I was taught to knit by my grandma as a child but very quickly got distracted by music and boys and whatever else teenage girls were distracted by in the ’80s and knitting was history! It just wasn’t cool!
It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I took up knitting again. I used to always be on the go and found it hard to sit down and do nothing. The trouble was my forever busy lifestyle wasn’t doing much for my health. Health issues crept up on me slowly and it wasn’t until I was close to burnout and my body and mind couldn’t cope with anything too strenuous or taxing that knitting found it’s way back into my life and then it was my lifeline.
Knitting meant I could be doing something productive, which satisfied the ‘always doing something’ part of me yet at the same time sitting in mindful (almost) stillness, resting and allowing my body the space and time to heal.
You don’t have to be living with a chronic health condition to find the superpower in knitting though, and if you’re already a knitter you’ll know some of the ways knitting reveals it’s superpowers.
Here are just a few…
The power to calm an anxious mind and create a little calm and stillness. This has to be hands down the most impactful of knitting’s super powers for me. I’ve suffered with stress and anxiety periodically for about the last 15 or so years and during these times I find knitting, combined with mindfulness and meditation (not necessarily all at the same time) to be a very healing combination. For me, knitting is a form of moving meditation and after so many years of mindful knitting practice my body responds by reducing the level of my anxiety.
The power to slow down an over active mind. This is similar but different to the point above. You don’t have to be living with anxiety to create a mindful practice through knitting. If you tend to have a racing mind that won’t let up, knitting could help. Gently bringing your focus onto the feeling of the yarn in your hand and the stitches you’re creating can have a profound impact and quieten that monkey mind.
The power to relieve loneliness. There are communities for knitters online and in real life. Ravelry is a fantastic platform to ‘meet’ other knitters in the virtual world. Search for groups which interest you, join in and get to know people. Joining a Ravelry group has brought me real life friendship too as I’ve discovered other knitters who live near by and we now meet regularly. If you prefer real life connections, knit groups can be found in most towns and I’ve always found them to be very welcoming.
The power to strike up a conversation with a stranger. If you’ve ever taken your knitting out in public you’ll already know that it can be a real conversation starter. Other knitters will come over and say ‘oooh I wish I’d thought to bring my knitting along with me’ or curious non-knitters might ask you what you’re making. Either way you can have a lovely conversation with someone you’ve never met before. I’m quite shy so I would never just start talking to someone in a cafe or on a train but if I’m knitting someone will usually strike up a conversation with me.
The power to make someone’s day. Receiving something hand made, with love knitted into every stitch has to be one of the best feelings. I’m not talking dodgy jumpers here but thoughtful gifts that have been lovingly created. Each time you wear the hat, scarf, shawl, sweater etc you can’t help but think about the person who knit it for you and it makes your day all over again.
The power to create something beautiful. You may think ‘oh I’m just not that creative’ but there are a wealth of gorgeous hand-dyed yarns out there which make even a simple garter stitch scarf look like a work of art.
The power to provide warmth & comfort. Who doesn’t love a woolly hat or scarf on a cold day? Or what about snuggling up under a knitted blanket. Sounds good to me!
Do you knit? How does knitting reveal its superpowers to you?
Looking for some knitting inspiration? Click to check out the patterns in my Ravelry store