I try to write a post every weekend, usually Saturday night (which probably says something about my social life). But really, the last thing I want to do during the week is spend more time on the computer when I get home so by Saturday night I’m willing to turn it on and catch up on my blog and other knitting related pursuits. This year I’ve had a goal of posting What’s on My Needles once a month and that’s been going okay. The rest of the month I either write about something that has happened during the week or catch up on projects that I have not yet blogged about. On Thursday, much like Alexander (of children’s book fame) I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, well at least morning.
I knew it was not going to be a fun day because I had received an e-mail late on Wednesday which I decided to deal with on Thursday morning so I did go home angry. And deal with it I did. First thing when I got into the office on Thursday morning I responded and the exchange went about as bad, if not worse, than I had anticipated. By lunch time there was smoke coming out of my ears and I’m sure my blood pressure was not good. The only good thing was that the whole incident was over by lunch so I shut my door and played some Candy Crush (don’t judge, it clears the mind…) and then, because I didn’t have any actual knitting with me (again, don’t judge, my profession frowns on such handicrafts), I decided to browse Ravelry. As I was doing that I got a text from one of my knitting buddies about Thursday night knitting. I told her I’d better go, otherwise I might kill people. We’ve all seen the t-shirt and we all know we would wear one. I found that not only does actual knitting calm the mind, but browsing knitting projects can also calm the mind and ease frazzled spirits. Bonus – I had a message waiting for me on Ravelry that my LYS wanted to use pictures of my recently finished poncho in this week’s newsletter which made me so happy!
As I continued with my afternoon I was thinking about what a boost my short 1/2 hour on Ravelry had been for me. It got me thinking about all those articles which have been popping up about the health benefits of knitting. I had seen this one and it talks about both the physical and mental benefits. I had no idea it would keep my joints lubricated and I’m all for staving off memory loss. We’re lucky – our LYS is right next to a delightful bakery so we start our evening at the bakery with tea and a little treat. By the time I got to the bakery I was completely calmed down and over the whole nasty morning. Our group is currently working on a baby blanket. One of our friends is expecting a new grandbaby next month. Each of us takes one skein of yarn and works a pattern of our choosing and then we pass on to the next person. I had the blanket on Thursday and had chosen a snowflake pattern. What a great project to work on after my day. It required a little bit of thinking, but not too much and it is for a new baby – how happy is that!
When I got home that night I was reading Twitter and came across this essay that Franklin Habit had just written about the same topic for the Lion Brand blog. His post is great and I thought “maybe I shouldn’t write about this since his so awesome” but there is always room for more voices on this topic. We can never sing the praises of knitting too much! And, this is definitely a hot button topic in the knitting world right now!
As the all articles say, we knitters have known this for a long time. I remember several years ago I was involved in a trial at work and it was a crazy stressful few weeks. When I came home I would sit in my chair and I knit a yoga mat bag, and I finished it – an entire yoga mat bag!!! It was brilliant because all I had to do was knit in a circle. No pattern, no thinking, not even any purling, and think about it – a yoga mat bag has to be pretty long. It’s a beautiful bag – made out of Mission Falls cotton with random striping. That whole incident led to one of my life mantras – sometimes all you can do is knit in a circle. Simple advice – but when you do that you are making progress and that may be all you need. Knitting in a circle is also very rhythmic so as you ravel together the yarn, the mind can unravel and de-stress. On the flip side, there are days when my job is very, very boring and when I come home I need to make my mind think and work and those are days when I pull out a lace project or some other projects that requires attention and gets that brain working.
In the end, I’m not sure knitting is actually cheaper than therapy (I suppose that depends on your taste in yarn) but it certainly seems more productive. Heck, at the end you have a finished object of some kind! You can visually track your progress. If you don’t want to, you don’t need to leave your house to do it. And, one last bonus that I tell people about all the time – knitting and eating are incompatible activities which leads to less night time snacking. There are nights where I just don’t want to break from knitting long enough to snack, plus, knitting burns calories, right????