How has KNITTING changed your life?

Okay, besides turning me into a yarn-crazed, caffeine-junky who stays up at all hours to finish ‘just one more row…’ knitting has really had a profound effect on my life.

I am a work-a-holic, mother of 2 children (1 of which has Asperger’s Syndrome and the other a 3 yo), wife, and budding crafter. 2 years ago, my son was having some real problems with his writing skills and his ability to focus and complete projects (little did I know that knitting isn’t always the best way to COMPLETE alot of things). I read a really interesting article about art and children with disabilities. I placed my son in a pottery class and he flourished! A friend of mine told me to try knitting as a way to help him with his small motor coordination. Well… to say the least, I was NOT a crafty mommy. I had always wanted to craft, but never had the time to. So I was on a mission to learn to knit.

So I went to my LYS and preceeded to pick up 6 or more different hanks of yarn and knitting needles. I looked absolutely clueless and the sales lady noticed and came rushing over to me. I told her my whole story and she told me to come back tomorrow with my son. I did and she helped us pick out some yarn, needles, and notions. She sat with us for 30 minutes teaching us to cast on and perform the knit stitch. We went home and knitted all afternoon. It was horrible. I couldn’t believe that I teach adult women to draw blood and perform medical procedures, but I couldn’t knit a scarf to save my life. I felt like a failure.

I went online and found this site. The videos helped us tremendously. That summer, we knit scarves (kinda) together. Since then, we don’t knit daily due to our very hectic lifestyle. But we do sit and knit together one day a week. His handwriting was so much improved this fall, that the teachers asked me what we were doing. I have also taken more time out to craft with my kiddos. They so enjoy the creativity and the time together. And I’ve even learned that I don’t need to be perfect to have fun. (Not true in medicine!)

So all in all, knitting has brought me and my son so much closer. It has helped him find an outlet for his frustrations (less meltdowns); improve his handwriting; and increase his self-confidence because he creates and finishes (more than I can say for myself) projects; and has helped to foster a love for art. He was never good at sports or music and felt really down about himself. Now he has this to feel good about.

What’s your story?

I have been knitting for about 1 year…still so much to learn…but cannot seem to keep the laundry done, DH’s supper cooked, housework done…anything but KNITTING. I am addicted and it is all I really want to do. Take my knitting bag with me everywhere I go, just in case there is an extra long red light, I can get in a stitch or two :teehee: . It’s my sanity right now. Yeh for KH!!:cheering: :cheering:

I taught myself to knit just a few months ago. For me, it is an awesome creative outlet but it is also my way of keeping sane and helping me with my self worth. I was diagnosed with lupus about 5 years ago. It wasn’t until recently that I have experienced my first real flair up (and still going through it). There isn’t much I can do some days due to the lack of energy or just being in so much pain. So I sit and knit (and crochet). I can at least feel like I have accomplished something that day…even if it just a few rows…I at least have something to show for it.

Knitting has helped me to find “my center”. I’m not really into the whole serenity new age thing, but knitting calms me so much when I am stressed. It has really given me something to turn to, almost like a friend. It also boosts my self esteem. I have been amazed at what I have been able to accomplish with yarn and 2 needles (not ready for the multiple needle thing yet LOL!!!). I LOVE knitting and won’t ever stop!!!

I know exactly what you mean. Knitting is an outlet for me as well. And it’s better than Prozac. Hee-hee.

Well said Dobek1011.
Knitting also for me is my connection to my mother, grandmother, great-great grandmother, and on and on. All the women in my family I have loved and looked up to knitted. Now with all of them gone, I feel close to them when I knit. Seeing my dds 4 and 2 interested and beginning to learn to knit is an example of the connections of all generations before and those to be.

My sentiments exactly, Darcia!

I am just now getting back into knitting. It really does make me feel closer to my mom and aunt who were avid knitters, crafters, sewers, etc. (Hmmm, those groups of words didn’t sound exactly right.lol)

I try to do a little each day now so that I can feel like I’ve accomplished something.

