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Why Do We Knit?

August 17, 2021

This year I’ve been feeling particularly…existential. I’ve been questioning all my habits and routines, my favourite (and least favourite) things, my ‘whys’ and ‘why nots’. With all this introspection, I’ve been looking a little differently at how I spend my time, and one of the questions I put to myself is: why do I knit? What brings me back time and again to this craft I hold so dear? This is the theme we’ll be exploring at Tin Can Knits throughout the coming year.

Savouring rhythmic joy

My personal love of knitting begins with the process. I love to see beautiful materials pass through my fingers stitch by stitch. I adore the feeling of accomplishment as a piece grows from a little cast-on to a full-grown sweater, created with nothing but my hands, some sticks, and some string. I love taking these simple things and turning them into something amazing.

4 skeins of yarn in a line.
Skeins of yarn represent endless possibilities!

As someone who brings her yarn bag everywhere, I use my knitting in many different ways. Sometimes it keeps my nervous hands busy while I wait at appointments or sit on the sidelines of my kids’ sports. Sometimes it’s ‘conversational’. I like to have something simple on the needles as I while away the evening with friends, just knitting round and round while chatting and laughing. There’s also the kind of knitting that lets my mind wander – stitches happening seemingly by themselves, while I take the time to ponder other things.

Knitting connections

Then there’s the joy of meeting other knitters – or even those who haven’t picked up the craft yet. Knitting in public is often a conversation starter. Some people are fascinated by the fact that I can knit without looking at the work, and they just have to ask about it. Others can’t wait to tell me about the amazing things their grandparents knit for them many years ago. In this way, knitting brings a little bit of connection.

Practicing possibility one stitch at a time

Knitting is a simple but repetitive process. Stitch by stitch, you build. But you’re not only building a knitted item – you’re also building your knitting skills. With each stitch, you get a little closer to that finished object, and you become a slightly better knitter. For me, this brings a bit of confidence that translates to other areas of my life. If I can build a sweater one stitch at a time, so many other things seem possible. Maybe I can hike that mountain, read that book, or bake that fancy cake!

Five children in a rainbow of handknit sweaters.
An epic feat of knitting and photography skills: all the cuzzies in Gramps sweaters!

Making beautiful, meaningful things

While I thoroughly enjoy the process of knitting, the finished product is also a source of great pride, happiness, and love. Knitting allows me to create something beautiful that contains a lot of meaning for me. I know about all the materials that went into it, the story of the project-planning, where I knit it, and all the trials and tribulations I encountered along the way. I know where the mistakes are and where I learned something new. I know that particular thing inside and out.

A woman in a white sweater with a colourwork yoke.
My latest finished sweater just for ME! This is the Embers sweater, and I’m pleased as punch with it!

Gifting woolly love

One of my greatest joys is giving things I make to people I love. I like to think about the recipient as I plan my project, and I like to think I knit a little bit of love into each stitch. I take particular pride and joy in seeing my children clothed in my knits. They’re still young enough to proudly tell anyone who will listen that their Mum MADE their sweater for them. When they leave the house and venture out into the world, I know they are clad in a woolly little armour imbued with love. The same goes for any knits I gift. I hope the recipient remembers how much I care each time they put on their toque, scarf, or socks.

A stack of knit hats.
A stack of Barley hats, ready to be gifted.

Why do you love knitting?

Now that I’ve waxed poetic about my own reasons for knitting, I put the question to you: why do you knit? Leave a comment and let us know your very favourite things about knitting. Emily and I would LOVE to hear from you!

~ Alexa

103 Comments leave one →
  1. BHUVANESHWARI .G. permalink
    September 10, 2021 5:43 am

    I love to knit for my fingers and my mind are always busy instead of gossiping or feeling lonely.It keeps my mind occupied and lots of positive energy flows in.

  2. August 31, 2021 6:47 am

    Ahh, so nice to read all the comments… I knit because I just LOVE the smell of knitting!!

  3. August 28, 2021 6:47 am

    It soothes me, It quiets my mind. I lost my son 10 years ago and knitting kept me sane during that time of intense grief. I love knitting for others and label my knitting and care instructions with a tag reading Every Stitch a Prayer. It also gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I taught myself to knit with YouTube and still refer there for new or difficult stitches.

