I had a thought the other day. Well, it was actually almost a month ago, and it’s taken me this long to actually formulate my thoughts on this.
Why do I knit?
It sounds like a simple enough of a question. Truthfully I don’t get asked this too much, most people focus and inquire as to what I’m knitting instead. But it got me thinking, why do I do this? Why do I make time for this? Why to I spend an obnoxious amount of money on yarn and fiber to continue to do this?
Everyone needs a hobby, studies have shown that people are happier with some form of creative outlet they enjoy, articles such as this even go on to talk about the health and mental benefits of the Crafty Calling. Knitting does this for me in more reasons than one, but not in the ways you might suspect. Some people think it’s just an awesome, albeit slower, way to make your own clothes and accessories with your own personal touch. This can also be true. Sometimes though, you just have to go bigger than that. We as humans are so complex! I’ve compiled a list of the more unconventional reasons I have continued to be a knitter all these years, maybe you find yourself here too.
5) Be Productive with Purpose
I do not like idle time. I do not like to waste my time, nor anyone else’s. I’m Type A to the core and if I am not able to multi-task, I’m slowing the train down. Trainings are the worst if I’m not actively interested in learning to topic. Knitting to the rescue! I can work on finishing a project while learning. Now I’m not going to trudge an entire sweater in with my measuring tape around my neck, scissors, magazine with the pattern in it and the rest of the yarn I need to finish it with, that would be rude. I will however, have a sock pattern or nothing larger than a hat with me. I typically keep a sock project in my car, no joke.
Sometimes in public settings such as this, people will frown upon you. This has only happened twice in my life, and only one of these times was it from the lecturer. She was my sophomore biology teacher, and she crocheted, so, no brainer there that she didn’t want me knitting in class, (Albeit I was one of the few taking notes). The second time was for a training on the psychological damages of sexual assault, this was from a rather passionate dame in the back row to whom I had corrected an answer to a question. She got all up in my business on a break asking if anyone ever told me how offensive it was to knit during a lecture. The stranger next to me, (a man who also knits no less!!) pointed out that over half the people there had been texting all morning. She left.
In all seriousness though, you can literally take knitting everywhere.
I particularly love to take a small project like these handkerchiefs on my hikes and walks so I can catch my breath. Hell, if you’ve got some cotton or nylon yarn, take it scuba diving! Let me add that to the bucket list…..
4) Flaunt Your Fandom
If you nerd out to it, there is a knitting project for it. If you’ve actually read the Harry Potter books like I am, for instance, you will note that there is a whole lot of knitting going on with some major Characters! Even the new-age stuff like Divergent, Game of Thrones, the list goes on. If you love it, there is a never ending resource of knowledge and patterns so you can REPRESENT with pride!
You can be as outlandish or subtle as you want. You can create your own exact replica of a costume piece or you can embellish with the smug knowledge that only a few people will know what you’re rocking.
3) Restrain Your Inner Assassin
True Talk: We’ve all wanted to kill someone. It’s sad, macabre, a little strange, but true. Right now it’s popular on Pinterest and various T-Shirts that say “I _____ So I Don’t Kill People”. Anger is natural, it happens, and there are just some people that you wanna blow away from the face of the earth.
When you knit…you can at least fantasize about it.
Think about it people. You knit. You are always, ALWAYS armed with no less than two pointy stick, scissors, and enough yarn to both strangle and restrain someone while you do it. Vampires don’t stand a chance at High Noon if you’re packing a set of wooden ones, (like this beautiful set from Knit Picks my cousin Brooke for me for my birthday a few years ago). If you’re knitting socks on Double Pointed Needles, is it not satisfying to envision the torment of shoving the ends under the nails of those who did you wrong? With every stitch you make, imagine each loop on the needle as an eyeball.
Have I really thought these thoughts? Yes I do
Does it make me feel better? Yes it does.
Has it kept me out of jail thus far? You bet it has!
There are always going to be stupid people out there, you’re just going to have to deal with them. I specifically hate those who lack basic powers of observation who continue to ask me questions when I’m trying to count stitches. Out Loud.
2) Save a Life
If you want to donate your knitted goods to newborns in need, the homeless, anyone who needs the protection from the cold, go for it. Many blessings and good Karma you’re way, homey! But this post is about thinking outside the box.
About a month ago, I found this article, and it cemented my decision to go back to school and enter the medical field. This article is a BIG DEAL. This article describes how women in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, are knitting and weaving devices called Occluders, which are used to block holes in the heart without having to undergo open heart surgery.
DUDE…Holy Freaking CRAP! Can you even wrap your brain around it?!? A skill that has been around since no less than 10,000 B.C. is now saving lives in the country with the highest child mortality rate in the world!! I am still freaking out about this! There is even Medical Yarn, people!! This ain’t your typical Ugly Sweater Party people, THIS. IS SCIENCE!!!
1) Because YOU CAN
I’ve had this motto forever, even had it engraved inside my high school graduating class ring. I have found that knitting is like handwriting. YES. HANDWRITING. I have knit with people, I have taught people how to knit, even taught someone over the phone when she couldn’t understand the book, and by the time one finishes their third or fourth knitting project, everyone has their own style of knitting.
Now that I have a new job where I’m back on a Day Walker schedule, I’m able to actually continue teaching knitting. One of my most handsome friends asked me to teach him how to knit, and because I’m on night shift, all I could do was hand him some yarn and needles, refer him to Youtube, and pray. My work hours were THAT AWFUL, dudes. But then I realized something…being a good friend, I wanted to make sure he was able to see a good video tutorial that was good quality and would make since to him, when I realized NO TWO VIDEOS are the same!! There are not many tutorials of people who knit like I do…I plan to fix one. When I found Chandi of Expression Fiber Arts and her beginner’s tutorial, I figured this would be the best one for him, Love her yarn, love her personality….until she got to the section of how to Cast On, the very first thing you do in knitting…and as I watched, I was like… What the heck is that?!? The two-fingered cast on method is completely alien to me. Quite frankly that is the freakiest thing I have ever seen.
But that’s what I mean about knitting and hand-writing. Everyone finds their flow. Everyone finds their style. About a year ago when I was teaching my former roommie Other Rachel to knit, I noticed that as she went along, she started knitting LEFT HANDED. Again, I was like…what?? But I didn’t say anything or correct her. She had found her own style. She found what worked for her despite being right handed.
This is going to be cheesy, but you really can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t be discouraged when you’re first getting started, you gotta drop stitches before you can make perfect eyelets, (You’ll learn, I promise). Practice makes Progress.
So, there you have a few hidden perks of being a knitter. If you’ve tried it and failed, try again. If you’ve always wanted to learn but doubted yourself, dig deep, take that chance, give it a try. Believe in yourself.
I believe in you, if it makes you feel better.