CBH

When my son was two, we lived in a house that had an apartment building next door. A woman used to sit on her balcony and knit and watch the baby play in the backyard every day in the afternoon. One day I invited her to come down for coffee and to sit in the yard to knit. I watched her carefully. The fourth time she came down I asked her to teach me, which she did. We had a LYS right on the corner of the street so I went and got some yarn and needles and started knitting that same day.

I knit two items, one was a sweater for my son and one was a hoodie (which never got finished and I have no idea where it even is these days). Life got busy, I had another baby and I put the needles away and didn’t knit for a long time. When I moved to another town I met a woman who knit A LOT. I brought out the needles and made a “sweater” to teach myself how to knit again. It is horrible, the sleeves are too short and I don’t like the colour, but I learned how to knit sweaters. However I was discouraged. Again the needles went away for a while when life was too busy with teenagers and work and, well, life in general.

All of a sudden I woke up one day and my DS was long gone, my DD was grown and gone and PREGNANT!! I was going to be a Gramma. I took up the needles again (9 years ago now) and have not put them down since. I made a very complicated pattern called a Teddy-All-In-One and it took me three months to finish it. I then made a matching blanket. I then made bottle warmers. I then made a teddy bear. I wrapped them all up and delivered them to her baby shower. I was totally addicted!

At first it was just one or two projects a year (usually something sizable like a blanket), but then the addiction grew and now it is more like three or four projects OTN a month.

I used to be a VERY active person. I never stopped. Then life gave me a reality check. Five years ago I got quite ill. It took the medical profession two years to find out what was wrong with me. It took another year to stabilize me with medication. I almost died twice during this process. Coming that close to death gives you a different approach to life. You become a little bit greedy and a little bit selfish and you just want more and more of the life you almost lost.

So I decided to do something fun AND useful. I knit… AND I knit… AND I knit some more. The second Christmas I was ill, I knit 10 sweaters and one baby dress as Christmas gifts for family members. I started in July and finished Christmas day as the guests were arriving.

I went from having one project on the go at a time, to three at a time during this period. I am now labelled “disabled” and I am so grateful for my knitting skills because it makes me feel somewhat useful right now, when I can’t do a lot of the things I used to do. I am also labelled “addicted” because no matter where I go, I have a knitting bag with me and I am always coming up with new things to knit. I like that I can sit here with a few sticks and some yarn and make something that makes my grandchildren happy.

Knitting has taught me patience, attention to detail, endurance, determination, has given me a sense of self worth again and has given me back my sanity.

Knitting has changed my life in that if there ever was a nuclear winter or I somehow ended up in some post-apocalyptic world where we didn’t have internet and cheaply manufactured clothing, I could sustain myself and make all the things that me and my loved ones would need to survive. If I ever find myself in that situation, I know that I would have an invaluable skill that would contribute to the well being of whatever community I find myself in.

We moderns think we’re sooooo smart, but how many of us could live off the land without the aid of technologies we don’t understand? I’m so glad I’ve learn to knit. My loved ones will NEVER have to worry about keeping their head, neck, feet or hands warm. Ever. And that has changed my life.

I’m in my early 20’s, so I’ve taken all that for granted until very recently. You don’t realize when you’re 12 that even just two generations ago, people lived VERY differently, worked VERY differently… and how quickly things can change and how knowing how to do for yourself can mean the difference between treading water all your life and having enough to get by.

I’m getting ready to head off to a class called Science, Mind and Philosophy, so maybe that explains the weird twinge to that post. xD

knitting calms me and fulfills my need to have a creative outlet. I sit here at work and look forward to perhaps having an hour or so of knitting in the evening. I grew up in a musical and visual art household and was always encouraged to express myself through those mediums. for a period of over 10 years starting in my early 20s I didn’t do any art as a hobby - either because of lack of money, lack of time, or depression - or all 3 combined. I didn’t start knitting until I was a month shy of 34 years old, but I’m so glad I did! I love color and texture and it still amazes me that a little string can turn into something fun/useful/interesting.