  4. Anne Kennedy permalink
    August 25, 2021 11:45 am

    I knit because I love being useful and in control. A very wise friend told me
    ‘ when you’re knitting for someone else, every stitch is a prayer for them’.
    Deep, right?
    I had knitted when my children were small, and basically
    ‘Put away’ the knitting. Then in 2005 I broke my hand and required surgery.
    After the surgery I had no feeling in my right ( dominant) hand at all!
    The Surgeon told me, ‘physio every day’ which made me
    Annoyed. But then he added, ‘unless you can knit’.
    If you can knit, do it every day as long as you are able. Gradually the feeling came back as the nerves regenerated. That first year I knit 37 pairs of socks! Now I just knit and knit! And I could not care for my ailing husband without this great outlet!

  5. Roberta permalink
    August 23, 2021 8:40 pm

    I love knitting and crochet. My mom taught me to crochet when I was a little girl about the age of 6. She would make beautiful dollies and edgings on towels and pillow cases, as well as quits and blankets. I learned the basics of knitting in Jr. High and taught myself the rest. Later in life I would go to Marshall Fields basement and learned how to make a knitted sweater and that’s also where I learned about other fibers. I have always made Christmas presents for my family, cross stitch, crochet, pot holders with a loom. weaving with a loom all which was before I learned to knit. I love to gift people with hand made gifts for themselves or new born babies. The yarn colors just draw me to them and inspires me to create something beautiful.

  6. August 23, 2021 6:10 am

    What a really nice post. I totally agree!

  7. Olivia permalink
    August 23, 2021 4:20 am

    Everyone has wonderful reasons why they knit. I started when I was pregnant with my 6th child and my grandmother announced her hands were too arthritic to carry on. I got a book and taught myself, as I continue to do when I challenge myself on a new technique. But if it weren’t for knitting (and my corgis) I would have lost my mind during this pandemic. The joy at choosing online yarn, it arriving in my mailbox, starting and slowing working the project (or two) and finishing saved me. Now that we’ve ventured out I’ve added back family visits, hikes, canning, and gardening but it is grounding to come home (or take) my knitting. Thank goodness my grandmother quit, I forever thank her in my heart.

  8. jupe77 permalink
    August 23, 2021 12:54 am

    All my adult life I wanted to know how to knit, especially when my kids were babies. I tried to teach myself but the first time I dropped a stitch I didn’t know what to do. I had no one to ask for help so that was the end of it.

    Then, in 1994, the mother of a friend of mine heard that I wanted to knit and took me to a German friend of hers to learn. That was it. I’ve been knitting ever since.

    Since then I’ve found that no matter what I make, I always learn something new. And if you look at any big knitting book, like Principles of Knitting or Vogue Knitting, there’s ALWAYS something more to learn, so it never gets boring.

    Oh, not to mention I love yarn, color, and all the patterns out there. I want to make everything!

  9. August 22, 2021 10:14 am

    I learned to knit from my grandmother when I was in my late teens. Made a white n neon green blanket. Then didn’t pick up needles until my late 50’s. I needed something to sooth my heart and soul. I was going through a difficult time with my teenager. I taught her how to knit. It became something we could do together and helped us to stay sane.

    Now I just knit for the simple pleasure of it.

  10. April permalink
    August 21, 2021 4:59 pm

    I’ve crocheted since I was 12, but about two years ago I was looking at some fabulous Malabrigo yarn in an LYS and wishing terribly that I knew how to knit. I love the way knit wearables drape and fit, and I’d avoided making wearables from crochet. I bought the yarn and told myself that it was the proverbial dangling carrot, and that I could not use it until I could knit with it. I have fallen in love with knitting because it’s a whole different process than crochet (which I still turn to for my afghans and blankets). I love the higher-end fibers, the shiny steel needles, the cake cuffs, and the project bags. But most of all, I love being connected to the past and all the male and female crafters who came before me.

  11. Deborah Jennison permalink
    August 19, 2021 12:52 pm

    I knit for several reasons.
    1. It helps me relax and destress
    2. I enjoy the challenge of a pattern with new techniques.
    3. I’m 58 and I m still learning
    4. It’s a great sense of achievement when you finish something and you’ve made something with love
    5. It teaches you to be patient
    I could go on forever about what I like about knitting. These are just a few of my main thoughts

  12. rnguyengloria permalink
    August 19, 2021 12:35 pm

    Definitely ALL the things you brought up! I also love the process of choosing materials and seeing all the different attributes (fiber, color, dye style, etc) come together in a project…

  13. Denise permalink
    August 18, 2021 6:13 pm

    For all the reasons you outline, plus the fact that it connects me with my (now deceased) mother and grandmother. I am only the latest in a long line of women who made beautiful garments for those they loved.

