Perhaps it’s about the sense of accomplishment or the feeling of being productive each minute. Many say that it’s therapeutic because knitting improves focus on the present. Doing something productive with our own hands has always been good for our mental health.
Knitting is also a good chance to slow down and forget fast-paced living. We’re all used to hustling and rushing everything especially if we’re born, raised and worked in the city. With knitting, we can slow down even just for a bit and realise that life isn’t just about speed.
What do you like about knitting?
Whichever is the case, knitting is one of those few hobbies that deliver a worthwhile experience while also producing a tangible accomplishment. Whether it’s a small beanie or a full sweater with an intricate design and texture, both the journey and the results are rewarding. Other hobbies also have that kind of an enjoyable journey and sense of accomplishment. The unique thing about knitting is we’re able to create something useful that could last for years. Our creations can delight other people and perhaps become a daily part of their lives (especially if it’s a pillow cover or any other kind of home accessory).
Knitting can also easily integrate with your daily activities. In fact, you can knit almost anywhere and anytime which means you can keep yourself occupied wherever you are. You can knit while traveling or while waiting for someone or an appointment. You can also multi-task and knit while listening to music, talking with friends or reflecting about your life and future. Knitting is also a great way to make new friends because it’s easy to get along with people who share the same interests. The hobby can help expand your social circle or even make a new one if you’re someone new in your community.
There’s also that routine’s calming effect. In this present world of rapid changes and despite our constant search for variety, we actually crave consistency and stability. Life is getting unpredictable which is why we crave for structure and predictability. Knitting can easily provide that because of knitting’s repetitive and somewhat rhythmic movements. There’s a high level of predictability and certainty there which might be helping us keep calm. The structure the hobby provides also relaxes our minds and gives us a message that despite the uncertainty out there, we can escape that world and make our day more predictable. It’s similar to how some people have eccentric habits that help them better structure their day. Without those habits that set their day, they feel like everything’s in chaos.
For instance, many of the experienced knitters (especially retirees who want to keep themselves occupied the entire day) feel that their mornings or afternoons are never complete without knitting something. Without the knitting hobby they feel like there’s no structure to their daily living. Although knitting is repetitive and boring for the most part, this hobby still provides the structure that people can work around. It’s quite similar to having a job where our weekly schedule works around it. Although most jobs are far from rewarding (and even knowledge work is turning repetitive), they still provide that structure where we can better plan our week and make daily existence much more predictable.
The re-emergence of knitting
Well, back then knitting was viewed as a hobby just reserved for grandmas. The hobby even experienced a slump because new hobbies and several forms of entertainment sprouted here and there. We were flooded with new things and activities coupled with fast-paced living and a higher level of consumption. Every day there’s always something new and exciting.
But that fast-paced living and always something new is actually exhausting. In the recent years we’ve been craving for stability and predictability and hence the re-emergence of knitting. Yes, the true knitting enthusiasts have always been in the hobby before it was cool. The difference is that many people who anyone who would not have thought to be knitting is actually now deep in the hobby. Knitting has now been attracting wide sets of demographics which is like the hobby itself has knitted a broad net where all sorts of people get caught in. The appeal has reached far and wide and knitting is not just associated with grandmas.
Perhaps it’s about taking a break from fast-paced living and looking for something routine and predictable. It’s similar to how we humans crave for heat whenever it’s cold. We’re always looking for the opposite or something that will bring back the balance. In our case with our fast-paced living we’re now looking for ways to slow down and to bring back our focus to the present instead of staying anxious with our future.
Aside from a renewed focus on the present and slowing down, knitting is also about the gratifying act of creation. Contrast this with watching through YouTube or browsing through the social media feed wherein time passes by but there’s no accomplishment. There’s nothing tangible to show for all those hours of browsing. On the other hand, knitting produces something that we can see, feel and touch. Moreover, the creation can delight someone because the knitted craft is useful and awesome.
There’s also this unique satisfaction about the simple act of creation. It’s a lot more delightful because there’s something to show for it and our creative side is getting its chance to shine. It’s a complex and beautiful feeling that craftsmen understand. The joy of bringing something to life and becoming proud of it cannot be compared to most forms of entertainment. Instead of entertainment, what we get from knitting is total delight and satisfaction. Yes, knitting is a lot more repetitive (and in fact boring especially to those who got so used to fast-paced living) and less stimulating for the most part. But the act of creation itself is unequal if we’re talking about the sense of accomplishment.
It’s a complex mix of feelings and indeed there will be times that it seems we need to take a break from knitting. But there’s always something unique that knitting continually draws us in. Perhaps it’s the sense of accomplishment, the joy of the act of pure creation or the structure and the predictability the hobby provides. Whichever is the case, it’s impossible to explain what exactly do we like about knitting. Perhaps it’s just best to sit down and knit.