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Aside from reading and anything book related, my other hobby and passion in life is KNITTING! I rarely talk about knitting here on my book blog, unless I'm talking about the books I've recently purchased about knitting or reviewing a knitting book I've read... I've also mentioned my knitting blog before and maybe knitting in a couple of other posts, otherwise, Captivated Reader, has been solely a bookish related blog.
So, I thought it might be kind of fun to talk about my other favorite hobby, knitting, today and why I love it so much.
1. Learning New Skills/Techniques -- I initially began knitting in April 2014 because my New Year's Resolution that year had been to try something new... As in try a new hobby.
I chose to learn knitting in 2014 as I'd always been fascinated by knitting. The idea of turning a skeins of yarn into something usable sounded like a lot of fun. I like being creative and making interesting and useful things.
I initially wanted to learn how to knit years ago, but never got around to it. So, I took the plunge and decided to join a knitting class at a local yarn store. I thought I'd learn the basics of knitting, make a few easy projects for beginners, and then move on to another hobby... I never expected to fall in love with knitting! Falling in love with knitting was a gradual process. It took me about 6 months before I fell head over heels with knitting. I love knitting because there always seems to be something new to learn, which makes it fun for me and keeps me interested in learning more.
2. Creative Outlet --- I love turning skeins of yarn into something special. The possibilities are endless... I can make socks, tea cozies, sweaters, shawls, gloves, scarves, hats, purses, skirts, jewelry, headbands, etc. all through knitting skeins of yarn... I can make things in different colors, with yarn made of different materials, using different patterns. As I mentioned already, the possibilities are endless... I enjoy the process of knitting as I like the creative process of knitting.
3. Turning Skeins of Yarn Into Something Special/Unique/Usable --- I am always thrilled to make something with skeins of yarn. I like seeing the completed project once I am finished knitting it. It makes me smile too see that I've created something that was once a ball of yarn. I like seeing my knitting improve over time. I like seeing that I could actually start and finish making what I thought was a difficult project at the time and seeing that it turned out well in the end despite making errors along the way. I also enjoy learning how to fix my mistakes, like dropped stitches, etc. I enjoy making knitted gifts for other people (mainly family and friends) and see them enjoying what I've made them.
4. The Health Benefits of Knitting --- Knitting is relaxing and it helps reduce stress!! Knitting has certainly helped me relax and decrease feelings of stress.
I love that I am learning new knitting techniques and completing many knitting projects over time. This gives me a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I love see the finished project. Seeing myself master a new knitting technique only helps my confidence grow in becoming a better knitter!
Also giving handmade gifts for birthdays and holidays is awesome too, as friends and family members enjoy receiving handcrafted gifts as presents.
Knitting can also help prevent arthritis and tendinitis and even help reduce memory loss by up to 30%!! (See the following Sacramento Bee article about the health benefits of knitting).
5. Yarn --- Ah, the joys of YARN!! Yarn is the equivalent of books!! In my opinion, you can never have enough yarn (or books for that matter). I love visiting yarn stores and touching all the different kinds of yarn they have on hand. There are so many colors to choose from... You can buy wool yarn, alpaca yarn, acrylic yarn, silk yarn, cotton yarn, banana fiber yarn, yarn made from dog hair, and so on. And of course, yarn that is made in varying degrees of thickness. Alpaca yarn had become one of my new favorite yarns to use as it is very soft and warm.
6. Independent Yarn Stores --- Visiting independent yarn stores brings me joy. Visiting independent yarn stores is just as fun as visiting independent bookstores. It's difficult to leave yarn stores without buying more skeins/hanks of yarn, knitting needles, or other accessories.
7. The Knitting Community --- Knitters are a friendly bunch of folks and they are also very helpful in answering newbie questions and help problem solve on difficult projects. There's usually a group of knitters at local yarn stores knitting, so I find it fun to hang out at knitting stores and socializing when I can.
8. Knitting Accessories/Bling --- I love all the knitting bling made for knitters.... Everything from knitting needles, knitting bags/totes, stress relief gloves to t-shirts, mugs, etc. with humorous knitting quotes on them.
9. Knitting Podcasts --- There are several knitting podcasts out there for knitters to listen to and enjoy! I've only recently begun listening to the Never Not Knitting Podcast hosted by Alana Dakos. I've only listened to a few of these podcasts and look forward to listening to the entire series and also discovering new knitting podcasts. If you listen to knitting podcasts and have one you really enjoy listening to, please feel free to share the name of the knitting podcast with me in the comment section below.
10. Knitting Conventions --- Admittedly, I haven't been to a knitting convention yet, but there is an annual knitting/crochet convention near where I live that I'd love to attend next year. It's called Stitches West and it is located in San Jose, California. Stitches West sounds wickedly awesome as it offers a wide range classes for knitters and crocheters to participate in. Plus, a large marketplace where one can purchase yarn and other tools of the trade during there visit.
So, what are you passionate about???