Knitting being so meditative has helped me get through a lot of stressful times. It gives me another way to express my creativity, which is also another way for me to express how much other people mean to me. It’s made me snack less so it’s helped me loose some weight. It keeps my fingers and wrists active and that relieves my arthritis pain.

I’ve always longed to be good at something crafty. I tried scrapbooking…didn’t hold my attention very long. It was by coincidence, and ignorance as to the difference between knitting and crocheting, that I took up knitting. It makes me so happy to be good at something that I can make with my own hands. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and I feel like it filled a void that I had in my life.

Knitting, for me, has been a huge bonding experience with my aunt. At least it started that way. I learned in school when I was younger, but no one could help me or teach me after that. My aunt and I became close when I moved to the same city for university. The summer before last she re-taught me how to knit and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s great because we have a common interest and it keeps us connected.
I also love that it is something that my ancestors have done for generations. My mom knits, my aunt, my grandmas and before them. My grandma was a very skilled knitter and made gorgeous and complicated fair isle sweaters. Unfortunately I never got to meet her, but I have a sweater that she made for my mom when she was pregnant.
I also love that knitting is something hands on and productive in a day and age where everything is computerized. I love that when I come home from sitting in front of a laptop I can pick up my needles and create something. Something real, tangible. And it’s something not everyone can do, especially people my age.

I started picking up knitting again this November/December. I had health problems ( which are still being investigated) and just had to take it easy, so teaching myself to knit continental style ( I learnt English as a child) has given me an attainable, well mostly attainable;) creative challenge.

Knitpurlgurl, I am soo impressed that you knit with your son, and that learning to knit has helped with his handwriting. My son has autism and I never thought of teaching him to knit, you have given me a great project for us to do together this half term.:grphug:

Thank you. I hope you and your son enjoy it. My son is AS and 12 yo. Where on the ASD is your son and how old?

My son is ten years old and his " official" diagnosis is high functioning autistic spectrum disorder. We’re in the UK, so some of our termology might be different, but as far as I understand high functioning autism is pretty similar to Aspergers, but my son’s consultant said that his speech delay as a small child means that he fits best into the high functioning autism category.

My son is a moderate Asperger’s kid. He has some real social issues. No speech delays or other physical delays, fortunately. However, he is very socially impaired and we are actually pulling him out of the public school system due to the complete lack of positive socialization and constant bullying from other children. I plan to quit my teaching job after this school year and homeschool him next year. Our insurance company is not required (here in the states) to cover any diagnoses on the autism spectrum, so therapies are not easily available to us. We try whatever will work. I don’t know how easily available therapies are there for you. Good luck to you. And thank God your son is high functioning. I thank God every day that my son is so high functioning. My heart goes out to parents of children who are extremely low functioning.

That’s part of it. It’s MY space, my accomplishment.

Knitting was suggested to me, by a professional, as a way to cope with
being kept waiting while DH got ready to go somewhere with me.
I began picking up needles and knitting, instead of getting more impatient while he dawdled.
Pretty soon, he saw I wasn’t interested in looking at the time, and even in being there on time, and I was more interested in finishing a row, than in seeing if he was ready to go.
Now, I like being creative, learning more advanced knitting techniques, as a challenge to my mind. I like learning about yarns, and seeing how things look, once completed.

Now that I think about it, there isn’t so much waiting for DH anymore. He’s gotten better, at being ready on time.

So, knitting has done whatever THAT is, for me.
What is that?

I can feel proud of myself for learning a new skill and doing it well. On the other side, I can look forward to learning even more - you never get “to the end” of knitting - there’s always more to learn!

It plays to my love of multi-tasking. I can knit and watch baseball! I don’t feel like my time has been [I]completely[/I] wasted waiting in a doctor’s office. I can take advantage of idle time while getting my hair done or riding in the car.

It relaxes me and helps me unwind, which I definitely need. I have a hard time shutting down my brain and I can occupy it with something calming and repetitive instead.

It’s hard to feel down on yourself when you’re in the middle of creating something beautiful from two sticks and a ball of yarn! :wink: