Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Knit For Your Health?

Healthy living is not all about food and exercise.  We all need calming influences to combat the everyday stresses and struggles of normal living.  Often people will find their calm in a hobby.  Hobbies can range from gaming systems to coin collecting, but one hobby that has exploded in popularity over the past few years is knitting.

Knitting (and crocheting) keeps hands busy while freeing up the person to talk, watch television, sit in a waiting room, take a car ride, listen to a speech or any number of other things.  Many believe that the activity provides a calm environment in a crazy world.  Maybe there's something to it.  Knitting "wool" is soft, warm and colorful, and the clack of the needles is somehow comforting.  Not to mention that, no matter what object is being knitted, progress is being made and in the end the knitter will have something nice to show for his/her work.

All kinds of things can be knitted or crocheted.  I decided to take up knitting in November, when my five pound pup had to make trips to the frigid backyard and needed a sweater.  A trip to Petsmart was enough to encourage me to learn to knit the sweaters for her.  A plain sweater the size of a postage stamp cost me over $20.00, and she grew out of that one in a month.

A trip to Michaels for a set of needles, a couple skeins of yarn and a "how to knit" booklet, and I was set to go.  My first project would be a jaunty red scarf.  This pattern uses only one stitch, the garter stitch.  This stitch is so easy that I suspect a baboon could pick it up in 5 minutes, but it was more challenging for me than I care to admit.  The scarf was to be 56 inches, which seemed pretty easy at the time.  Almost 3 months later, I am up to 46 inches and the end is in sight.

I have to say, knitting is very calming and soothing after a long day at work.  I am already thinking about the next project, where I will add yet another stitch to my small knitting font of knowledge.

Knitting or crocheting is cheap and, really, pretty easy to learn.  Plus, you can get your Christmas gifts taken care of early and lower your blood pressure at the same time.  It's worth a try!

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