  14. Leigh-Ann permalink
    August 18, 2021 4:53 pm

    Like you I love to plan the project and colours and feel the wool as I knit. When the project is done, the pride of the finished product is so rewarding. However, there are two other reasons for me. The connection to family as my grandmothers both knit or crocheted me childhood gifts that I still have. And the other reason is it’s like meditation to me… a time to slow down… let the thoughts come and go as I work through my knitting. If I don’t knit each day, even 10 minutes, it feels like something is missing :-)

  15. Lindsey Collis permalink
    August 18, 2021 3:19 pm

    I love knitting not only for the calming repetitive motion and all the woderful points you described in your article, but I also love the sense of my own power/capability. If everything were to go belly up tomorrow I feel like I would still be able to at least clothe my family with nothing but sticks and string at my disposal. There is something reassuring and optimistic in having a skill like that.

  16. Kathleen Veit permalink
    August 18, 2021 12:31 pm

    Your words described my life-long love of knitting to perfection…

  17. Martina Scharmer-Kurzthaler permalink
    August 18, 2021 11:29 am

    Warum liebe ich es zu stricken? Abgesehen davon, dass ich ihnen voll und ganz zustimme und ihre Gefühle teile?
    Also, ersteinmal ist es ein unglaublicher Prozess aus einem Faden ein Kleidungsstück, ein Accessoire oder Kuscheliges für zu Hause herzustellen. Weiters beeindruckt mich die schier unendliche Fülle wunderbarer Materialien immer wieder aufs neue, und es ist fast eine Sucht für mich, aus einem schönen Garn etwas herzustellen. Es ist wirklich dieser Prozess, Masche für Masche voranzuschreiten, der mich absolut gefangen nimmt.
    Und es passiert mir auch immer wieder, dass ich ein neues Garn entdecke, und es flüstert mir förmlich zu für wen es verstrickt werden möchte. Es ist einfach wundervoll, und das schon seit vierzig Jahren.

  18. Liz J permalink
    August 18, 2021 11:07 am

    Knitting for me fits most of the things you mention. But because I’m a carer for 2 elderly relatives, it allows me to stop thinking constantly about them. It gives me a sort of “off” button even when I could be sitting with them. It gives essential support by allowing me some tiny amount of otherwise suppressed creativity to be expressed.

    I can pick up my needles at any time of day or night, which helps when I’m unsure or unable to sleep. It becomes a meditation session without the need for the attempt to calm the “monkey mind”.

    Following a pattern keeps the brain ticking over without the angst of knitting to then rip back when things don’t work out. And it brings the potential for something new to be created even when life in general seems like a dark lonely tunnel without any end. I don’t know any local knitters, but I’m comforted by the knowledge that somewhere else on this planet there’s going to be someone else who is holding 2 knitting needles and yarn at the same time as me. That comfort can give me the strength to carry on. And then there’s the connection to those who went before me, the unknown hands who thought out the patterns from Nature’s designs.

    Thanks to everyone who has given the rest of the world the results of their hands, be it garments, yarn, patterns or the care of the animals who clothe us.

  19. Mona permalink
    August 18, 2021 9:05 am

    Knitting make me relax….I love it.❤

  20. LeAnn permalink
    August 18, 2021 7:26 am

    I love to make gifts. Moreover, I hate to just sit and watch TV or listen to a podcast. My hands need to be busy. I find I concentrate better when my hands are busy while I’m listening.

  21. Harriet Brownstein permalink
    August 18, 2021 7:15 am

    I knit because after my children & grandchildren, knitting is my passion.
    I love to work on my own patterns.
    I can’t see myself not knitting even with arthritis, that is why I knit compression fingerless gloves,compression 1/2 gloves, & compression finger guards. Will be making compression socks.

  22. August 18, 2021 7:10 am

    I love knitting as I (mostly) find it relaxing. Since sustaining a concussion over 2 years ago, I have some problems following a pattern. My concussion recovery project, ‘Find My Fade’ is so full of errors it is embarrassing. But I made it for me and so I appreciate all that went into making it. And while that project is finished, I find the concussion lives on.

    Mostly knitting is meditative for me. I am currently knitting a prayer shawl for a friend who was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. And yes, there is already an error in the pattern. I don’t always know what my brain has done when I wasn’t looking.

    I will continue to knit as I find it relaxing and somewhat healing. And who knows, maybe that neuro-plasticity will be encouraged by my zen like state I get into when my knitting is flowing. I live in hope. In the meantime, I will continue to knit.

