During this difficult and uncertain time, it is so important to think of our mental wellbeing and staying positive whilst keeping safe.
With the world’s conversation on social distancing, I wanted to share a practical hobby that could off-set any boredom, frustration or cabin fever when we are at home for long periods of time.
As the intensity of the news increased over the last few days, I found myself thinking how much Hand Knitting can be a powerful hobby that challenges the mind and allows you to express your creativity. It can be very therapeutic, peaceful and hypnotic, I really find huge relief and joy in picking up my hand knitting projects when I am not quite sure what to do with myself or I need some time to pause and relax.
For the last couple of months, I have been working on this stripy Zebra (wool from Yeoman Yarns who have a great selection of machine-washable, DK merino wool in a range of colours). It’s something I pick up on a Sunday morning with my tea or knit whilst watching a film in the evenings. There’s no rush, no deadline, just the enjoyment of knitting and creating something.
This weekend I have been picking out knitting patterns for my Grandmother to knit to keep her busy for the next couple of weeks whilst she self isolates. You can receive a huge amount of purpose, contentment and pride when your busy knitting something, so I know this will keep her mental wellbeing and positivity high. Plus she can FaceTime to show me her progress at any time,
which gives us that human connection we all need.
I find there are so many positives to knitting as it can be a form of meditation. There have been studies to suggest that the repetitive motion of knitting reduces stress and anxiety, by decreasing the heart rate, muscle tension and blood pressure.
Knitting can also give you a digital break from technology and allows you time to relax with your own thoughts and be in the moment.
After binging on Netflix for a few hours or that constant strolling on Instagram, this might be a great way of reconnecting with yourself.
If you have never knitted before, there are some great how-to videos on youtube and Pinterest on how to cast on, knit a scarf or even free patterns if you need a little inspiration. I have put together a Pinterest board of How to guides that could be helpful if you are just starting out.
If you read this and you don’t have any knitting needles at home, I have been know to use wooden spoon handles and paintbrushes as needles.
I have also made some giant needles out of a curtain rail when knitting lengths of fabric (old bed sheets), that was quite heavy to hold but hopefully shows how you can get creative with what’s around the house.
If you don’t have any yarn, you can use string, ribbons, strips of fabric, my favourite during my A-Levels was cassette tapes – if you’ve got any in the loft they are very fun to knit with.
If you haven’t got the right tools, why not try supersizing your knitting with finger or arm knitting, this technique is great fun and easy for kids too. I have also put together a Pinterest Board of yarn projects for kids to keep them busy, here.
Hope this helps anyone looking for a hobby to take up or restart again, it may end up becoming a huge passion of yours.
I would love to see your projects, send me an email or Instagram of your knitting!
Take care and keep safe! All the best, Genevieve x