Why I Knit

"When I'm inspired, I get excited because I can't wait to see what I'll come up with next."
-Dolly Parton

Why do I knit?

I sometimes think that's a crazy question, but then I stop myself and realize that I don't really have an answer to it.  Why do I knit?

Here are a few of the easy reasons:

  • I like it.
  • It's fun.
  • Yarn is soft.
  • And pretty.

But what about when I'm working on a project that I grow to hate, or one that seems to take forever?  And it no longer is fun, a la repetitive ribbed scarves?  What if I'm making something for someone else, and they want it in a scratchy, ugly puce-colored yarn?  WHAT DO I DO THEN.

I do it anyway.

Knitting adds much more to my life than I could every really express, and I don't find it at all strange that I have such a deep connection to a hobby.  Because it's much more than a hobby for me, now.  It's grown into a mini-business.  It's grown into this blog.  It's grown into me being able to meet new people.  It's grown into something that makes me inexplicably happy.

When I don't know what else to do, I knit.
When I'm bored, I knit.
When I'm upset or sad, I knit.
When I'm doing anything at all that allows me to multitask, I knit.

It thrills me to see what I'm capable of.  I find it amazing that I can make something from a ball of spun animal fur.  I think it's so interesting how the same skein of yarn can become something beautiful or something hideous.  And that it all depends on me.  All I have to do is pick up some string and two sticks and BAM - I just made a scarf.  (Now, if only the process were that quick!)

I asked this same question on my tumblr blog and got a variety of answers. Some people do it because it eases their anxiety.

Heather said, "It's my therapy and produces something physical." Rachel wrote that it helps her get rid of her anxiety and makes her fidgety hands productive. Similarly, Zayne wrote, "I knit because I have anxiety, and it helps to have something to occupy my hands and take my mind off whatever is going on.  The smooth cold needles and the soft yarn are contrasting, comfortable textures, and it's a very relaxing motion."  Another person said that it was meditation for them.

Some do it because they enjoy creating something:

Kayla wrote, "It's a lot of fun and it makes me happy when my friends appreciate the things I make them.  Also it just looks beautiful at times." Benjamin does it because he can make super-long scarves and keep himself awake during lecture classes.  Heather likes how it allows her to be creative, Rachel likes that she can make something pretty and useful, and another responder said that they adore the finished projects!

My favorite response, though, was this one:

"I didn't answer [at first] because I thought it was something I needed to think about.  But after thinking about it I still am not sure what the answer is.  Something about the rhythm and the fact that it is boring and interesting at the same time."

Neither am I sure of my answer.  Is it because I don't know?  Maybe.  But I prefer to think that it's just because there isn't just one reason.  I keep coming back to those needles because I love it.  I love creating. I love being proud of what I've done. I love that the craft has such a long and multi-faceted history. I love giving my knitted items as gifts. I love being complimented on what I've made. I love feeling the fibers in my hands. I love the smell of wet wool. I hate how much money I've spent on yarn in my lifetime and how I'll probably never use it all, but I'll never regret it.  We all need something for ourselves that makes us happy, and knitting is mine.

It's as simple as that.