  23. Ora S. Bentz permalink
    August 18, 2021 7:10 am

    Knitting is a form of meditation for me. The repetition of the stitching is calming, soothing and allows me to be still and to focus. Sometimes I can “problem-solve” while accomplishing a knitted piece. There is much satisfaction achieved in both endeavors.
    I have been knitting for over 60 years – since I was 10 years old. I have LOVED it for all of that time ❣

  24. Mary Dyke permalink
    August 18, 2021 6:38 am

    I love making, but I especially like practical making. Even better, if you don’t like it, you haven’t lost any of your material and have often learned something in the process.

  25. Melanie Towner permalink
    August 18, 2021 5:14 am

    Why do I knit?

    Why not ?

  26. August 18, 2021 1:54 am

    All of the above! Over the last year I’ve been spinning, dyeing and prepping raw fleece. I love the idea of carrying out all the steps from raw fibre to finished item…. From the animal’s back to my own!

  27. Sharon Dempsey permalink
    August 17, 2021 11:09 pm

    Knitting fills my cup. I love how you start with nothing but an idea. I will often re-do and frog items that don’t translate from my mindseye. I have a vision in my head and it’s always worth the tweaking.
    Knitting is my love language. So many projects are a labour of love. It feels fantastic to to this for someone dear to me.
    As I have gotten older and raised 4 children I have come to realize that I must have ADHD. I do not sit well. By busying my hands I find my mind relaxes. I am a doer and to a fault need to be productive.
    Hey, does anyone else stress knit? Some days those needles are flying.
    I will share one final observation for you, I knit so much I have repetitive strain injuries. These keep me at a more modest pace, afterall as they say in Greece, slowly, slowly; I an not a robot.

  28. August 17, 2021 9:25 pm

    I echo all your sentiments! And as corny as it sounds, there is love poured into every stitch I knit made evident by the fact that I can’t bring myself to knit anything that I could potentially sell if I ever created my own little home industry for profit. Reading your article and looking inward, has emphasized this. I knit as an expression of love and also for the love of knitting. So for me, knitting equals love.

  29. August 17, 2021 8:58 pm

    I absolutely love to knit! It brings me more satisfaction than any of the other crafts I do! I love to crochet also…but not as much as knitting! Knitting makes beautiful products that have fine details that I don’t believe I’m able to achieve with crocheting (except for doilies!)
    I too take one of my knitting bags with me everywhere I go. I don’t mind waiting for anything when my hands can be busy with my knitting! To me, it is very relaxing! Right now I’m working on a doll sweater with lace weight yarn and size 1 needles. This is more of a challenge for me, but I’m up for the challenge! I love making home-made knitted gifts for people I know who will appreciate my efforts! I also love to knit items as donations for auction fundraisers. I wish I had time so that I could knit more donations for charitable knitting. I would knit all the time if it weren’t for those pesky chores, like cleaning, vacuuming, laundry, and just keeping my house straightened up. Quilting and wool applique embroidery are also things I love to do…but knitting tops the list! I already have way too much yarn, fabric and wools, but I usually always have something I can work on to keep me busy! Boredom is not a word used in my vocabulary. Love, love, love KNITTING!

  30. Janet Plenert permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:34 pm

    I knit for many of the reasons you site. I used to also knit because I felt pride in multi tasking – knitting in a Board meeting, or being productive waiting for an airplane takeoff. But then life changed with a concussion that never fully resolved and shifted my whole ( very driven and high functioning) life. I had to slow down. But yet I yearned to be productive and have a way to give to others. I needed to feel useful and creative in spite of the many losses I experienced. So through headaches and pain I knit a batch of bulky sweaters for my
    young grandkids for Christmas. Then I did a toe up sock class and made socks. My brain power has improved, but knitting has remained a constant. It reminds me that I CAN still slowly produce beautiful things. And that makes life more beautiful!

  31. Linda permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:20 pm

    I have to do something with the beautiful yarn I feel compelled to buy 😄. Seriously knitting calms me, brings peace to my soul in ways a pill or other med could never do. My daily hour of knitting is truly my happy space.

  32. KAT permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:55 pm

    I knit because I love to create. It brings me joy to produce something that I can give to someone or use for myself. I’m always surprised that I can create something that brings delight. My favorite things to knit since covid has been amigurumi critters for my grandchildren. They are so fun to create!

