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Ten Reasons Why We Love To Crochet and/or Knit

  1. Meditation and relaxation: knitting or crocheting can help transport you away from your chaotic daily activities and allow you to simply concentrate on what is in front of you, watch a movie (or two), and merely relax. The repetition enhances the feeling of calmness and has been associated with helping numerous individuals deal with depression. One of my favourite blogs, Crochet Concupiscence, discusses how her mental health benefited from crochet. I’ve also found that frequently when I’ve completed a few rows of stitching in either knitting or crocheting, I feel practically as peaceful as I do when I’ve done a few simple stretching yoga poses.
  1. Intellectual stimulation: Although some may think the fiber arts are just simple skills, those of us who know better appreciate that the arts can be as unassuming or as multifaceted as we decide. Using more complex, detailed pattern designs forces us to use our brain to decipher not only the pattern as written but also the intricate charts that often accompany the patterns. These in themselves are considered written forms of languages, with symbols representing a word or phrase that is quickly translated in the artists mind as she/he continues on with their knitting or crocheting. It is a skill that should not be underappreciated.
  1. Creativity stimulation: Keeping to a pattern is often a satisfactory thing, however, more than likely you’ll be tempted to modify a stitch, mix up the colour pattern, or completely redesign the project to suit your wishes. Crochet and knitting can engage this creative thinking to ignite the imagination in all of us for new designs and new colour schemes of our own choosing.
  1. For the art: Simply put, creating a piece from knitting or crocheting yields some amazing art works. Although often times we think it is simply a hat, or a shawl, or an afghan, it really isn’t. The embroidery added to the designs, the colour choices, the intricate lace-work, and the beautiful design patterns not only create the useful, wearable and likely cherished items, but they also display remarkable art. Think of this. You take string, either a hook or two pointed sticks, and with various knots and loops create something that takes shape and looks brilliant. Art? Oh yeah.
  1. Fully portable projects: Ah yes. The joy of being able to bring along a skein of yarn and a hook with you on a plane, or to the doctor’s office is great pleasure. It allows you to continue your relaxation if you’re a nervous flier, or simply pass the time. And the bonus is when people stop to speak with you and engage you in conversation about your work and the art of knitting or crocheting.
  1. Community engagement: In so many ways, the fiber arts participate in communities from local to global. Creating hats for the homeless, or blankets for refugees, or donating unused yarn to community centers and elderly care facilities. All of these have pronounced impacts not only on how the items will be used or distributed, but also for you, yourself. Knowing that you are a part of what’s good in our society can boost your self-esteem and provide a sense of personal satisfaction that may help nudge you along to even more civic participation.
  1. Professional development: Every occupation has some type of professional development available for those who study. Luckily for knitters and crocheters, we have a vast array of sources for this education. We have of course books and ebooks with how-to’s and patterns; we have YouTube with all the imaginable videos of how to do just about any stitch you could ever think of and then some (I’ve come across several that I’ve never, ever, heard of but was fascinated to discover). We also have places online like CreativeLive and SkillShare that offer courses on not only the craft but also the business behind the craft. There are LYSs that often have classes available teaching a variety of things from simple beginner techniques to advanced stitches. In addition, these stores frequently have knitting/crochet circles where groups of individuals share knowledge and discuss ideas while creating new designs. And of course there are the large conferences like Vogue Knitting LIVE and CGOA Chain Link Conference. These offer intense education courses to artists looking for total immersion.
  1. Useful gifts: Creating a piece by knitting or crochet usually yields something usable. A shawl, a sweater, a hat, an afghan. Most of us create pieces for others and rarely ever keep anything for ourselves because that’s what we do, it’s the reason we create; to give our art to others to enjoy and use. And since the gifts are actual useful items, we know the items won’t be stuffed away in a box, in the corner, on a shelf, in the basement….
  1. Cost effective: Okay, well, disclaimer here. Truth, beginning in the art of knitting or crochet it is relatively inexpensive. You can purchase inexpensive yarns and one or two crochet hooks/knitting needle sets. This would be sufficient to learn the craft and feel comfortable in either knowing that you do or do not enjoy it. If you do find it fascinating and want to dive in deeper, things can get a bit pricey. High quality yarns, pure wool yarns such as cashmere, will cost a considerable amount. Tools and accessories become more important to purchase. Yes, I really do need approximately 100 stitch markers, 1000 T-pins and the 4”x4” blocking mat. But the good thing is that you do not need to buy it all at once and there are many places where you can purchase items for less. Just be sure you really, really want to fully plunge yourself into the art before spending lots.
  1. Earth friendly: Surprisingly, yes. Yarn and tools can be locally sourced, organically grown, in supporting small farms and ranches, as well as procured from fair trade projects supporting women in developing countries. Recycled yarns, tools made from recycled products and products that are not environmentally damaging are also available. Also, there is the use of plarn, or plastic yarn. This is using plastic grocery bags cut into pieces, assembled together in a long string and used to create things such as mats and baskets. Other eco-friendly ideas in the knitting and crochet community include recycling previously knitted materials like thrift store sweaters into balls of usable yarn, or using your scrap yarn pieces to construct a magic ball of yarn for use on a later project. An advantage, most knitted/crocheted items need to be hand washed – air dried, an absolute bonus for the earth in that you won’t be using a washing machine or dryer one more additional time.

I’m quite sure there are countless more motivations as to why we knit and/or crochet. If you have one or two that you feel is extremely essential, please feel free to share.

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