Knitting Gets Social Stamp of Approval

By Charlotte Bumstead
Get out your yarn and needles, Zoomers! Knitting is making a steady comeback. The trend has broken free from any stigma as a hobby strictly for retired folk—knitting has entered the mainstream. It is a way of feeding the creative mind, with endless availability in colours and patterns. The outburst of knitting instructions and tools offered through knitting books, over the Internet and even on television has made the task remarkably intriguing to learn.

At a time, knitting was regarded a necessary skill if you wanted to keep your feet warm. Today, it is commonly compared to yoga and described as a form of meditation; a way of escaping the stressful demands of everyday life and relaxing in a personal serenity. Parallel traits appear in the process of calming, centring, rhythmic repetition and productivity. Although it is an activity most common among women, the number of men eager to pick up the needles is growing fast.

Knitting has also been shown to benefit your health. Benefits include: reducing high blood pressure; relieving stress; aiding arthritic hand joints in keeping limber; providing a workout for the brain, which allows for the possibility of reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease; increasing self-esteem; and helping in recovery from surgery or illness by keeping the patient relaxed and restful.

Even Julia Roberts is doing it. The 43-year-old actress and mother of three admits to trading off a pedicure for some spare time to knit because it makes her happy. Roberts’ public love for knitting has given the knitting movement an encouraging push. She is currently producing—and will be starring in—a film based on author Kate Jacob’s novel called The Friday Night Knitting Club. The book tells the story of a self-employed mother who struggles to find time for herself. Her solution is an idea to host the Friday Night Knitting Club at her yarn store. Juggling a successful career and the demands of single motherhood become overwhelming, and she relies on support from the women of the club to help her through.

The book offers a story relatable for most Zoomers. It also gives evidence to the fact that knitting is not only a solitary pursuit; it can be remarkably rewarding in its social success. You can enjoy the relaxation of knitting while spending time with friends, improving your health and saving money by creating gifts like mittens or scarves for family members.

The judgments of knitting as a reflection of aging are no more. The real question is: have you started knitting yet?