Why you should learn to knit this lockdown

Why you should learn to knit this lockdown

In March, I don’t think any of us believed we’d be back in lockdown by November. But alas, here we are – although hopefully it’s just for a month this time. More than enough time to learn how to knit!

The start of lockdown 1 as you know, wasn’t kind to me. However, after moving back home in May I did so many wonderful things. I spent so much quality time with my wonderful family and caught up with old friends for the first time in years. I was even lucky enough to go on holiday with my best friend for two weeks. Most importantly, I had a lot of time to heal, and a lot of time to knit.

In September, I finally moved back down south to finish my MSc. Less than a day later I had a new job and fully settled back into routine. Now, less than two months later, we are locked down again.

Just as it was last time, knitting is my saving grace. Knitting is giving me endless ways to fill my time on this month off. It is keeping me calm and in all honesty, its giving me a reason to get up and do something every day.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I LOVE knitting. I think everyone should give it a go at some point in their life. So here are all my reasons why I think you should learn to knit this lockdown.

Learn to knit for your Mental Health

There have been so many studies into the calming and stress reducing effects of knitting. The repetition of knitting can increase your serotonin levels which can help to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety! It can also provide a huge distraction on particularly trying days. We’ve all had our fair share of trying times this year. So why not learn to knit this lockdown to see if it helps?

Learn to knit as a Creative Outlet

No matter how uncreative you may think you are, I truly believe that everyone needs a creative outlet in their lives. Having a creative outlet can really add happiness to our lives. Knitting can appeal to even the most uncreative person, trust me! I’m sure most people can find joy from picking out different coloured yarn, matching pretty shades, feeling the different fibres.

If you’re the kind of person that sees yourself as more ‘mathsy’ then knitting is also perfect for you! There can be a lot of repetition and maths involved in different aspects of knitting.

It is an Indoor Activity!

During a time where we are repeatedly being asked to stay at home, we need to find things to do whilst stuck indoors. Knitting is the perfect indoor hobby! You can spend hours absorbed in a project, or knit something simple whilst binge watching your favourite Netflix series.

It is good for us all to have a way to pass the time during this winter lockdown that isn’t spending hours glued to our phone and laptop screens. So stop scrolling on Instagram for a few hours and learn to knit this lockdown!

Dandelion Day dream top in raspberry red, about 20 rows in. In the background a cosy room.
How I spend most gloomy lockdown evenings! This is my latest Dandelion Daydream Top.

It’s Good for your brain!

When you knit you use different parts of your brain at the same time. This can help slow the onset of dementia in later life. When knitting, your hands and brain are working together which also helps improve dexterity, maintain your fine motor skills and improve your hand strength.

To Make Clothes You Love

I still feel like many people who don’t knit have this vision of knitting as scratchy woollen jumpers in garish patterns and colours. In reality, you can knit ANYTHING in pretty much any style and material you want to. The great thing about making your own clothes is that you can tailor it to exactly what you want and to fit you perfectly. (I have really short arms so I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have long sleeved clothes that I don’t have to roll up…)

Making your own clothing also comes under the slow fashion movement! Making more of your own clothing makes you fully appreciate the time and effort that goes into the production of clothing. Did you know, companies like H&M, despite their plug of being more sustainable, still burn up to 12 tonnes of surplus unsold clothing each year simply to stay ‘up to date’ with fashion.

Making your own clothing means it’s often super high quality and with the proper care it will last longer than a shop bought equivalent! So if you’re like me, and keep being furloughed, learn to knit this lockdown so you can make the wardrobe of your dreams.

Learn to knit to Combat Loneliness

Not to queue the sad violin music or anything… but 2020 has been the loneliest year of my life. I’ve been locked down, I’ve shielded and now I’m ‘clinical extremely vulnerable’- I’m scared to go outside most of the time. I didn’t go into a supermarket for over 100 days. Instead, I did what I had to and stayed at home.

Luckily, the knitting community on Instagram is an absolutely wonderful place. I might feel lonely, but there’s always people supporting what I do, and so many people who are in similar situations to me. I was talking to a friend the other day about the fact that I don’t know anyone else with my chronic illness that isn’t over the age of 60.

When I wrote about being ill on Instagram, so many of you opened up to me about your own struggles and battles, and despite not being the same as mine, it was such a comfort to know other people do understand.

I’ve had the pleasure of talking to so many wonderful amazing people thanks to the knitting community online, and this year especially its helped me combat that lonely feeling.

It’s a Life Time Skill

Knitting is a bit like riding a bike. You might put it down and come back to it 5 years later, but you will still remember how to do the basics. It’s a hobby that, at any age, in any setting, you can do. Once you’ve mastered the basics you can truly knit anything as well- Jumper? Sure. Dishcloth? Obviously. Blanket? Why not.

It is also one of those lovely skills that can be passed down in families. I learnt to knit at a young age from my exceptionally talented Mother. She was taught a love of yarn from her grandmother who crocheted. One day, if I’m ever fortunate enough to have children, I’d love to pass the skill onto them too. So why don’t you learn to knit this lockdown so one day you can teach your family too.

A very windswept photo with my gorgeous mummy, my best friend.

Learn to knit for the Pure Joy of it

In a time where there isn’t much to look forward to, I always have knitting. I am so blissfully happy when working on a project (as long as it’s going well…) and even on the worst days, it never fails to boost my mood and bring me pure joy. These days, if I don’t have a project on the go it makes me feel genuinely so sad.

I currently have 4 projects on the go (it’s stessful!) but if I didn’t it would actually make me sad.

Future Lockdown Boredom Fixer

I really do believe we are going to have a fair few more lockdowns in the future. It’s going to take a long time to roll out the vaccine and the cases are still pretty high. So why not prepare now- purchase that yarn, get those needles and learn to knit this lockdown to cure any future lockdown boredom you may have.

Hopefully I’ve managed to convince you to try out my favourite hobby and passion. Thank you so much for giving this a read, and I can only apologise for how long it has been since I last uploaded a blog post. Life got in the way, and I lost all confidence with my writing/ rambling. I struggled to coherently write my thoughts out in a way I thought people would enjoy. Hopefully, I’ll have some more content coming soon!

I hope you’re all looking after yourselves,

Em x

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