I hope that you are having a great start to the year so far. My latest blog post below is most of an article that was published in Woman Alive Magazine in 2015. It tells the story of some of my knitting journey and I thought it may be useful to share with you here. It is a longer post than usual but worth a read. 😊
There are many health-related benefits of taking up a craft related hobby. There is such a vast array to choose from these days too. As I love to knit, (amongst doing other crafts too) I thought that I would bring you all into my world of yarn and share with you how taking up knitting can improve your lifestyle in so many ways.
I love to make things! I always have done ever since I was a little girl, being an only child for six years, before my little brother came along, I learned to play by myself and make my own amusements. I have always loved making things with my hands, so it was of no surprise that I learned to knit.
My nan taught me to knit at a very young age. I don’t recall exactly how old I was, but I do remember learning the craft whilst sitting in front of the roaring fire. My nan loved to knit clothes for the family, crochet blankets for the ‘old dears;’ as she called them, and toys for a local charity shop. She loved knitting toys the most so this is where I got my love of knitting toys from too.
I remember, as a child, making a ladybird, a mouse and a toy rabbit complete with braces (which I still have). Next, I moved onto making larger toys (about 8 inches tall) like a toy soldier and a girl guide.
I remember once at school, we did a ‘show and tell,’ for one of our classes. Almost everyone took to school some book or other that they claimed to have read, and I took in some of my knitted toys (plus one of my nan’s). Everyone loved them! That day I felt very popular. A few of the other children came up to me afterwards to look at my toys and asked me questions about how I had made them. I felt so proud.
I stopped knitting after my nan died, as I didn’t know how to read all the abbreviations associated with the craft and I had no one to ask for help as I didn’t know anyone else that could knit. In 2010 though, I picked up my needles again. The internet now was in most households, so if I didn’t know an abbreviation now I could just ‘Google it.’
I discovered lots of knitting groups on social media and found a multitude of knitted related videos on You Tube. In no time at all, I had made lots of online knitting friends and got plenty of help from them with the abbreviations and other knitting related questions that I had. Plus, my knitting friends really inspired me and helped me along on my ‘knitting journey.’
Knitting is such a joy, for me. It’s therapeutic and relaxing, unless I make a mistake – then it’s a different story! It has great health benefits too. It’s known to reduce stress levels and it helps to keep your joints nimble. It can reduce anxiety and depression, plus – it improves memory and keeps the brain focussed.
Knitting is a fun way to make friends and it can be quite a cheap hobby if you are strapped for cash, all you need is a pair of needles and a ball of yarn, it’s very rewarding and purposeful. Anyone can be creative. There is a great sense of satisfaction, when you know that you are holding or wearing something that you have made. There is an even greater feeling when people come up to you and say that they like an item of clothing that you are wearing; then you tell them that you have made it yourself.
If you would like to give knitting a try, then here are a few tips that may help you:
⦁ Buy a pair of needles. You can usually find some needles in some high street shops, market stalls, craft shops and online stores.
⦁ Buy a ball of yarn. Acrylic yarn is the best kind to buy while you are learning as it’s very durable and long-lasting. A good weight of yarn to buy is ‘double knit,’ or you can use a ‘chunky,’ yarn as this will knit up quickly.
⦁ www.ravelry.com – Is a great web site for knitters and crocheters, as it has a vast number of patterns for all different abilities. A lot of patterns can be downloaded for free and there is no joining fee on the web site.
⦁ Some colleges offer short courses where you could learn to knit. See what is available in your local area. You are never too old to learn something new.
⦁ Find some ‘yarn,’ friends. I have a lot of yarn friends who help me along on my journey. I found most of them on social media pages. They are very supportive and excited to see what I have made.
⦁ Your local library. The library nowadays has a vast number of things that you can do. Apart from borrowing books, you can see if they have knitting DVD’s or magazines that you could browse through for patterns, knitting advice, plus – many of them have a section about ‘knitting groups in your area.’ These are great for swapping ideas and tips, making friends and of course, lots of knitting.
Thanks for reading, feel free to share,