  33. Lee permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:34 pm

    I love the rhythm and the feel of knitting. Most of all, I love how it just calms and soothes when everything around is chaotic. Knitting allows me to be creative, and to slow down.

  34. Becky permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:19 pm

    In addition to all the wonderful reasons you list, my knitting grounds me and soothes my soul. I too carry my knitting everywhere – I can handle anything with the knitting project in tow. Lol

  35. August 17, 2021 6:19 pm

    I can’t explain how I feel when I knit..all I know is that I need to Knit or Crochet. I have been dragging a project bag around with since I was 5 years old. Gosh thats 55 years now. I went through that time period of the 70 -90’s when it was a stigma to handcrafting. I am so happy now that with social media and younger people taking up these “old” crafts and they are also embracing the waste not want not, responsible clothing and slow clothing movements, that many are learning how to knit, sew, crochet etc. My peers, some family members and friends, not all, think of what I do is a hobby – even my partner (who is an accountant). Every stitch that i make into a garment or item is filled with the daily experiences I encounter in my life…..like love, fear, sadness, anger of what I can not control, happyiness, and the thought of the joy that it gives someone when I gift them the item. And then there is the excitment i feel when I see anew pattern or yarn or fabric and then my imagination takes hold of what i can make with them and for whom i can make it for. To put it simply I now follow my passion.
    Carolyn of 2knitncrochet

  36. Monique permalink
    August 17, 2021 5:06 pm

    Knitting slows me down. I’m the Type that cannot sit still. Knitting gives me permission to sit knit and watch a good movie at the end of the day. Otherwise I would be getting up in middle of movie to empty dishwasher or put load of clothes in washer, etc. And then asking g my husband “what did I miss”.

  37. Monique permalink
    August 17, 2021 5:06 pm

    Knitting slows me down. I’m the Type that cannot sit still. Knitting gives me permission to sit knit and watch a good movie at the end of the day. Otherwise I would be getting up in middle of movie to empty dishwasher or put load of clothes in washer, etc. And then asking g my husband “what did I miss”.

  38. Deborah Stanley permalink
    August 17, 2021 5:02 pm

    I love knitting because I love to create things – whether it’s a garden, a dinner, a newly decorated room, or any useful item. It is a pleasure to produce rather than to consume. Even as a young girl, I sewed little make up bags, handbags and the like. I spend more of my time now on knitting because it engages my mind and satisfies my desire to create.

  39. Iris permalink
    August 17, 2021 4:56 pm

    Why I Knit
    Knitting is like a Zen or Meditation moment, a quiet moment that is all your’s. A feeling you cannot describe to someone who does not knit. It is a feeling deep inside that is comforting and soft. .

  40. August 17, 2021 4:10 pm

    I have been knitting for 60 years, Nan and Mum taught me when I was 7 years old. Initially I knitted for myself, presents for family members then for my partner and children. Knitting is my go to stress relief and happy place. I loved knitting unique jumpers and clothing items for my family. In later years I have accumulated a lot of oddments of yarn, have had friends and family members de-stash in my direction, I knit hats for the homeless, mitred square blankets (some of which I now donate to nursing homes) and am currently making dolls clothes and baby clothes for family and friends expecting new arrivals.

  41. Karen Gilbank permalink
    August 17, 2021 3:36 pm

    Reading your explanation could be the exact words I would use. My daughters are now grown and I’m now sending my grandchildren off in knitted wooly armour that are like hugs of love.
    I am especially drawn to good fibres and beautiful colours. And colours reflect the seasons for me too. And on top of those same shared thoughts, I feel productive. Not only the finished success, but that feeling that I accomplished something good, and learned something.

    I can also remember feeling surer of myself, and stronger when I wore a sweater my own mother made me, or the clothes she sewed me. I understood very deeply that I was cared about. So that probably played a part in my love of making. But knitting has always been my favorite.

    Now I’ve aged, and I love to knit for my grandchildren who live with me. Their delight in choosing yarn and then wearing their new sweater or hat etc never fails to bring happy memories.

    This autumn they and their Mom (my youngest daughter – a widow) are all getting a lovely Flax sweater made of Malabrigo Rios. I love family sweaters, and your patterns are so perfect for families!

    I met you once at Valley Yarn very briefly when it was early days, and have cheered you all the way, since then, you reminded me of myself when younger.

    I loved your adventures from your early publications, and from that I know you also love to knit for family adventures like I do. And the things I knit when on car trips remain my favorite souvenirs too.

    Long may you continue to be inspired, and inspire others! Know you have a fan that loves the work you both do for tin can knits!

