When I try to describe the process of learning to knit to people, it usually starts out the same way: “Knitting looks so much harder than it actually is!” And the truth is, knitting is surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it. I myself was deeply discouraged the first day I tried to teach myself knitting; I’m pretty sure I almost screamed from frustration.
Once you get the hang of it, though, everything about knitting is a breeze. And if you, like me, enjoy mindless tasks to help relieve your stress, you’ll be absolutely ecstatic to pick up your needles and start a new project.
The nice thing about knitting is that you’re more likely to be told, “Hey, get off your phone!” than “Hey, put down your knitting needles.” I’ve carried my knitting with me to classes every day since September, and not once has a professor told me to stop. After all, I’m still listening– my hands are just doing something else. As someone with ADD, it’s incredibly easy for me to get ansty and immediately look for something to keep me occupied in class. By knitting, I can keep my motor skills sharp and entertained, while still staying attentive in class.
The benefits of knitting extend far beyond focusing, however. Dozens of studies have shown that knitting can decrease depression, manage stress, and even prevent arthritis in your hands. It’s also a great social tool- the person sitting next to you is bound to ask you what project you’re working on. I’m happy to say I’ve earned the reputation at my college as the “cute knitting girl.”
Essentially, the rhythmic act of knitting creates a relaxation response in your body. Knitting literally changes your brain chemistry, even extending as far to decrease your blood pressure and strengthen your immune system. Because knitting serves as “mental exercise” for your brain, it even reduces the chances of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. My personal favorite aspect of knitting is that I am creating something beautiful and intricate with my own hands. It really is a great confidence booster to finish a scarf and think to yourself, “Damn, I made that myself.” And trust me, friends and family will feel so grateful to be gifted with your cute knitted creations.
If you are considering taking on knitting, consider looking into any social knitting clubs/gatherings in your area. Maybe you can even be the founder of your own stitch-and-bitch club.
Shoutout to wikipedia for some of the nitty-gritty details of my article!
Coming up: What’s in Season for the Month of November?