Why I Started Knitting Again

Once upon I was really into knitting.

Like really, really into knitting.

Me, age 26, with a bad haircut and dye job.

I started with scarves and then delved into hats, blankets, and rugs. Loads of them.

I must still have 50 scarves and hats that no one in my family will wear.

Then I started making handbags. Some of them were pretty cool – I still can’t believe I managed cable knit.

How the hell did I make this cable knit bag? Seriously how?
No, really, how did I make this?

Some of them were not so great. Because I can not sew a straight line, the linings were falling apart. I accentuated repurposed jewelry and baubles, which I thought very crafty, but didn’t quite have the skills to pull it all together in a way that didn’t scream “a child made this.” They were also all too small to carry more than a phone and most didn’t have a closure.  Yet I had the audacity to try to sell them on Etsy! In fact, one even ended up on the satire site “Regretsy,” which I am a little bit proud of!

But after I knitted a dozen blankets and rugs during my first pregnancy, and more than half got eaten by my dog, I sort of got over it. I haven’t really knitted since and I haven’t even thought about it.

I made about 20 of these rugs/baby blankets and I think two survived. This one is still in my downstairs bathroom.

But last week I was randomly chatting with my hairdresser and I mentioned that I used to knit. She simply said, “You should start doing that again.” And I said, “You know what – you’re right!”

We talked about how knitting is the perfect thing to do when you are someplace you don’t entirely want to be – holiday dinner with annoying family members, a doctor’s waiting room, on a conference call. It’s one of those things you can do to keep your hands and mind occupied but not totally drift into outer space. As a multitasker, I always feel like I need to be doing several things at once, and knitting while watching TV is probably better than constantly refreshing my Twitter feed.

It’s also famously good for stress relief and, to me, a more useful version of the idea of those meditation beads some people count. I’d rather count stitches.

I actually had to Google to refresh my memory on how to cast-on and purl stitch. So I’m starting small, with more scarves that no one will actually wear.

Thinking of taking up knitting?

I learned a lot from the Stich ‘NBitch Handbook. I also recommend starting with cheap chunky yarn and wide gauge wooden or bamboo needles.

Here’s to miles and miles of yarn!

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