Most hobbies and crafts are limited as to who can enjoy or participate. However, knitting is a craft in a league of its own because amazing items can be produced by younger children to the elderly.
Knitting also provides the opportunity for an individual to achieve a certain skill level or advance to the level of expert.
Of course, having the ability to knit literally thousands of unique items is something that everyone appreciates. With this being such a great activity, we wanted to provide an introduction to knitting.
The information provided is ideal for someone who wants to learn, refresh stagnant skills, or hone current ability to reach a higher level of expertise.
Remember, most concepts, as well as stitches, functions, tools, and supplies are unchanging. However, due to consumer interest coupled with modern technology, new and innovative changes do occur periodically.
There are many types of arts and crafts that an individual could try but contrary to what some people believe, knitting is one of the easiest to learn. If wanted, a person could take knitting classes offered through junior colleges, community colleges, vocational schools, and various community organizations. On the other hand, knitting could be learned in the privacy and comfort of home by using books, DVDs, online videos, and e-Books on the subject.
Typically, females get involved with this craft far more often than males do but in the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of men wanting to learn to knit. Throughout history, knitting has gone full circle, which has consisted of peaks of interest and valleys of disinterest. Currently, knitting is at a peak, which would explain the reason that both genders are so interested.
In addition, the type and amount of information provided to the public regarding various aspects of knitting has increased and improved. As a result, a growing number of men and women now realize the incredible benefits associated with this craft. For instance, an individual could make something to wear, an item for the home, or a gift specifically for a loved family member of friend.
Benefits Connected with Knitting
As mentioned above in our introduction to knitting, the list of benefits is quite impressive. Although the benefits would apply to everyone, it is common for each person to gain something unique from being involved with this craft. We wanted to offer a few examples of why knitting has remained a popular craft around the world for thousands of years. Interestingly, some benefits have a direct impact while others are more indirect in what they offer.
State of Relaxation – Once a person learns how to knit, the process of completing projects can be very relaxing. It has been scientifically proven that certain repetitive actions promote mental balance, which is clearly seen in things such as Tai Chi and Yoga. Because knitting also requires repetitive actions to be performed it is a great relaxation discipline for most people.
Improved Heart Health – Most people find it surprising that a craft such as knitting has any effect on the heart but it does. Recent study results associated with a test conducted by Harvard Medical School showed on average a person’s blood pressure decreases and heart rate drops about 11 beats per minute. This means for many knitters that heart disease is prevented and risk reduced. Knitting has been proven to be so effective for this purpose that it is now being offered as an activity in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.
Social Gathering/Support – When done in a classroom setting or within an organized group, knitting encourages social interaction. Because of this, the craft is highly beneficial for someone dealing with an issue of isolation, low self-confidence, and/or depression.
Improved Circulation – Compromised blood flow to the hands can occur for a variety of reasons such as poor nutrition, smoking, little or no exercise, chronic disease, and high level of stress. Knitting has the ability to correct this problem, \which in turn eliminates inflammation, pain, and immobility of the hands but improved blood flow also has a much bigger impact on a person’s overall health and wellness.
Innovative and Creative Outlet – For the person who needs to be challenged, knitting provides the perfect opportunity to be innovative and creative. Keep in mind that it takes time to develop skills good enough to start designing patterns but with consistent practice and determination, anything is possible.
Stress Reliever – The last example of benefits we wanted to mention is the reduction of stress, not only for adults but also children. Although stress is triggered by many things, knitting has been shown beneficial in all cases although perhaps on different levels. For adults, knitting would help lower stress associated with job demands whereas in children this craft would reduce stress that comes from boredom. In fact, this works so well that many schools and hospitals now offer knitting to students and patients of all ages.
The Journey of Learning
To successfully complete high-end knitted products, an individual would require appropriate knowledge and skills. To reach expert level as a knitter, an individual would need to learn well beyond the basics of this craft. For knitting, a foundation consisting of knitting history, types of stitches, needle options, and yarn fabrics among others would need to be established. From there, the journey of honing knitting skills begins, taking a person from beginner to intermediate and ultimately expert level.
Common mistakes made by people just learning how to knit include trying to accomplish too much before being ready and skipping critical phases of learning. Although some of the basics might not be exciting or challenging, they play a critical role in the learning process.
Anyone interested in knitting must start at the very beginning and then build from there. In addition to making it easier to learn to knit, going through the journey of learning in this manner adds a dynamic of appreciation that is often reflected in the quality and integrity of the finished product.
We also want to point out that for many aspects of knitting there is no wrong or right, good or bad decisions. A primary example is knitting needles. There are plenty of people that swear one particular brand, type, length, or material is better than any other but in truth, the purchase of needles needs to be based on personal preference.
Of course, there are certain projects that demand a particular type of knitting needle but for this tool, it is imperative for a person to physically hold different options and then determine what feels and handles best.
We want to close by encouraging people to embrace the learning process, even some of the less exciting phases.
We would also like to stress that at times, knitting can be frustrating. If an individual begins to struggle, it would be necessary to step back and take stock of the situation so appropriate changes could be identified and implemented. This might consist of a less complex pattern, another type of yarn, a different stitch, or perhaps the need for additional education to get over the hump.
By staying the course, knitting quickly becomes an addictive and enjoyable activity, but also a craft with tremendous benefits.