Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Knitting is the New Yoga


I've always wanted to knit. A million years ago, I tried to teach myself how to knit. I think it was the summer before eighth grade. Sitting on the floor of my bedroom with a book written for kids and a ball of scratchy yarn, I tried and tried. I remember being so frustrated. I quite get the hang of it.

So I wrote knitting off entirely. I would stick to sewing and embroidering. But knitting was always in the back of my mind as something I wanted to learn. ("Maybe," I thought, "it would be the perfect thing to do when I was 85.") Recently, I was out and about shopping in Soho, ducking into stores while I tried to stay warm. Just as I was about to (attempt to) navigate my way back to the subway, I saw Purl Soho!

Curiosity drove me to march into the store. It was borderline impulsive with very little thinking on my part involved. The formidable wall of yarn was both inviting and intimidating. I felt the stale sense of teenaged frustration in the pit of my stomach. Just as I was about to give up, probably permanently, I saw these cardboard tubes that claimed to teach one how to knit.



SOLD. 


The Purl Soho "Learn to Knit" kit is amazing!!! It comes with two skeins of yarn (each tube has a different color– I chose a charcoal), needles, and a really (truly!) helpful guide.

With the kit, I was able to play around with it a bit and get the hang of how knitting works!

I. Am. Obsessed.

The first scarf took me a while to finish because I was only doing a little bit at a time and I was still quite slow. As lame as it sounds, I was always so excited to go home from work and complete a little bit more of the scarf.

I think knitting is going to be really healthy for me. I have a tendency to never stop working. If I'm at my computer, I'm responding to emails, or answering Tumblr questions, or putting together blog posts, or finishing up a project for work, or just simply writing. It's a major challenge for me to stop. Occasionally, I'll watch something on Netflix (or at the very least listen to Pandora)... but I'm always doing something. It's tiresome, but it's a major challenge to just not do anything. (Even when I'm eating dinner, I'm almost always reading a book!)

Knitting is perfect for me because it FORCES me to use my hands and to stay focused on something other than work. It's an amazing distraction that also has an inevitable result (in this particular case, a scarf)! It's also a good practice to deal with my perfectionism issues. I may have a bad stich every now and then, but because there are so many stitches, it's okay.



When I weaved that last bit of yarn in, I was so proud that I finished!!! Even though the scarf is far from perfect (one end is significantly worse than the other), I love it!

I went back downtown to Purl Soho to pick up more yarn. I set off to finish a scarf for a friend. Determined to finish before the New Year, I churned the scarf out in two days. (I watched a few... eep many... episodes of Downton Abbey.)


I am definitely going to continue practicing. I really, really love knitting!



I think I know what everyone is getting for Christmas next year!!! Better get going!


Any other knitters out there?

xoxo

51 comments :

  1. My sister and her fiance started knitting!! They made me a scarf and hat for Christmas. I am hoping to learn how to knit soon!

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  2. Love this post I learned to knit when I was about 12 at summer camp. When I would come home from camp in August I would want to do it on my own. I did it some, then stopped. I am now 21 and recently I was looking for a knitted infinity scarf. I could not find a good one, so I decided to knit one. I LOVE it! Knitting is such a great hobby. You can do so much with it and yes, they make perfect gifts! Thanks so much, Carly! xo

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  3. I learned to crochet 2 months ago by using youtube videos. It takes some dedication but learning a new stitch is always fun. If your looking for patterns, I suggest ravlery.com. It's a social network for knitters/crocheters where you can post various patterns and projects. Congrats on the new hobby!

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  4. This makes me love you even more! I have been knitting on and off since 5th grade and I will always love it. When I am in an "on" phase I am completely obsessed. Literally all that I can think about. To learn new techniques: YOUTUBE YOUTUBE YOUTUBE. Last summer I learned how to knit socks from youtube videos.

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  5. I need to learn to knit. I taught myself crochet a few months back and just made a bunch of hats (more like berets) for gifts. For me it's used to occupy my hands, because impulse control disorders I have.

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  6. LOVE THE SCARVES. My mom knits and she has made a few wonderful things. I think I might pick it up to calm me down when school stresses me out.

    I love the ribbon you used on the red one scarf by the way - super cute.

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  7. My grandmother taught me how to knit back in the third grade and I still love it. My knitting has definitely evolved in this time, from making blankets for my American Girl dolls to making beautiful scarves and blankets for friends and family. Knitting is a great skill and fun hobby :)

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  8. I love knitting and have been doing in consistently for five years. I'm jealous you get to go to Purl Soho they have one of my favorite knitting blogs and amazing yarn.

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  9. I love knitting! My new year's resolution is to knit something to wear - clothing wise - so I have started a cardigan! So excited! Glad you find it so relaxing - I do too :) Have a rgeat year for 2013!

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  10. i love to crochet and I feel like I need to master that before I move on to knitting. Those scarves are gorgeous for your very first!!

