Why I Knit

Ask knitters ‘Why do you knit?’ and you’ll hear stories from people who love the challenge, those who enjoy creating something unique, or knitters who enjoy giving to people they love. But whatever our reasons, what unites us as knitters, is that we all go on a journey, and it’s in that journey that we find moments to contemplate, relax and feel at peace with ourselves.

— from “Knitting for Mindfulness,” LoveKnitting.com

I’ve always loved stories. Reading them, writing them, hearing them. I simply adore the journey from “once upon a time” until “happily ever after.”

So when I learned about LoveKnitting.com’s “Why I Knit” campaign, I was intrigued to hear others’ stories, to learn about their journeys to becoming a knitter. It made me start thinking about my own knitting journey and why I knit.

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I started knitting when I was about 12 or 13 years old. An aunt first introduced me to the art and all I remember is that the yarn was a worsted red, and that like many of my other hobbies at the time, I dropped knitting nearly as quickly as I picked it up.

Over the past three decades, however, I’d return to knitting time and time again. During my early twenties, there was the two-hours-daily commute that provided time and space for me to knit what had to be the world’s ugliest red vest that was two sizes too big because I hadn’t bothered to swatch my project before beginning. Later that decade, there was an obsession with the plush, thick chenille yarn that I could quickly turn into scarves as gifts for friends. Again and again, I’d return to knitting, so I think I can safely say that while I’ll likely focus on other hobbies from time to time, knitting has become a big–I daresay, essential–part of my life and it’s here to stay.

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But after all this time, I never quite devoted much thought to why I kept coming back to knitting. What made knitting so different from my other former creative pursuits like quilting or painting? After meditating on the reasons behind my enthusiasm for the craft, I finally realized why knitting has so captivated my imagination.

It’s because knitting feels like magic.

Each time I start a new project, I’m amazed that I can take two needles and some yarn and ultimately turn it into something I can wear. Watching the knit fabric take shape through a systematic pattern of knits and purls and yarn-overs is a process that enthralls me every single time. It’s a magic I want to wield again and again and again, and that is why I knit.

Yes, knitting is a creative outlet that engages my inner artist, and yes, I truly do enjoy the meditative aspect of the art. But more than that is the knowledge that I’m one of a long history of alchemists, spinning straw into gold.

Knitters, what about you? Why do you knit?

Read more about the Why I Knit campaign.

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