Is Knitting The New Mindfulness? We Put It To The Test And It Didn’t Exactly Go To Plan

Apparently it's being called the 'new yoga'. Here's how we got on...

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Think knitting’s just something your granny does to pass the time? Eh, wrong! We’re calling it; knitting needles and wool are going to replace your pencils and colouring books in 2016.

A recent study revealed that a whopping 81.5% of participants felt happier after knitting. The study also discussed the therapeutic and mindful effect knitting can have.

We here at STELLAR are huge fans of anything mindful so, of course when we read the research that showed a link between knitting and mindfulness we had to have a go!

Here’s how STELLAR writer Laura got on. A heads up: It wasn’t all plain sailing:

My memories of knitting consisted of my primary school teacher repeating “Down the little bunny hole, around the big tree, up pops bunny and away runs he.” Not very exhilarating to say the least.

However, lately I had noticed myself becoming less mindful due to my hectic lifestyle, and time that I had once put aside for my adult colouring book was now spent binging on Netflix series.

I was starting to feel the side effects of this behaviour, I was so irritable and cranky that I knew something had  to change. So, when STELLAR were looking for a knitting guinea pig I understandably volunteered.

I was probably a bit optimistic not buying a beginners kit, but hey, I wanted to knit a really nice, long wooly scarf so I began my knitting escapades with a huge ball of dark turquoise wool and two fairly large knitting needles.

Admittedly, I had to get my mum to ‘cast on’ (knitters speak for start off) my knitting as I tried following YouTube tutorials to no avail.

When I finally got the hang of it, it was so rewarding. I felt a new sense of calm that I’d never felt before.

And then the wool broke. This instilled a new sense of rage in me that I had also never felt before. How was I meant to continue with my knitting now that the needle and the wool were no longer connected? There was no way I was going to start again.

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The wool got a bit, er, tangled

After I calmed down, I figured out that I could start using small balls of wool rather than the whopper, tangled one I had started off with, once I figured this out I was flying again.

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Small balls of wool work far better for me

Now, from the pics, I know it seems like I haven’t gotten too far but trust me knitting a scarf is a lengthy process. Although it’s hard to find the right time and place to knit  (I couldn’t knit away on the 46a for example) when I do get a chance to come home and knit a few lines after a hectic day it’s a great feeling.

slow and steady wins the race...

Slow and steady wins the race…

Marina Hand from Winnie’s Craft Cafe (a cafe that combines food, coffee and all things knitting) agrees that it’s a fab way to (pardon the pun) unwind.

“It’s a great way to take a break and focus on something. It makes you focus on the now and take a break from the world, its definitely very mindful,” she tells us.

And what if you’re a beginner? That’s no problem according to Marina who says, “You can start from any level, there are loads of ways to learn! You can take beginner classes here, read books on knitting or watch YouTube tutorials.”

As for me, I’ll definitely keep going with my knitting escapades, why don’t you give it a try too?

Tweet us pics of your progress at @stellarmagazine… no matter how unimpressive you think they may be.

Here’s a guide to get you started…

By Laura Somers