I am a 20-year-old grandma. I like baking, flowers, and playing cards. Technology baffles me, and my ideal Friday night involves peace, quiet, and early bedtimes. Because of my inner 80-year-old, I have an unwavering bias toward knitting.
Since we live in the 21st century, knitting has little practicality. After the invention of manufactured clothing, fussing with tangled yarn and wooden needles seems completely unnecessary. Knitting isn’t practical, and it isn't cool. However, I still love it.
Knitting is relaxing, or it becomes relaxing with experience. After initial struggles, your fingers memorize the movements and move smoothly and easily. Knitting helps channel nervous energy, and once you learn the stitches, you can settle that nervous energy into an easy rhythm.
Once you are relaxed, you can take time to sit in silence without feeling antsy. Wifi, texting and email accelerate our already fast-paced lives. We know we should slow down every once in a while to spend time with our thoughts. I do not mean to suggest that there is some mysterious link between knitting and soul-searching. However, I have been corrupted by Netflix, Spotify and Pinterest, and I find it hard to unplug and do nothing even when I want space to think. Knitting gives me a chance to sit in silence without going stir-crazy.
Knitting also gives me an excuse to take a break without feeling useless. While I do like to use knitting as a chance to unplug, I also like to knit while watching TV. Again, this ability may only come after some knitting experience, but once you can divide your attention between the screen and your project, it’s a way to kill guilt. After all, you’re not wasting your life and shutting off your brain; you’re making something.
Finally, knitting is just gratifying. It’s a chance to create. It’s not easy, and I have encountered numerous snags, dropped stitches, tangled messes, and mistakes. However, the challenges just make me even more ridiculously proud of the finished product. My first few projects were shapeless blobs, but now, I can play with color, patterns and stitches. I cannot explain the satisfaction that comes from freeing a project from the needles, looking at it and thinking, Yeah, I made that.
Unlike the millions of coloring books I made my way through as a child, knitting projects have uses whether functional or decorative. On top of that, you can give your knitted creations as gifts. A wonderful feeling accompanies gift-giving and giving something you made only amplifies that satisfaction.
If you want a hobby that makes you cool or edgy, knitting probably isn’t the way to go, but if you want a hobby that will give you some time to relax, sit down and create, you may want to give knitting a try.