I just looked at the calendar and what do you know, my 6-year knitting anniversary passed a few weeks ago on February 28th (yes, I know the exact day I knit my first stitch). In celebration I thought I’d write a post detailing WHY I love this hobby so. For the most part, unless you’re a knitter or I should say, a dedicated crafter or maybe just a dedicated geek who loves a thing hard, you might not get it, so allow me to explain.
Prompted by an internet friend (who I consider my knitting Yoda) to try something new when I mentioned that I casually stopped into a local yarn store, I took a class. Since then knitting has become a passion of mine that is as integral in my life as my adoration of cinema, all things geek and ranked right up there with my lifelong love of reading. I had no idea how deep down the rabbit hole I’d fall when I picked up those needles.
Knitting is fun! First and foremost I enjoy the process as much as I enjoy the product. Knitting keeps the mind nimble; it’s a scientifically proven fact that it has therapeutic benefits for the mind and body. It relieves stress and triggers “feel good” chemicals that make one feel calmer. I’m never NOT stressed sooo you kind of always see me knitting.
Knitting is portable. If I have a wait in any line, have time during a long travel, or even while visiting a friend, I can work on a project, bringing to mind another point. Knitting is multi-task friendly! I can absolutely knit and hold a conversation, watch television or a movie and regularly listen to audiobooks while knitting. Two great tastes that taste great together!
Knitting is an easy-to-learn skill. As with anything that is learned, there is a learning curve. However, it’s just two needles, one in each hand, and yarn being wrapped around and pulled through one loop at a time. I’ve never mastered chopsticks and I can knit. I don’t have amazingly fine motor skills or masterful dexterity and I knit. Some people hate the phrase, “If I can do it, you can.” But from me it’s merely to highlight that all you need is the desire to learn a set of needles and yarn, because a regular, very non-crafty person such as myself did.
Knitting is complex, but totally not at all! Knitting is sneaky as it can appear to be complex, especially intricate lacework with its delicate stitches and airy aesthetically pleasing “holes” that produce awesome scarves and shawls, but a knitted work of art is just made up of stitches, knit again…one at a time. But then there are patterns or techniques that still challenge you, prevent boredom, without making you want to burn your needles. Like good jigsaw puzzles where it takes a bit of patience and tenacity, but the pieces eventually come together and you have an awesome puzzle that you never glue and put on the wall like you intend to do. See knitting is better because you can wear it instead of throwing it back in the box!
Knitting makes you special. Yes, it does. Well for one, the aforementioned paragraph touched on the incorrect perception that learning to knit requires one to fall into a box of radioactive yarn, being reborn as some kind of shirted, female and probably not as fit Wolverine (although I do know a female bodybuilder who knits and could probably take him on with her nickel-plated needles). So sometimes I allow people to think I have magic fingers since they persist on such a notion. But in a real sense you will always make one-of-a-kind items. I’ve seen patterns on Ravelry (the knitting social network I want to marry) where hundreds of people have knit the same shawl. They all are unique, if by changing the pattern a bit, using a different size needle or just using a different weight, fiber or color of yarn. That, is the very definition of special.
Knitting is rewarding. Heck, I rarely knit for myself because for those who appreciate handmade items, a knitted gift is a treasured thing. And by treasured I mean worn until it falls apart which is the only way to love a hand knit. I smile when I see someone love what I’ve made them. It’s the good gift that keeps on giving. A physical expression of love for the craft and the recipient. Also, in just finishing a project I give myself a little victory cheer. I did it! I MADE a thing!
Knitting is NOT CHEAP (but it can be). If you catch the knitting bug then you’ll fight against SABLE..Stash...Above & Beyond Life Expectancy. I…have given up this fight. Plus you’ll want more needles, and more expensive yarn, and bags too; you have to have project bags. Um, but it can be inexpensive as you’d like too though. There are affordable versions of anything expensive yarn, tools, etc. You can buy everything you need at a local Joanne Fabrics, Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Don’t be like me people as I've acquired the taste for expensive and thrity alike so my stash of yarn and tools is just ridiculous.
I think of knitting as my perfect hobby and nothing could add to it more except finding at least one like-minded individual or gasp…a small group of like-minded yarn lovers. I have some true obsessive internet pals that will talk about knitting with me at 2:45 in the morning if I want about the finest detail of one particular yarn and would be willing to do a Skype knit along that early in the morning too, but I’m missing someone in meatspace who is willing to share even a percentage of my enthusiasm for yarn crafting. Oh, I’ll take a crocheter too, I don’t discriminate! I have many knitting supporters, those who will go with me to fiber festivals (which are amazing, yarn, swag, bags, doo dads, tools, classes. Be still my geek heart.) or who patiently act like they aren’t going to fall asleep standing up while I browse in the yarn store, but I can’t seem to ask (yup), beg (yes), bribe (tried it with my daughter) or coerce (desperate times call for desperate measures), anyone among my friends, family or acquaintances to join in on the fun. I haven’t even found any current yarnies who’d want to partake in the lovely group aspect of knitting, like a regular knit circle. You know how going a comic-con, big event sci-fi spectacular or equally adored artist at a live concert, is that much more amazing with people who share your feelings, so can the knitting experience. It can be a very communal activity and while I’m still looking to find my personal community I’m totally ok with doing my own thing and have preached enough on the topic to everyone who will listen. It would be fun to be joined, but it’s not to everyone’s liking and I’ll find that real-life group one day, but if not you know what?
Knitting is an awesome solo adventure! All I really need my needles, some yarn and I’m blissfully happy.
So that’s my ode to knitting. I could write a book and this post is almost as long as a book, but there are some really funny knitting books that exist by much more eloquent knitters. Yup, I read books about knitting too! Nerd (of knitting many other things. Hey if you’re going to love something, love it passionately I say.) and proud of it!