illustrate how big this trend is, the online community of knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers, and dyers on the website Ravelry amounts to almost 6 million users. It is easy to get started, even if you do not have a lovely granny or a friend to teach you. A lot of tutorials are available on the Internet for free, on dedicated websites, blogs like Craftsy or on Youtube so that you can learn from basic skills up to very advanced techniques. So, why don’t you embrace the movement and get your needle ready to click?
Here are 10 reasons that should convince you to get knitting.
Who hasn’t heard or read that “knitting is the new yoga”?
The rhythmic and repetitive movements of knitting can put you in a state of extreme relaxation. Some knitters even say that they even experience a meditative state. Indeed, while knitting, your heart rate decreases, as well as your muscular tension, blood pressure and you breathe slowly and calmly. It allows you to have a quiet time during which you concentrate on what you are doing, which takes you away from the daily pressures. Many surveys and researches have proven that knitting can help, prevent and manage pain, stress, depression, anxiety, etc.
2. Connect with people!
In many ways knitting has a strong social aspect. If you knit in a public place, someone will always come and chat with you, either because this person will explain that she/he is interested in learning how to knit or just to admire your work.
Then, you can join knitting groups or clubs, like the famous “Stitch’n’Bitch” groups. It is a good way to share experiences, tips and to learn from the more expert knitters.
If you prefer to knit at home on your own, you can still join an on-line community, or a forum and to exchange at some point with other knitters on patterns or difficulties you may face.
3. Boost your creativity!
Knitting is a great activity to give free rein to your imagination through the choice of colours, types of fibres (wool, cotton, acrylic, mixed fibres, etc), stitches you can use, along with the numerous tutorials you can find on the Internet. Even a beginner knitter can go beyond patterns, and can be very creative just by knitting a simple scarf in stockinette, which yet offers infinite possibilities of shades, stripes, textures, designs and so on.
4. Knitting suits any kind of purse
First of all, knitting does not require expensive equipment. Then, many many patterns are available for free on Internet: Free Patterns.com, Ravelry again, Love Knitting, etc. With a bit of experience, you’ll easily get to write your own patterns.
Regarding the yarn, there exists an extensive range of fibres and prices. So, depending on the kind of yarn you want to get, whether synthetic, acrylic, natural fibres like merino wool or luxurious ones like cashmere, and depending on how big your project is, the budget for a given garment can tremendously vary. Anyway, whatever choice you make, the cost will certainly be lower than the price of the same ready-made knitwear in a shop, but the value will be far greater since you made it yourself.
5. Knit anywhere, anytime!
A few yarn balls and a pair of needles take little space in a handbag, so it remains easy to carry your knitting almost everywhere. I personally particularly enjoy knitting in pubs and cafes, and when I travel whether it is on a boat, a plane, a train or a car.
But you can also knit on the bus while commuting to work, waiting for a late flight or for an appointment, even on the beach. And you do not necessarily need to spend much time on it. It can be just a row or two during lunch break.
6. Have a break from busy schedule and technology!
We are living in a fast moving world and knitting is the opportunity to slow down the pace of life, to focus on what you are doing, and as mentioned beforehand, to release a bit of stress at the same occasion. Knitting is a slow process for which you have to take your time.
Then, this activity allows you to do something else with your fingers other than typing emails or reports, texting on your phone, or web searching. So much work is intangible that actually making things with your hands gives a great pleasure and a feeling of control and mastery too. You can feel the yarn sliding through your fingers and see the work progressing.
7. Offer a present that matters!
There is nothing more personal, special and meaningful than offering a hand-knitted cardigan or mittens you made yourself to someone you love. Most people value the effort and craft. And if you know the person well enough you will be able to pick the colours she/he likes, and the right pattern.
Besides, it is common to find knitters involved in charity auctions to provide the homeless with hats, or blankets to children in hospitals, as is well explained in this article from the Irish Examiner.
8. Stimulate your intellect!
Even if knitting is not a matter of great science, it does represent a mind-stimulating activity. You have to learn how to decipher and follow more and more complicated patterns, learn new stitches and techniques. Moreover, you can easily end up doing a bit of mathematics as well, when altering a size or a pattern, using a different size of wool (so you will end up with a different gauge) or when designing your own pattern.
9. Knitting is rewarding
Knitting helps to build confidence and self-esteem. Indeed, there is a bit of excitement when you are done with a project, above all when the latter has required much time, effort, or getting new skills. You can finally contemplate your creation, flatter yourself for a job well done. In addition, this deep sense of satisfaction is proven to be an antidepressant and to increase well-being.
10. Knitting helps against addiction
Well, ironically, knitting can become addictive, but this healthy hobby can replace other habits like smoking, or snacking. It keeps your hands busy and your mind focused on the sweater, scarf or hat you are making so there is less room for the urge of the addiction. Some support groups help people to quit drinking or fight some eating disorders with knitting.
So now, why don’t you give it a try ? This awesome hobby is really easy to start and you’ll realise that your Grandma was so right to be dedicated to knitting.
Do not hesitate to share your experience!