When our grandparents were at school it was the norm for boys to be taught woodwork and girls to be taught knitting and sewing. Children were taught the kinds of skills that would enable them to build a good home and clothe themselves. Nowadays we have Primark and Ikea to do those jobs for us so the art of teaching these life skills in schools has died out.
However, after the recession many people found themselves having to come up with creative new ideas for Christmas and birthday gifts, and new ways to make old clothes last longer. 2009 saw knitting become an increasingly popular hobby among twenty-somethings, and the trend continues now in 2013. Before you dismiss the idea completely, let me tell you just why knitting is a completely awesome hobby:
A productive hobby – Some hobbies, for example gaming, can take up hours and days of your life with nothing to show at the end of it but a slightly hollow feeling. Spending 4 hours playing a video game probably won’t enrich your life or benefit the people around you in any way. However, after 4 hours of knitting you could have a new scarf, a pair of gloves, a hat, a jumper, a pair of socks… you get the picture. Put time in, get stuff out!
- Health benefits – Yes, really. Knitting uses both hands, which means you need to use both sides of your brain, and this improves your hand-eye coordination and keeps your brain active. Knitting is repetitive and rhythmic which is very relaxing; and when you’re relaxed your heart beats slower and this can help to lower your blood pressure!
- Endorsed by celebrities – If it’s good enough for the A-list then it’s good enough for you! Hollywood celebrities including Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bullock have been known to whip out their knitting needles in between takes on movie sets. Thanks to this celebrity endorsement sales of knitting wool have been steadily increasing in the last 4 years.
No limits – Much in the same way that smartphone users have an app for everything, knitters have a pattern for everything. Whether you want to knit a new sweater, a baby blanket, or an army of clowns, there’s a pattern for pretty much anything you can think of! You can create unique and quirky gifts for friends and family that they’ll appreciate more than slippers and chocolates.
Knit The City – Possibly the most awesome way I’ve seen knitting used. A group of knitting guerrillas in London are graffiti-ing the city one ball of wool at a time! ‘Yarnstorming’ is the art of knitting or crocheting something, then releasing it into the wild of the city and disappearing into the night! For example, in April 2013 these knitting guerrillas decorated areas of Brixton with ‘spring’ to counteract the rubbish British weather! Flowers popped up on top of bollards, knitted snails crawling along the street, and a bunch of cuddly stuffed bees buzzing through the town! If that’s not an awesome way to use your knitting skills then I don’t know what is!
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