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  11. Have you thought about needlepoint? It is much more preppy and the options are endless? Pillows, belts, ornaments etc? Much easier than knitting too!

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  12. I have knitted a few scarves, but I actually like crocheting better. I think maybe it's because with knitting you have to worry about 2 needles as opposed to 1 hook.

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  13. I'm so happy for you that you've fallen in love with knitting. I've dabbled in it before but this summer my sister sat me down + really helped me figure it all out. I absolutely love knitting - it's such a great way to relax while still feeling productive! xoxo, eliza

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  14. I have been knitting since I was in the 6th grade, so, for 9 years now. I absolutely love it! My friends always joke about it, but it is seriously one of the best stress relievers. I have drawers full of scarves and a few hats and gloves. It is so nice to just sit and knit and not worry about anything for a while. I'm happy you finally tackled it! :) Good for you!! Xxx!

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  15. Congrats on finishing your first scarf! Love the color!

    My mom crochets, and I'm jealous. I tried teaching myself to crochet a few years ago and frustration got the best of me. My mom has been visiting for a few weeks and has made me several cute things. I'm getting the spirit back to attempt to learn again. For me, I'd love something productive to do when I'm watching Netflix (The Office is my addiction).

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  16. I am definitely a knitter. Next time you are in Tampa, visit Knit 'n Knibble - that's where I learned. And I'm sure this has already occurred to you, but there are lots of websites out there with videos if you get stuck. When I moved away from help, that's what I used when I got stuck.

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  17. I started knitting last year and it has been so much fun making special gifts and learning new patterns! I'm even starting to crochet more too. Knitting helps me keep my hands busy so I don't pick at my nails too.

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  18. So jealous! Purl Soho has an adorable website, The Purl Bee, with so many modern, easy-to-follow projects, and the comments sections always provide tons of extra help. I've always wanted to visit the store, but alas, I'm landlocked far from New York...my grandma taught me to knit a few years ago, and I love finding new ideas that aren't at all frumpy. Your scarves look beautiful! And you're not the only one who uses knitting as an excuse for long hours with Netflix =)

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  19. I've been knitting for 8 years (I, like you, tried it, got frustrated, then later wanted to try again and the second time it stuck!) and I'm totally addicted! I am SO JEALOUS that you can just go to Purl anytime you want! They're amazing. You should read their blog, The Purl Bee. It is INCREDIBLE. They have the most gorgeous, easy, classic patterns. I am opening an Etsy shop this month with knitted and sewn items :) Knitting is so great!

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  20. And by the way- you have great technique already! It took me a loooong time and definitely more than 2 scarves to be knitting so nicely. Your stitches really look great!

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  21. Knitted my first scarf like 5years ago! they make for the best gifts

    xo Cassy
    http://theworkette.blogspot.com/2013/01/great-expectations-tag.html
    I tagged you in my recent post!!

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  22. My aunt gave me a scarf she made for Christmas, I'm interested in learning how to knit :)

    http://healthycollegelifestyle101.blogspot.it

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  23. 10 yrs ago I began to knit. I have been going going going ever since. I started with a sleeveless turtleneck made out of a ribbon yarn to wear in the summer and I have not looked back. You will have to see if the Stitches knitting or yarn convention comes anywhere near you. It is a great time. It can actually be over stimulating too though with so much going on.

    I had been in and out of the hosptial for a health issue (which I still have). My mother signed me up for classes at a local knitting store and off I was.

    I think I am a yarn snob too. I will purchase the lower priced yarns (Michaels and Joanns --though their yarns can be quite pricey too) for items that I want to be just thrown into the wash --like a baby blanket or something like that.

    I also used to head the prayer shawl meetings at my parish that are given to people in need of comfort. This past year my mother had two open heart surgeries (14 hour each) and it helped her get through the hospital stay both times and it helped my father while he was waiting during the surgery to have the shawl around him (the second surgery was in August and the air conditioning was on and it was about 10 pm and he was wearing shorts and sandals and just sitting for 14 hours).

    My father wears a different scarf that I have made him for each of the 7 days of the week. He wears the vests that I have made him.

    My husband asks if there is something wrong with me if we go out and I do not have my knitting bag with me even if I never touch it.

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  24. I have always wanted to learn to knit and someone gave me a gorgeous knitted infinity scarf for Christmas that they did themselves! I could never get the hang of it and get frustrated with knitting easily but this kit may be just what I need :)

    XO Your Lifestyle Upgrade

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  25. I wanna start knitting again, this is great inspiration! Good job :)

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  26. Those look incredible! I know how to finger-knit, but I'd love to learn the real way!

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  27. I was hoping that you would do a post on knitting soon, because I've seen your Instagrams of the cute scarves! :) So interesting. What a fun hobby.

    xo
    Shelby
    The Southernista

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  28. I've been knitting for about ten years! I really want to go to the knitting meetups in my neighborhood, but shyness always gets the better of me. Maybe in 2013?