  42. Jane Brooks permalink
    August 17, 2021 2:01 pm

    I miss my swimming at the Y with all the covid-19 problems. I used to knit now and then but picked up my needles again and find the rhythm of knitting to be a very soothing and meditative process. I now knit for two new grandchildren born during the pandemic. Especially calming is the “no brainer” knitting while watching movies and listening to music. Just me with 2 sticks and a ball of yarn. It’s a manual process that is so simple but so satisfying.

  43. Vera Rasmussen permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:58 pm

    I learned to knit 55 years ago, when I was 10. Long before it was a popular pasttime. At the time, my instructor and I were the only knitters in my community. As life happened, I would stop knitting, learn other crafts, then go back to knitting. I love the process of making something with sticks and string!!! I complete the ‘finishing’ tasks but have never learned to enjoy weaving in ends, blocking, sewing seams etc. and would gladly pay someone to do those tasks.

  44. Carocha permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:41 pm

    My reason for knitting is very basic…. I knit not to kill someone! At least i have been saying so for more then half a century. But reading made me think it over! I must confess that i feel a lot the same way as you and only realise it now that i am 72 ! I missed a lot of good feelings 😞

  45. Krista permalink
    August 17, 2021 1:24 pm

    I have moved around the world (Canada-USA-Germany-USA-China-Germany-USA) and every time I am new in a place, knitting is my go-to for meeting “my tribe”. It has never failed me. Having arrived at our new locale smack in the middle of the COVID pandemic, I have yet to get out knitting in public to find my next best friend.

  46. Liz Zapf permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:51 pm

    One reason I knit is for the connection to the long history of knitting, including those who first figured out how to make string, and then cloth, and then (or possibly preceded by!) nalbinding and knitting. Making necessities for living that enabled their families and communities to survive and thrive. I think about what those earlier people, okay WOMEN!, would have thought of the beautiful yarns and tools that we have available to us now and I hope that their spirits surround me while I knit.

  47. Marilyn Weeden permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:45 pm

    My mother taught me to knit ‘continental’ – we were living in Bermuda and I was engaged to a young Royal Navy officer. I already knew how to crochet but so did my intended! I didn’t want to compete with him so I decided I should go to knitting. I love knitting for my family/friends – I know the love put into each , blanket, sweater, hat or socks. I love that they fight over who gets the next project!! I also do some charity knitting – mainly hats for cancer patients and also newborn babies. Watching the item I am working on grow feels nurturing to me.

  48. Kathie Gray permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:43 pm

    I love knitting for all of the reasons you mention …savouring rhythmic joy, knitting connections and giving wooly love. My love of knitting is challenged at the moment as I developed a severe repetitive strain injury in my thumbs this year…. I ache for healing so I can return to what I love!

  49. phyllisbeardsley permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:18 pm

    I agree with all your reasons! And I’ll add: It’s also my meditation – I like to do some silent knitting each morning. It’s my solace during hard times, helping me to be calmly present for myself and others in need. It’s where I express my creativity through colour, design etc. It’s my favourite way to socialize with others, I’m never happier than when sitting in a circle of knitters. Knitting and knitters make me happy and remind me that the world is a good place.

  50. Angelika permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:14 pm

    I enjoy knitting because of the possibilities ! While I am knitting I may not enjoy a certain pattern for that yarn….so I can start over and use the yarn for something else. Touching the yarn and letting it flow through my hands is so therapeutic ! Especially for someone who has rheumatoid arthritis. I may not knit for many hours at a time. But, that doesn’t stop me. :)

  51. Sue permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:07 pm

    I knit because it is relaxing.

  52. Siobhan permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:03 pm

    Hello Alexa and Emily, why do I knit, I love the feel of the yarn in my hands, even squishing balls of yarn gives me an indication of whether the texture appeals to my sensory mind, it gets me thinking what could I make or will I add it to my stash for that something special in the future ! it gives me great satisfaction to create something with yarn of all thicknesses, my least favourite is the pom pom yarn and super chunky. To see my family wearing the garments that I lovingly make for them is simply delightful, I have made gifts for friends snd I hope they have loved them as much as I loved making them. Knitting especially over the last 18 months while I had to shield has been my balancer , it grounded me and kept me sane. I like to sew and quilt so the crafts were definitely a great method for me to keep busy and distracted from the outside world and all the problems and distressing news. Even as a child on a family holiday there was a weaving mill near where we stayed frequently, I used to stand and listen to the hum of the weaving looms and see the motion of the shuttle and all the threads as the cloth was being made. Knitting along with crafting is a gift and I am so grateful to be able to use my hands to make garments.

