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Knitting Goes Beyond Just Being a Hobby for Old People

The craft has plenty of benefits, including sparking creativity, improving motor skills and providing some much needed relaxation.

Knitting. Many people associate the word with boredom, and pop culture envisions needles and yarn in the shivering hands of an old, lonely woman with a bunch of cats. It makes no sense, but that’s just the way stereotypes work.

The craft can be extremely beneficial to one’s well-being, so one begins to wonder how these negative ideas came to be in the first place. Why think of it as boring? Why think all it produces are ugly sweaters? Knitting and its associated yarn crafts have so much potential that has already been uncovered. It’s just waiting for the rest of the world to realize it.

Perhaps the reason knitting is seen as an old person hobby is the sheer amount of time needed to knit even something simple. In a fast-paced society, seemingly no one has time to make a whole scarf or beanie out of thread. Why waste time and energy making it when you can just buy it?

Times have certainly changed from when knitting was necessary to even have clothes, but wouldn’t that mean that its purpose has also changed?

Sure, people with a lot of time on their hands, like old people, still knit. But their younger counterparts have taken the craft to new levels. Knitting is slowly entering into the complicated social circle of modern life. From stitch ‘n’ bitch cafes to casually knitting while performing hands-free everyday tasks, people who enjoy the craft have found ways to incorporate it into their day-to-day lives. Knitting while commuting to work, knitting in the passenger seat of a car, knitting while watching TV or studying: There are knitters everywhere. And of course, they are online as well.

The internet is perhaps one of the best ways to showcase knitting’s growth in today’s world. YouTube and other video sharing platforms give space to knitters of all ages and genders to share their talents to those new to the craft. From simple tutorials to creative ideas using simple household tools, young knitters are finding all sorts of ways to make things they like while enjoying the process of making them. They go from knitting to crocheting to loom knitting, all exploring different ways to loop yarn and make all sorts of creative masterpieces. Ideas go beyond the outdated idea of a Christmas sweater, to Viking hats, Pokémon beanies or Harry Potter-themed scarves. They range from simple ponchos to crochet plushies and loom-knitted flower decorations.

Young designers also find inspiration in the craft. Social media is filled with those passionate about fashion and making their own original clothing. Quite a bit of it has something to do with knitting. And besides, you can’t buy everything you might want in a store — sometimes, the only way to get your hands on something you want is to make it.

But knitting and other yarn crafts might even be more effective as a hobby. It can boost motor coordination, which makes sense considering the fine finger movements required to knit. Who would have thought it could be incorporated into the treatment of physical health in such a way?

Its rhythmic motion also has therapeutic effects, making it a powerful weapon when battling a mental health condition. Knitting can also get the ball rolling much faster in group therapy sessions. And speaking of group knitting, those trying to get back on their feet from a world of crime have also found knitting classes a place to figure things out.

Knitting is as much a social activity as anything else humans have come up with. However, this certainly doesn’t mean everyone is cut out for it. Unique tastes and individual differences exist for a reason. But yarn crafts have been around for a long time. And seeing as how it is being evolved by younger generations, it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere anytime soon.

Janani Mangai Srinivasan, Wake Forest University

Writer Profile

Janani Mangai Srinivasan

Wake Forest University
Creative Writing

I am passionate about creative writing and making stories. I enjoy all mediums in which stories are spread around the world — be they fiction novels, animation or movies.

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