What better time than the blissful slowness of summer to learn a new skill? Our features editor, Carrie Waller, has recently taken up the art of knitting in honor of the leisurely season, and below she shares how learning the craft has added a fresh sense of calm (and clarity!) back into her daily routine. Don’t miss the exclusive free blanket pattern care of We Are Knitters at the end of the post!
I’ll start by being honest and say that, for the longest time, I never thought I’d be able to write this post. The idea of pronouncing that knitting is relaxing would have been downright laughable in the beginning because, suffice it to say, I struggled those first few sittings with my knitting needles. Thankfully, though, that struggle was short-lived, and the lifelong joy I can now safely predict will come from knitting is all too apparent.
But let’s rewind to those first few unsure moments. As an avid DIYer, I’ve always loved trying my hand at new crafts—anything from woodworking and sewing, to painting and cross-stitching. I tend to be overly confident in the beginning, thinking I’ll be able to pick things up immediately, only to find that I had gotten myself in way over my head. And that’s, of course, exactly how it went with knitting.
I decided to start by ordering a beginner’s level knit blanket kit from We Are Knitters. This particular blanket seemed like it would be easy enough to manage thanks to the simple stitch and straightforward rectangular shape. A week later, the materials arrived in a neat little package, and I promptly sat myself down on the couch to get to it.
Despite my initial confidence, it took more than 45 minutes to translate the foreign language that is knitting ‘speak’ into anything even closely resembling a section of blanket. I’ve learned over and over again that learning a new skill is incredibly humbling, and knitting with my own two hands for the first time helped me gain a new appreciation for the beautiful textiles that are so on-trend these days. I’ll never look at a woven blanket, scarf, wall hanging or pillow the same ever again!
Although those first few sessions with a pair of knitting needles were admittedly tough, it was pretty much all just in the blink of an eye in terms of the big picture. Now, my hands and fingers fly through the stitches (thanks in major part to the video tutorials on the We Are Knitters website!), and I find myself luxuriating over the process while binging on my favorite Netflix shows or waiting for a pot of water to boil on the stove before dinner.
They say that ‘knitting is the new yoga’ and I have to admit it’s true. Because my hubby and I are planning to trade in big travel plans for a staycation this summer in order to boost our savings for a few larger home renovation projects next year, we’re looking for fresh new things to encourage relaxation and maybe even a hint of laziness here at home. Knitting may not be lazy, but it sure is calming, and that’s exactly what I need as we head into the second half of 2017.
Have you ever given knitting a try? Consider this your personal challenge to try something new and to toss a pair of knitting needles into your beach bag this summer. Before you know it, you’ll be breathing deeper, feeling a new level of confidence in yourself and, of course, at the end of it all, you’ll be cozying up to a beautiful knitted piece that you made all on your own. Who’s with me?