Let Me Lobby For My Hobby: Knitting


Rain Hopkins, Staff

Keeping up with five classes, waking up at 6 a.m. for a thankless job, only to quit and start over somewhere else, and trying to find balance within my personal life, has resulted in a fairly stressful Spring 2015 semester.

These past few months have had me feeling as if I was just going through the motions. The hurried, hectic, seven-things-to-do-each-night motions. I was so focused on going to work, going to class and squeezing in family time, that in my downtime, I actually had no idea what to do with myself. It killed me to know I was being productive in ways I HAD to be productive, and was neglecting being productive with things I wanted to do.

I’ve always considered free-writing my hobby. To me, there used to be nothing like finding a spot, drinking a cup of coffee and writing until my hand cramped up. I was doing so much writing for my classes that even looking at my journal annoyed me. I knew it was time to explore another hobby, something I could do easily in my free time, but still feel like I was being productive.

For Christmas, my mother had knit most of the family scarves all on her own. I thought this was pretty awesome, especially since the scarves looked even more perfect than anything I ever found in stores. I knew knitting was sort of a recent hobby my mother had picked up, and she seemed to have progressed pretty quickly. So a couple of months ago while I was visiting my mother, I watched her do her knitting thing and realized: this was it. This is the hobby I was looking for. It’s simple enough to do during my free time. It allowed room for creativity, and the feeling of accomplishment. When I created an entire scarf or hat or blanket, it would give me the little confidence-boost I needed.hopkins_rain_web-475x316

I was going to be a knitter.

That was a weird thing for me to grasp at first. To be completely honest, I even cracked a few grandma jokes at my mother when she first started knitting. But aside from the old-lady stigma attached to knitting, I was actually really excited. With my mother as my mentor, I asked her why she picked up the hobby.

“I just wanted to see if I could actually do it,” she said.

For the most part she taught herself via YouTube. And being a new grandmother/babysitter, plus working full-time, can make for a pretty crazy schedule. Knitting is a sort of release for her.

“There’s something about the repetitive motions that is very Zen for me,” she said. “Sometimes if I get in the zone, I don’t even have to look at my hands to knit.”

I haven’t gotten to that point yet. At first, knitting was insanely stressful for me. My mother provided me with my first set of needles and plenty of yarn to get me going on my first scarf. It was red with gold sparkles, and it was a hot mess. My first time knitting, I was sitting on my mother’s couch, and she had to help me out at least six times after having royally screwed up. But a basic stitch is a pretty easy thing to pick up when you’re doing it twenty-six times per row, so by the end of the night I was good to go.

Since then, I’ve improved a decent amount. I’m still not a knitting wizard – I’m using the same basic stitch and all I’ve made so far are scarves, but I love it. It’s simple enough to where I really believe anyone can do it, but has enough room for creativity that you make some pretty unique things. Aside from that, there are knitting techniques all over the internet, so it’s also easy to learn.

Picking up a new hobby really has helped me out this semester. I’ve never been one of those people who is really good at everything they do. I’ve been so afraid to try out new things that tennis and writing have been my go-to’s for years now. And you can burn out of anything, no matter how much you love it. So as lame as it sounds, knitting came into my life at just the right time.

And with it being so cheap, I’ll never buy another thirty-dollar scarf again.