  53. Doris Enderle permalink
    August 17, 2021 12:00 pm

    I live alone, I don’t have a TV, but I do have an I-pad. I knit because I like making things people (me included) that we can use. Everyone who gets something I have made for them loves it. It makes me happy. Selfish of me to love doing something I like to do while adding some joy to others.

  54. Caren J. permalink
    August 17, 2021 11:49 am

    I guess my response would be, “Why not love knitting?” It is sensual: think of the wonderful materials we get to play with (soft wools, slinky silks and rayon, and fuzzy, warm alpaca, just to name a few). That comfort in knitting is amazing and positive. Knitting is magical: We take the simplest of tools (sticks and string), time and maybe a few muttered curses, and voila – a sweater, socks, blankets, hats. We are magicians: taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.

    It’s fun creating magic.

  55. Arlene Willard permalink
    August 17, 2021 11:35 am

    It’s a great way to spend my evenings since my husband has passed. I also feel that it’s a lot cheaper than mental therapy.

  56. Betty L Willis permalink
    August 17, 2021 11:03 am

    Been knitting for 60 years, since I was a girl. I get an idea and I have to try it out to see how it’s going to turn out. Like to take a basic pattern and change it to make it mine. Like making special gifts for the people I love. Have hand made knits I have had for 40 to 50 years. Still wear them.

  57. August 17, 2021 10:44 am

    Knitting is so therapeutic for me. It also feeds the creative part of me and calms the restlessness. It also goes everywhere with me and I figured out what a great conversation starter it was soon after I started knitting. I love that there is always something new to learn and gaining new skills. I also love knitting for my family, I have one daughter in particular that loves me to knit sweaters for her!! And when someone calls to see if I have something ready for a new baby or such, pride that they think I am worthy of this. I could go on but I think every crafter understands. Thanks so much for your wonderful patterns and tutorials!!

  58. Sandra permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:42 am

    The same reasons you love needle work.

  59. Dorothy Macdonald permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:23 am

    Because I was born to knit. I come from a long line of knitters and hope the tradition continues

  60. Cinnamon Schwinn permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:07 am

    I love Tin Can Knits! I resonate with all of your reasons for why we knit. I would also add that for myself, it is a thread that connects me to the past. Not in a “my grandmother knit” connection, but a connection with past peoples and cultures. For example, when I knit Selbu style mittens I love thinking about the knitters in Norway knitting these very same patterns years ago while doing the daily tasks of working, falling in love, raising children, and so on. It’s a piece of the past that I can physically hold in my hand or gift to someone else.

  61. Mary Bramscher permalink
    August 17, 2021 10:02 am

    Because I have to it’s a part of who I am, the yarn and needles are just like a limb of my body!❤️❤️

  62. Doris DiPrimio Corey permalink
    August 17, 2021 9:56 am

    Love this ! Knitting for me is “therapy” . the rhythm of the pattern and knitting relax me. I can think of nothing, or everything, or pray or meditate while knitting. I look forward to that “me” time.

  63. Linda Quick permalink
    August 17, 2021 9:44 am

    Cold feet. Cold arms. Cold torso. Also, fun to learn new stitches and techniques. Love indulging my passion for buying yarn so eventually I have to use it ergo I knit. :-)

  64. Laura R permalink
    August 17, 2021 9:33 am

    It’s a mind calmer. It’s a prized skill. It’s carrying on from my grandmother and mother. I hear my mother’s voice when I fix a mistake the way she taught me. I hear her say “you are a beautiful knitter”. Wow! What a lovely thing to hear your mother say. And sometimes the knitted object is well received!

  65. August 17, 2021 9:16 am

    Your embers pullover is a masterpiece! I love to knit to see something beautiful being formed under my hands.

  66. Maureen Pacheco permalink
    August 17, 2021 9:14 am

    I love everything about knitting, and only wish I had Learned before my mother passed so we could have had something in common we both enjoyed. I love the camaraderie with other knitters: only they understand the thrill of walking into a yarn store with endless possibilities… touching and feeling the squishy deliciousness, picturing what you might create. When I travel I look up the local stores and always try to buy some yarn from local artists, and when I knit with that yarn I have A wonderful souvenir. I also love gifting homemade treasures. I’m not sure if everyone really understands the time and love that goes into those gifts, but it really doesn’t matter because I know. I also Love knitting because it soothes my busy mind, and allows me to make use of and enjoy waiting time. Last, there’s nothing like a tangled mess of yarn to teach you patience!

