Memory Lane, or, Why We Knit

Oh my goodness! I have been remiss in my blogging over the last couple weeks, but I’ve been so busy with the new job that I have barely had a chance to knit, let alone a chance to blog about knitting. I was starting to get a little stir crazy the last few weeks. Apparently, if I don’t knit, I get unhappy. Who knew?

Anyway, I have made an effort to make time for knitting over the last week. I realized that knitting seems to keep me sane when everything else is stressful and beyond my control. I think I started knitting because I’m fairly fidgety, and having something to do with my hands has always been a way of keeping me on task. When I was in high school, I used to get in trouble for doodling over all my notebooks, binders, and even my friends. When I went away to England for my first year of university, I was relatively homesick. I think that I started knitting in order to keep my depressed emotion of being away from my family at bay.  I had learned how to knit garter stitch in high school, but first year, I learned to knit and purl and started making scarves and things to pass the time while we travelled Europe on buses. I think we all have different reasons for knitting.

Historically, knitting would have been something that you had to do, in order to make clothing to be warm and survive. Today, we can just go down to the nearest mall, or even the supermarket, and pick up a sweater that probably costs less than the yarn we would use to make it. My mom remembers growing up and making her own clothes. Now, when she and I go to the fabric store, it is more expensive to buy the fabric than it is to pick up a dress at the mall. So why do we bother? Why do we knit?

I’ve been thinking about this the last few days. Because I was on my forced knitting spree this week, I brought my yarn to the office. One of the ladies in the office thought that it was remarkable that I could knit. Not only that, she was shocked that I happened to be knitting a hat of my own design. She thought it was remarkable that someone as young as I am would: a) know how to knit, and b) understand the craft well enough to make a hat without a written pattern. (On a side note, I’ve written the pattern up for that particular hat… I’m just waiting for a good day to take some photographs.)

I really like having the ability to create something unique. I also like the idea that I can give someone a knitted gift, and know that they are not going to run into hundreds of people who have the same one. I also like the way that I can create something completely for or inspired by that person. And then there is the time, you haven’t just popped down to the store to pick up something for them, you’ve spent days, choosing yarn, checking gauge, searching for patterns…and then knitting and finishing the item itself. There is a lot invested in a knitted good.

But I am sure that I am not the only one, there are many knitters out there who all have different motivations for why they knit.

Why do you knit?


2 thoughts on “Memory Lane, or, Why We Knit

  1. Lynn says:

    Why do I knit? I’m a new knitter, self-taught, less than a year. Crocheted for years, but saw so many knitting patterns I loved that I just HAD to finally buy a couple of those crazy long sticks and dive in! Though I still do both, I can’t explain why knitting has a different sort of hold on me. So, why do I knit?? Because I JUST CAN’T STOP!!!

    • leighmcdonna says:

      Haha! I know what your saying…they should have a KA (Knitters Anonymous) type thing…for us recovering yarn/knitting addicts. I’ve recently been more serious about spinning my own yarn…things are getting out of control, I’ve got yarn and fleece EVERYWHERE!!!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad you’ve found the “knit” side, and I’m glad your enjoying it!

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