Knitting is not a hobby–It’s a post-apocalyptic life skill.

By Roisin, Bristol, UK

Instagram: @Ssshh_im_counting

I was working full time during the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic right up until about a month ago. Throughout this year of upheaval, knitting has been my solace. It’s provided stress relief, focus, a fun thing to look forward to, and let’s be honest……very, very soft hands.

It’s not surprising that as our world was turned upside down by this global pandemic, and lockdown imprisoning us in our own homes, that people sought new hobbies and projects to keep them sane. Remember the flurry of proud banana bread makers, and those fraught with anxiety over their newly concocted sourdough starters? My social media was rife with people learning a new instrument, discovering a love for art, or throwing themselves into their home improvements. In a time of so much uncertainty, it’s completely natural to seek soothing activities to spend our time on. In particular, projects with tangible results give us the reassurance that in a world of chaos, we have control over something. It’s no coincidence then, that there has been a huge surge in demand for crafts like knitting.

As hobbies go, knitting is accessible, inexpensive, and hugely rewarding. You don’t have to be a talented crafter or have any prior knowledge. A few clicks on youtube or social media and soon you can be a totally self-taught knitting wizard! We are a long way from the traditional image of knitters being confined to grandmas knitting ugly sweaters every Christmas. The modern knitting movement is sweeping across social media and with it a rise in amazing makers across the globe, and a long-awaited fall in fast fashion.

I adore everything about knitting. The feeling of the yarn in my hands, the repetitive nature of the motions, the complete satisfaction that comes from having a garment to wear that I made completely from scratch. It is still completely alien to me that just by wrapping strings of wool around some needles results in these amazing garments. Knitting is often compared to meditation, and I couldn’t agree more. When you are stressed, anxious or have something playing on your mind; knitting has a way of removing you from the present and focuses your mind on the motions. If there were ever a time to be anxious, it’s probably during a global pandemic right? but my trusty yarn & needles have kept me sane (and away from the red wine). It’s a craft you can do anywhere, with very little tools required. Knitting is a practical skill, and if there is anything I’ve learned in the past few months, it’s that being able to make your own clothes is a pretty badass life skill.

Despite the horror this pandemic has brought, it has also given us the gift of time; Time that I have used to craft my way through this chaotic and uncertain period. Hopefully, I can continue to share my joy of knitting with the world, one chunky bobble hat at a time.

We’re about at the end of the #loveinatimeofcovid project! To read more about the project and previous #lovestories about #goodnews during this year, browse earlier essays.

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