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  29. I can crochet, but never have figured out knitting! I'm a little jealous, your scarf looks way too perfect for someone that just learned to knit!

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  30. i haven't knit in awhile but i love it. my british grandmother taught me when i was little and she used to knit through "the war" (WWII for us non-brits) if she could.

    http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

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  31. I've known to crochet for most of my life, and I picked up knitting when I was younger, too. I like crocheting better than knitting, just because I always stabbed myself with my own needles! But now I'm working on an afghan, it's the best way I know to take a breather and stop worrying about everything I need to get done.

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  32. You may be interested in a wonderful knitting website, Ravelry. Knitters from all over the world show their work, which patterns that they use, which yarns, they ask questions! Its a wonderful resource.
    Jan

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  33. I love knitting! My grandmother taught my sisters and I when we were young. I go to Georgetown and in the fall I joined a group called Knit for the Needy - we make scarves all semester and then at the very end donate them to the homeless!

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  34. This is too funny because I just started knitting and my friends all laughed when I told them! But of course, one of them just saw this post and goes "Look what TCP is doing...I think I want to try and learn to knit too."

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  35. Your scarves are beautiful! My sister just taught me how to knit, but I get so frustrated if I get one thing wrong! I'm hoping this will teach me to relax? I can't wait to finish a big chunky scarf!

    Emily
    www.prettyshinymine.blogspot.com

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  36. I taught myself how to crochet during my freshman year of high school. It's so calming and mindless - I had a hard time trying to knit due to having to count stitches so intently. I love yarn work, I want to pick up needle point next.

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  37. I was like you- imtriento teach myself to knit, and then at different times in my life had a few friends try to teach me. I always ended up getting so frustrated and giving up. To this day it's been something I've wanted to learn but am afraid to give it another shot. You've inspired me to give it another try!! It's been a few years since my last attempt so maybe this will be the time I actually learn!

    Charlee Anne @ thepreppygraduate.com

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  38. I spent all of my holiday break free-time watching Downton Abbey too! Love that show and can't wait for the next season soon. Knitting is definitely the perfect activity to keep busy while watching too.
    xo Tess

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  39. I've been crocheting for a couple of years now, and I am absolutely in love! I even made my boyfriend a scarf for Christmas this year. I think it's such a great way to relax while also doing something productive, and you end up with some really cute accessories! I learned how to crochet headbands and you would be surprised how simple they are :)

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  40. I've always wanted to try knitting! I've even seen a few people actually bring their yarn and needles to big lectures with them!

    http://catchtwentyone.blogspot.com

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  41. I love crocheting, my first project was a blanket for a double bed, go big or go home! But knitting I just can't get the hang of particullay when I drop stiches. But I love your scarf :)

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  42. i knitted for a while, but I really enjoy crocheting!!! It's easier (my point of view) and if you mess up you can pull the stitch out and start again!! You also get results alot quicker than knitting which for me took me forever!!

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  43. I saw that someone already mentioned Ravelry--great great great site for getting inspiration, help with patterns and finding your next project. There are several great yarn stores in NYC too. One that I always drop into when I'm in the city (I live in FL so a trip to NYC is always a treat for me) is Knitty City (ladies that work there are fabulous and helpful + the store has some beautiful yarn).

    I started knitting a lot when I graduated from college and had my first job too!! 6 years later, I'm not knitting as much due to time constraints, but I always have a project on the needles for me to pick up when I have a little time here and there.

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  44. I knit, I decided to learn when my six year old was a baby and I've definitely had an on again off again relationship with it. Before I knew there was a local yarn shop I was terrible at keeping up with it. Now I've got a baby blanket in the works and a plan for a valentines day scarf and hat. I recommend joining ravelry. It has a ton of patterns you can sort by if its free and how hard it is

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  45. Great post!for me knitting is the new yoga, I'm in my final year of undergraduate studies for Psychology, and I knit to relax! I have a knitting video podcast where I talk about my works in progress and my trials of uni :-) its called Studentknits, are you on raverly yet?

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  46. I've been knitting since high school and I love it! Keep it going -- I can't wait to see what else you whip up! :)

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  47. You should check out Ravelry.com ! It's a great resource for finding new (free!) patterns, and you can keep track of the projects that you have already done. Plus you can connect with other friends and see what they're knitting. I love it!

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  48. I got the Learn to Knit Kit as a gift from a friend when she started school at Columbia 6 years ago. It was seriously the best gift and I have longed to go to their store ever since.

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  49. It's great to read that you took up knitting again. Keep challenging yourself and before you know it, you'll be knitting sweaters!

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  50. I just started learning to knit a week ago and I really like it. I don't know if I would put it on the same level as yoga (for me), but it's lots of fun!

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