Just under a year ago, I was spending almost all of my downtime glued to my phone.
I was reading too much news, comparing myself more than I should to the seemingly perfect lives of others on Instagram, and scrolling through the deluge of takes on Twitter even though they angered me.
But then, sometime in September, I decided to try knitting a sweater. You know, just to see if I could.
When I piled my basket with nine balls of sky blue mohair yarn, knitting needles and a pattern book at a craft store later that day, I didn’t think much would come of it.
I had never managed to knit anything bigger or more complex than a basic holey scarf before, and that was a long time ago.
This mohair sweater changed everything
When I got home, I opened the pattern book and started molding.
Everything would come back and the snap of my needles was instantly soothing in the same way as before.
Less soothing? Trying to understand the at first indecipherable language of knitting patterns as a beginner.
But I got by, with help from kind grannies in online knitting groups and various YouTube tutorials.
Without even realizing it, I started using all the downtime I had throughout the day to knit.
With each row, my appreciation for people who make woolen garments grew.
They are so incredibly complex.
I was so into it that I completed that first jump in two weeks – it probably would have taken even less time if I hadn’t broken my elbow somewhere in the middle of that time (but that’s history for another day).
A few hours after I finished, I ventured to a local yarn store for more supplies for my next project.
Stitch by stitch and row by row, I have persevered in the eight months since to craft five sweaters, 1.5 cardigans, a one-shoulder top, a beanie and a hot pink raffia bag that fit me perfectly and look exactly like what I want. for.
As of this writing, I have three jobs in progress and too many clothes to count on my knitting list.
As Miley Cyrus once sang, “No, we can’t stop, and we won’t.”
My obsession with knitting cut my phone use in half
This obviously required a lot of dedication. And that’s why/how I really only use my smartphone for things like calling, texting, or researching future knitting projects these days.
Most of the time, you can find me obsessively knitting my next Mount Everest.
This means my screen time has gone from about four hours a day to two, including the time I use my phone for work.
It’s one of the reasons why deciding to go back to knitting is one of the best half-baked decisions I’ve ever made.
But it’s expensive.
If you want to try it on a budget, you can opt for wool blends or acrylic yarn, look for pre-loved needles and yarn at your local ops store, or even a frog (it’s the term used by knitters to undo) old or second-hand knitted garments in anticipation of bringing them back to life through a new project.
Yarn collectors like me also sell their unused skeins in online groups, so be sure to join the conversation there – we’re a lovely, diverse bunch who want nothing more than to share our language and the joy of slowly hand-knitting (or crocheting!) clothes with the world.
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