When people first think of knitting, we might imagine a grandmother knitting a sweater for babies, children, adults, or maybe even you. Knitting is often seen as a “feminine” hobby reserved for older women, but knitting is so much more than these stereotypical assumptions.
In fact, there’s a wide age distribution of knitters and crocheters across the U.S. according to surveys done in the past (a somewhat recent report was done in 2014 which is summarized in this article). I also find it rather silly to think that knitting is a gendered activity.
When I think of knitting, I think of patience and creativity. When I was in high school, I had a conversation with a friend about a scarf that I was wearing. It was one of my first few projects when I began to teach myself how to crochet. I told her that crocheting was a really neat hobby and that you can make all sorts of things with just a ball of yarn. She seemed impressed, but went on to say “yeah I think that’s really cool. But if I wanted a beanie, I can just buy it”.
She’s not wrong. But I also felt that she overlooked why crocheting, knitting, or any kind of craft is worth pursuing. The time investment and process involved with making something with your own hands is rewarding. The end product is a visual representation of all the time you put into making it–something that you won’t get from purchasing a mass-manufactured beanie.
For me, knitting is a medium for exploring my creativity and learning how to breathe an exciting idea to life. I found it rewarding to see a sweater begin as a few skeins of yarn that eventually turned into a fabric, a sleeve, and finally a whole sweater.
I actually didn’t knit when I first worked with yarn. I first learned how to crochet when I was in my freshman year of high school. I bought a skein of brown yarn to use for a puppet for an English project.
After the school year ended, my first instinct was to repurpose the yarn. I knew a few people who used to crochet, so I asked a friend to lend me a crochet hook. Little did I know, this opened up a new love for crochet and eventually for knitting.
I became obsessed with learning as many stitches as I could through tons of youtube videos, slowly graduating from granny squares to scarves, hats, and amigurumi.
After a few years of crocheting countless of projects, I began to pick up knitting.
It took some time to get used to knitting but eventually I got the hang of it and ambitiously pursued multiple projects. My favorite few included infinity scarves with eyelets, gloves that actually fit my hand, and soon my very first sweater.
After I started college, it became more difficult for me to knit as often as I did in high school, but I recently picked it up again in the middle of my senior fall. Picking up crochet or knitting as a hobby can induce soothing effects caused by repetitive motions of knitting and purling your stitches, which may explain why I found solace in it during a stressful semester. There are a few reports like this one that share why knitting can have other several health benefits too!
Now that I’ve sold my soul to the physical sciences, pursuing creative hobbies like knitting has helped me stay grounded whenever I felt worn out from problem sets or research.
I’ve been working on a few projects these past few weeks and am excited to share a some that I’ve also worked on in the past, so I hope you look forward to my future posts. As always, thanks for tuning in and best wishes in everything!