Knitting as a hobby used to conjure up images of little old ladies making blankets and crocheted doilies on tops of dressers. Today, there is a surge of knitters in the younger generation (say, 60 and under) and knitting is becoming more and more popular. But why? Obviously I love these crafts because I enjoy them but it goes deeper than that.
Knitting connects me to my past.
Both of my grandmothers knit and while one died before I was born, snuggling up with an afghan she made makes I feel like I'm connected to her in a special way that no one else in my family can claim. Since knitting used to be such an everyday task, I'm sure I have lots of women (and maybe even some men) in my family history that sat down with yarn and needles. I feel like I'm keeping that aspect of my ancestry alive.
Knitting keeps my hands busy!
Easily portable and sometimes mindless, knitting keeps me from getting bored. I knit while I watch tv, ride in the car, and I even take it with me to restaurants when I know there will be a long wait. I can be productive at almost all times!
I love turning nothing into something.
This is true for most crafts but I especially love it with fiber arts. Turning wool into yarn and then yarn into a hat, socks, or a sweater? That is the ultimate "Look! I made this!" moment. For someone who has dealt with depression and needs small victories to feel accomplished, this is a huge part of why I do what I do.
It's very cerebral.
It may not seem like fiber arts involve a lot of thinking, but math plays an integral part in all three of these crafts. There are drive ratios and twist angles in spinning and pattern repeats, increases, and decreases in knitting and crochet. Not to mention adjusting sizes in things like sweaters. Once you start following pattern, there are charts, repeats, and color changes to keep track of. Make no mistake, fiber arts take brain power!
It connects me to an amazing community.
I have met so many creative, generous, and highly individual people through knitting. Finding out someone is a knitting (or crocheter or spinner) gives you an instant bond. Ravelry has been a huge part of meeting people as has the Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup game that I play. Knitters are incredibly generous selling patterns with proceeds going to every charity you can think of, making hats for chemo patients, and blankets for kids in the hospital. We also send hats and mittens to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, our troops, the homeless, and veterans.
Every item is made with love.
That sounds cheesy, but it's true. I can easily go out and buy any of this already made at any store in America. The things I make involve not only my time, but my desire to make whoever it's going to end up with happy. I literally will spend hours searching for the perfect pattern and yarn combination for gifts. Every stitch is done by hand and every project made with a lot of thought put into it. Seeing a smile on someone's face that has received something I've made is the ultimate thank you.