Why Knitting Should Be Your Next Hobby

why-knitting-should-be-your-next-hobby

As terrible and challenging this last year and a half was for many people, it has also seen millions of people around the globe picking up their knitting needles and starting a new trend. Many celebrities have outed themselves as keen knitters and crocheters, such as pop divas Demi Lovato or Katy Perry.

And that the nimble art of needle-swinging is not merely a gender thing has been sufficiently proven by male actors who are declared knitters like Russell Crowe or Hollywood hottie, Paul Rudd. These days a Tiktok video has gained millions of views showing ABBA composer Bjorn co-knitting a festive sweater with his friend, “LOTR” star, Sir Ian McKellen.

What’s more, there is virtually not a single high-street fashion house in the world that has not released a “home-made knitwear” line this year. Knitting has become a hot trend everywhere.

Some people still think knitting is for grannies in rocking chairs, though. I’ll give you a clue. Have you ever seen a granny who knits and seems unhappy? Exactly. Even cartoonists depict the knitting granny as a witty, funny, and utterly caring character. Think your favorite Looney Tunes granny. This sweet, old lady knows what she is doing. Knitting has so many mental and physical benefits, I don´t even know where to start.

Let’s, therefore, unravel some of the most important reasons, why knitting should be your next hobby, too:

1. Knitting is inclusive and reinforces empathy

As a knitter, you are part of a worldwide community. There are countless forums on social media sites where you can receive tutorials, share information, or exchange patterns. As the basics of the craft are the same everywhere, knitting is almost like a universal language.

The knitting community welcomes you regardless of country, color, age, or gender. When you bump into a fellow knitter in the park or on a train you will find how quickly you can connect and communicate through your hobby. Many introverts have found their knitting group a fantastic vehicle to meet other people who not only share the same enthusiasm but find it also perfectly acceptable to sit heads down and be quiet while working on your project.

2. Knitting is the new meditation

We have all been there. You are sitting in your best lotus pose on your meditation cushion, eyes closed, trying to focus on your breathing. And all of a sudden invasive thoughts start racing in your brain, or worse, the only thing you can think about in that particular moment is your itching nostril.

Give your hands something to do, like knitting, and tara! – you are suddenly all focussed and relaxed. What has happened?

A 2009 study has found out that knitting and crocheting induce deep relaxation in your brain, once you have gone past the initial learning lessons. This is called by psychologists “the relaxation response”. In our hectic day-to-day routine, sitting down and knitting is like pulling the plug. The rhythmic clicking of the needles syntonizes automatically with the movements of your hand and your breathing. Time stands still, cortisol levels in your bloodstream and your blood pressure are lowered.

3. Knitting reduces stress and anxiety

Once you start knitting on a daily basis you will quickly realize that not only do you feel better, you also sleep better and develop healthier eating habits. During the pandemic, knitting came as a blessing for many people who struggled with stress, anxiety, and depression. Focussing on your pattern helps you to keep ruminating, negative thoughts at bay. And while knitting may be addictive, it will certainly help you to keep from other, harmful activities, like drinking, smoking, or eating junk food.

If you are stressed out because you are struggling with your college work or have had a hard day at work, knitting can help you find your inner balance and put things in perspective.

4. It is not expensive, and you can practice anywhere

Learning the very basics of knitting will cost you just a handful of dollars. With a basic set of mid-sized wooden needles, such as our Basix single-pointed needles, and some colorful, inexpensive yarn from the dollar store, you are good to go. You can even knit on the go while having to queue or during a college class.

5. Anyone can learn knitting

Knitting is so easy to learn, and you can practice it from a very young to a very high age. That does not mean that knitting is boring. There are some mind-boggling lace and cable patterns around which require all your concentration, and quite a bit of skill to complete them. But you can learn the basic stockinette stitch in a few minutes, and off you go to knit your first headband or hat. Start with a small project, one that you can finish easily, and slowly increase your goals as you get more experienced.

6. Knitting makes you smarter

Knitting improves your hand-eye coordination, it stimulates your fine motorial skills and creates new synapses in your brain. Studies with primary school kids have shown that they were able to memorize quicker and became better readers when they were taught to knit.

 Knitting is mathematical and logical work. You count rows, recognize and memorize visual patterns, while constantly reassessing how much yarn you are going to need.

Knitting has also proven beneficial for Alzheimer’s’ patients as well as for people who suffer from severe PTSD.

7. No Limits! You can be as creative as you want

Who says that knitting is monotonous toil? Once you have started, you will soon realize that your creativity is experiencing a big boost. While you are focusing on your project your mind is already visualizing how it looks when finished.

After a while, you will find yourself making changes to the patterns you are knitting, or perhaps creating your own projects completely from scratch. There are an endless number of different stitches to learn and a whole world of knitted art out there. All you need are some skeins of yarn, two needles, and your imagination.

8. Knitting gives your self-esteem a boost

In a world of fast and senseless consumption, making something as important as your own garment or a piece of accessory can give you great satisfaction. As a beginner, finishing your first piece of work will make you feel you have accomplished something worthwhile. What’s more, you can share your work with other like-minded people on social media and get instant feedback. Nothing like creating an item from scratch and feeling like a star designer. And the good news is, –  the more experience you get, the more self-confidence you gain.

9. Knitting is a mindful practice

When you are knitting you are in the moment. Everything else comes to a halt. You are hyper-focussed and zone out but in a healthy way. You know that each and every stitch counts, however small and insignificant it may be. Drop one, and your whole garment will unravel before your very eyes.

When you knit, you are fully immersed, and your mind becomes your sanctuary. Our Mindful Collection of knitting needles are not only beautiful to look at, they are also designed to enhance your meditative state of mind.

10. Knitting makes you happy

It sounds perhaps a bit too general, but it is true. Crafting something with your hands and watching your project grow, triggers a continuous dose of serotonin in your brain, the neurotransmitter of calmness and wellbeing.

People who suffer from natural serotonin lows, like people with ADHD or autism can regulate their hormonal levels in a daily knitting session. Therapeutic knitting is also recommended for chronic pain patients and people with chronic fatigue as your focus is turned elsewhere.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.