Why Do You Knit?

Photo by Kellianne Jordan Photograpy

Why Do You Knit?

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When I first learned to knit as a child, I never could have imagined how important the skill would be for my distant future.

Sure, at the time I felt camaraderie with my mom, grandma, aunt, and sister while sitting around knitting together on warm summer days.

Sure, I felt a surge of accomplishment while presenting my hand-knitted gifts to friends and family.

Sure, I (still) beam at the exclamations of, “You made that?!”

Small Things Romper by Carina Spencer (on my full-term newborn son)

Those are all reasons that make me feel good and contribute to why I knit, but here’s the deeper reason:

Using my hands to methodically wrap yarn around my needle and pull it through the loops while also creating something beautiful helps me process my emotions. My imperfect knit and purl stitches represent the imperfect and sometimes uncomfortable parts of life.

Though only worn once, I’ll forever treasure my wedding wrap. With each tearful stitch, I was processing not my excitement at a future with my soon-to-be-husband, but the grief I felt as my dad’s body rapidly succumbed to cancer. He did not live to see me wear that wrap at my wedding reception.

Though only occasionally used as a doll blanket now, I’ll forever treasure the long garter stitch rows of my first baby’s hand-knit blanket. When I couldn’t find my footing as a new mom, when I was so tired I didn’t think I could do it one more day, when my heart felt so full of love I thought it might burst, when I felt the most alone I’ve ever felt– I reached for those soothing stitches. They gave me focus and purpose beyond my new “mom” role.

And with a stubborn determination to carry my second baby to term– because I couldn’t bear imagining staring at another tiny baby lying in a NICU bassinet– I dutifully laid on the couch and knit the tiniest sweaters for the next love of my life. Those stitches helped me envision a baby big enough to wear them right from the beginning of his or her life.

Just Married...legally =)

Knitting has seen me through many of the highs in my life too:

…the shrug I made for my secret, legal wedding ceremony many months before our Mexico wedding celebration with family and friends…

…the hat I knit while soaking up every special moment of an Alaskan cruise…

…the thrill of knitting samples with yarn I dyed in preparation for launching my yarn dyeing business…

I could go on about the benefits of knitting, the way I keep my brain healthy by always learning new things about knitting and yarn, and how I’ll never suffer a cold neck (is there a limit on how many shawls a person should knit?😅). But here’s the crux:

Knitting focuses me. Slows me down. Brings me into the present. Helps me process. And most importantly, heals me.

Why do you knit?

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Mindy Kingery

Mindy Kingery

When I'm not dyeing, designing or dreaming of yarn, you can find me digging in my garden, hiking with my family or working on one of my many, many WIPs.

6 Comments

  1. My reasons for knitting are many but a major one is to play with color. For many years I was quilter playing with color and then painted watercolors. Knitting became my craft when I lived in an apartment to small for quilting. Knitting is also a wonderful mental challenge with a never ending list of new skills to master, a source of conversation topics, and, in this new place I live, it will hopefully be a way to make friends.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share, Robyn! Your reasons for knitting are completely relatable– and I hope it will help you to make friends in your new home =)

  2. I knit to sooth my nerves, to make me calm. Sadly, I didn’t knit a thing during our lockdowns. Absolutely zero. I started doing those sticker dot pictures. They helped, but oh! If you poured out too many dots!! I’m finally getting back to knitting. I hope to dive back in deep enough to finish my Lucy Neatby double layer blanket and my Celistarium. I really only have a few rows of that, but I need the perfect border foe it.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Laurel! The lockdowns were definitely tough times and I’m glad you found something to help you through them. Good luck finishing your projects 🤗

  3. I love your story. I knit to create. I have done so many different crafts in my life. The ones I enjoy most have to do with the use of color and texture. So now I concentrate on knitting and to a lesser extent on quilting. I love gifting something that the recipient treasures.

    1. Oh, yes…the ability to create is such a gift! Colors and textures definitely make my heart sing too. Thank you for sharing, Barbara💗

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