Knitting… the New Yoga?
Apparently knitting is the ‘new yoga’. Or is it the ‘new clubbing’, or, the ‘new black’? Seriously? Give me a break…
Just because a few glamorous celebrities picked up knitting needles a while back, knitting is now this fashionable phenomenon.
I’ve been knitting many years and I am a decidedly un-trendy 32-year-old woman. I’d knit all day long if I could. I knit at home, at work, on holiday, in restaurants, outdoors… I knit at every opportunity.
What frustrates me about knitting being considered ‘on trend’ is that people miss the point. It isn’t celebrity endorsement that makes knitting fabulous.
Knitting is relaxing and therapeutic, particularly if you are, like me, the type of person who finds it hard to sit still. I think of knitting as ‘productive relaxation’. The mechanical motion of the needles and the comforting ‘clicking’ sound sends me into a nearly meditative state.
There is also the immense amount of learning involved. I don’t think you are ever a fully accomplished knitter. There is always a new technique to learn. I want to keep learning for the rest of my life and knitting is one of the many ways I intend to do this.
Once upon a time, when knitting wasn’t cool, people knitted with nasty, rough acrylic yarn. But the yarns available now are luxurious. I am currently knitting a pair of socks in a merino and cashmere blend and I am about to start a project using baby llama!
Knitting isn’t something you do on your own anymore. It is collaborative. People knit in public at Stitch n’ Bitch groups. There is a massive online knitting community thanks to knitting podcasts and blogs. The popular knitting and crochet community http://www.ravelry.com celebrated its one-millionth member last year. There are even yarn grafitti artists (yarn bombers!)
Guernsey has a fascinating knitting history, and that is one of the reasons I am so proud of my craft. It connects me to my roots. Apparently Mary Queen of Scotts was executed wearing a pair of stockings knitted in Guernsey.
I think what fascinates me most though, is the making process itself. I am exploring that at the moment by learning to spin and dye my own yarn. Next step – sheep farming! I am fascinated by how things are made and I will be exploring all different crafts in this column over the coming months. I love giving handmade gifts, particularly when the recipients understand the time and effort that has gone into to producing that gift.
The other thing is that my hands and feet are always cold so a never ending supply of hand-knitted socks and mitts is a must for me!
Martine shares her passion for all things handmade on the popular craft blog iMake (www.imake.gg). She also presents the iMake podcast, which is available on the blog and on iTunes. Email Martine at email@example.com or visit http://www.imake.gg.