Why I Make Things With Sticks and Strings

At this point, I've got a reputation amongst my colleagues for having a large amount of hobbies. Art, sewing, baking, cooking, embroidery, gardening and more… but my one true hobby love has always been knitting.

Knitting is a hobby long associated with grandmothers - a large basket of yarn next to a comfy chair, used to make sweaters, shawls, huge blankets and scarves. But knitting's history dates back to ancient Egypt, and throughout its history has typically been something done out of necessity, not as a hobby. From elaborate tapestries to fisherman's sweaters to socks/gloves for the army in World War I and II, knitting was something that was done because you had to, not necessarily because you wanted to.

So why has it evolved so much and persisted to modern day, even in developed countries where we can easily purchase machine-knit items in stores? It turns out, knitting has a surprising amount of benefits.

I've been knitting for over half my life, and I've never done so out of necessity. I started knitting when I was 16 because it had started becoming trendy, and I wanted to make some of the things I was starting to see in magazines. Once I got over the infamous learning curve, I fell in love with the entire process of knitting.

Firstly, there's nothing like the satisfaction of finishing a hobby project. To start with the barebones ingredients for your project (in this case, two knitting needles and some yarn) and down the road, having made a thing that you can wear or use? That rush of completing a project is a novelty that has yet to wear off.

Secondly, knitting helps settle my hands. I thrive on being busy and as such, I fidget a lot when sitting still. I'm always craving something to keep my hands busy. Once you get used to knitting, a lot of simple projects can be worked on without even looking down at your hands, making it a fantastic hobby for people like me who fidget while watching TV. Now I can put my fidgeting to good use and make a pair of socks with it! :)

Thirdly, knitting is surprisingly meditative. The repetitive motions of one knit stitch after another is calming to the mind and allows me to be mindful with my thoughts while focusing on the simple task of one stitch at a time. After a busy, stressful day, I'm always eager to sit down with my current knitting project to work a few rows and relax before bed.

If you've ever been interested in learning knitting, give it a try! I highly recommend it. There are endless tutorials online, and websites like Ravelry have a wealth of patterns and communities able to offer guidance and advice.


- Allie