My husband can attest to the fact I've gone a little knitting podcast crazy over the past couple weeks. Not only have I loved seeing or hearing about what everyone else in the universe is making, but I feel like I'm learning a lot about my craft while also working on my craft. Podcasts are the perfect media for keeping you entertained while you work on however many rows of stockinette so you don't pluck your eyes out with that fifth DPN.
One of the podcasts I'm enjoying most is the ACTually KNITting podcast, an audio podcast that can be downloaded on iTunes or streamed online. The podcasts are not only interesting, but also the right amount of time for sitting down for 30-45 minutes to knit uninterrupted (or, in my case lately, loading 400 USBs with corporate collateral like a crazy person).
In any event, I wanted to contribute because I think it's easy for people to overlook the personal and psychological benefits of knitting. Yes, it's a hobby, but it's also something that's helped me - and many others - make it through difficult times in our lives. So here we go.
- Have no excuse for being bored. Knitting, in most cases, is easily portable, so I can take it from room-to-room or, in some cases, state-to-state when I'm traveling for work. I even took yarn with me on a trip to Spain when I was in college.
- Feel productive, even if I'm not actually being productive. I had to stop knitting the other night due to pain in my wrist, and I couldn't pay attention to what we were watching on TV. I felt like a useless blob.
- Can prolong memories of my grandmother, who taught me to knit when I was young and unfortunately passed away in April. She was always interested in what I was making and asked a lot of questions about what I'd learned.
- Have a way to deal with my anxiety. Which is something I hear a lot from fellow crafters, so I'm not sure if people who are anxious are naturally attracted to repetitive crafts, or if it's just great therapy to calm us down. Either way, it's been an amazing way for me to cope with panic attacks in times of overwhelming stress. Honestly, knitting has probably saved the lives of people around me.
- Can make homemade gifts, even if the gift receiver doesn't always appreciate the love and ability that went into making it.
- Make extra income to offset my yarn hoarding. And, when the holidays get closer and my shop is busier than usual, have more earnings that I use to buy special gifts for people I care about.
- Have a distraction for when things aren't going so well. Several of my family members have had to stay in hospitals over the years, which requires hours sitting around in waiting rooms. It's easier to focus on "Knit until three stitches before the short row gap, wrap and turn" than mindlessly watching Meredith Vieira talk about silly misspelled grocery store signs while waiting to hear from doctors.
- Bond with people in a different way than others might. Whenever I knit in public, I draw attention, and sure enough, there's always at least one person who wants to know what I'm making and how I do it. Sometimes it's annoying, sure, but it's mostly fun to connect with strangers, even if it's only for a few minutes.