By Katherine Barton
Knitting. The first image that comes to mind involves a grandmother and a large time commitment, making it unattractive to many. However, knitting definitely does not have to be boring and can be completed while doing other things. In fact, many different people from all ages take part in this creative activity and there are various communities for knitters to learn and grow.
So why is knitting still popular even though knitwear can be bought cheaply and easily?
First, it is a creative outlet. Knitters can create exactly what they want, specific to their body. Secondly, it can be a way to relax and relieve stress. Knitting can be fairly repetitive and so the knitter can find a “flow.” Thirdly, there is a sense of accomplishment and quality from the time and effort put into the knitwear.
A deterrent for some is the price of this hobby. Yarn and needles can be very expensive depending on the different materials and processes used to make it. However, places such as Wal-Mart and JoAnn’s have very reasonably priced, albeit mostly acrylic, yarn and needles. Also, higher quality yarns and needles do go on sale. Here is a scarf I made from yarn I bought for $3.00 a skein:
Another deterrent are the skills needed to knit. Although many knitting projects can be very challenging and engaging, the difficulty is up to the knitter. I knit mostly scarves and most of the time do not even need to look at my knitting while doing it. This is where the multitasking can come in: knitting can be done while watching television or during other sedentary activities. I recommend when learning how to knit to use chunky yarn, large needles, and do a simple knit stitch. First is the cast on:
Next: begin to garter (knit) stitch:
One of the most popular knitting websites is Ravelry.com. Knitters can search for patterns and projects completed by others as well as post their own projects. It’s is a great way to find inspiration and keep track of yarn and projects.