Whether it’s scrolling on Instagram or making do-it-yourself projects, we all have something that can be considered a hobby in a way. However, in this crazy fast, screen-time-ridden, stressful world, we’re all dealing with a lot of stress that we need to find a way to tame in order to enjoy real life.
According to studies, hobbies that stimulate the logic part of our brains, and especially ones that give us some kind of a final product, such as knitting, drawing, colouring, knitting, jewellery-making, etc., are extremely beneficial for our mental and physical health. These useful skills are increasingly becoming popular hobbies across the globe, with knitting being one of the most interesting ones, believe it or not, for both women and men.
It’s funny how a simple knitting accessory like a needle and a clew of wool in your hands, a fairly old, and traditional way of making clothes, can have so many benefits.
Why Should You Learn How to Knit?
Long is the list of reasons to grab needles and yarn and start knitting yourself into calmness and happiness. They say that for idle hands, the devil finds work. Working with your hands has repeatedly been proven to not only melt stress and induce happiness but also to consequently positively affect your overall well-being.
Boredom is a great obstacle in our pursuit of happiness. Like any other hobby, knitting helps you fight it, along with anger, bad habits, sadness etc. By grabbing your focus and attention, knitting reduces your stress levels, chasing away bad thoughts, as well as feelings of uselessness and loneliness. Being a hobby that provides a reward – a physical result of your hard work, it also takes away any potential of feeling like a pointless activity.
Studies indicate that while knitting, your mind goes in a meditation-like state, thus helping you overcome stress-related problems, such as anxiety, sleeping troubles, depression, or low self-esteem. This is why many healthcare professionals and therapists recommend taking up knitting as a way to improve mental health, and even to help with pain management.
It’s primarily an individual craft, but it can also be done in a group, allowing you to meet new interesting people. You can join a knitting class or a workshop, or invite your friends to knit together if you want to turn it into a more social event. Furthermore, you can take your needles and yarn anywhere with you, as a portable stress-relieving knitting accessory kit.
With knitting, you are not only having fun, and relaxing, but you are also making yourself or someone else, a unique piece. So, not only is it creative, but it also has a final product. Having something nice that you’ve made for yourself or as a gift, will also boost your self-esteem.
What Do You Need to Get Started with Knitting?
Though it provides you with so many benefits, knitting is not a hobby that will require you to spend excessive amount of money, and even less so when you are just starting. Investing in a basic knitting accessory kit is something everyone can afford to do. Plus, there are a lot of free tutorials for beginners online, so you can start creating a stylish and practical scarf as soon as you get some knitting supplies.
What’s more, as a beginner you don’t need to start with the most expensive knitting or crochet accessories (but don’t go for the cheapest option either!), and the list of items you need to buy is fairly shorter than what you’ll need as your skill progresses.
If you feel more serious about learning, or you feel like it will give you more incentive, you can invest in additional accessories for knitting, like a sewing needle, crochet hook, stitch markers, knitting gauge etc. However, the truth is, you don’t really need much more than some yarn and knitting needles to start with your first project.
If you start looking at knitting accessories online, you can easily get confused with the number of yarn options to choose from.
To make it easier to decide which one to buy, it may be a good idea to get familiar with the types of yarn on your own. You can start by touching and feeling different types of yarn, to get a sense of the materials. The most common fibres used for knitting yarns are wool and cotton, however, there are many other types to choose from.
After you have a general idea on the fibre you want for your first project, find out how much yarn do you need for it, what weight do you need, and you can also follow the instructions about the type of yarn if you are afraid to experiment on your own for your first project. However, definitely choose a colour and a material that you find pleasing, to allow yourself to start loving your new hobby from start.
This knitting essential may be the hardest one to choose, since, unlike with yarn, it doesn’t really come down to taste, especially not if it’s the first time you’re going to use it. Knitting needles come in a big range of materials: bamboo, aluminium, plastic, acrylic, wood etc. However, for your first project, you should go with either aluminium or plastic needles.
Knitting needles also vary greatly in size. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a rule when it comes to a size that’s the best for learning how to knit. Some say it’s easier to start with larger and thicker needles, others say medium is the best size. You’ll find in time that for every project you’ll need different needle size, and if you stick to your hobby, you’ll slowly add to your knitting accessories collection. However, for your first project, it may be best if you follow the instructions of the tutorial.