  67. August 17, 2021 9:05 am

    I changed my career because of knitting! I’m a professional artist who once did big, public art. It’s not sustainable for or the planet, but wool and knitting certainly are!

  68. Kathy permalink
    August 17, 2021 8:49 am

    Yes, all those things. Knitting also gives me a definition. I am the knitter. I’m at the cool kids table. Kathy

  69. Arlene permalink
    August 17, 2021 8:32 am

    I love the actual physical feel of knitting, I love the texture and colours of the yarn and the pleasure I get at putting the colours together and the immense sensual satisfaction of seeing the colours together in the garment and how beautiful they look. It’s like tasting something so delicious it’s a bit of ecstasy. And then wearing something I’ve knitted also gives me great pleasure. I also love knitting for others and it feels like a work of love.

  70. Jannette B permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:55 am

    I knit for some of the same reasons – dressing my loved ones in knits that I’ve made specially for them. But I also love the one-of-a-kind aspect – the chances of finding ANYONE out in the world wearing the exact same thing is slim to none! Also, it’s gratifying to knit something that fits me just the way I like – no more factory knit sweaters that fit my hips but nowhere else, or mitts that are too tight or long for my unique hands.

  71. Ruth Sproule permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:52 am

    Knitting seems just normal….I knit between house hold jobs….I think, what will I do next, sweep, vacuum, clean the toilet…my organizing time!!!

  72. Katherine Hill permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:34 am

    I first learned to knit just over 20 years ago. My partner travelled quite a bit for work and I was the stay at home parent to our two young children. It was something to do to combat loneliness.
    As the years have passed and I returned to working outside the home I have found it became something I could do to allow me to focus on the family member I was knitting for. With no family living near us it helped me feel connected.
    In this past year I realized how much it means for my mental health. Our children are adults and now it is my partner and I at home. I appreciate the mobility of knitting. We just returned from a camping trip where a pair of socks were knit up for a Christmas gift. I love the time spent looking at different yarn colours planning who will get what.

  73. Diane Pyke permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:27 am

    This also begs the question, are you a Process knitter or a Project knitter? I believe I’m a process knitter, it causes me to slow down, go one row at a time, think about the stitch, think about the tension, breathe. The rhythmical motion of knit, knit, knit is hypnotic and at the end, we are rewarded with beautiful items. In these chaotic times, it’s nice to have something to remind us of our past, of who showed us how to knit. Connect us with the now and embrace the process and progress of each row, each stitch. As well, plan for the future, look forward to new challenges in stitch work, new yarns, and projects for new friends and family. Thank you Alexa and Emily, for reminding us to reflect on where we have come from and look forward to where we are going.

  74. Nancy Dickson permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:23 am

    Wrote a lovely long response – went to post it and it disappeared. . .

  75. Irene permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:20 am

    All of those reasons. At the moment I am wearing a red cardigan I knitted maybe 40 years ago from a Phildar pattern in a Phildar yarn. I’ve just repaired one elbow that had worn through, It feels like a warm hug from the past.
    My son is 37 and many of his friends are having children and, having known these chaps from the age of 11, I knit or crochet each baby a blanket. Sometimes it turns out that my gift is the only handmade present they have, so rather special. Just off now to post 2 blankets to twin girls who arrived 2 weeks ago!
    Of course the reason I started knitting is my mother’s belief that “The devil makes work for idle hands to do.” Taught by my grandmother in 1960 I think.

  76. August 17, 2021 7:16 am

    I learned to knit at school at the age of 11. Had been watching my mother knit so was very interested. Haven’t stopped since. In fact, because our home is on 3 levels, I have a project on every one of them so as to eliminate going up and down whenever I want to sit and knit. Knitting is soothing, relaxing, calming, creative, productive, artistic, and heart-warming too. Our knits make wonderful gifts which are appreciated so very much. So many have told me that handmade gifts are the best and that they mean so very much to the recipient. All that makes knitting very rewarding but factor in knitting for charities and our hearts are warmed thinking of those children and adults who will be so pleased to receive them. To know we have made a positive difference is a gift to ourselves as well. We can’t give without receiving and this makes the knitter receive such pleasure and a feeling of well-being, and such positive vibes that it does our hearts and our physical and mental health a tremendous amount of good. After enough time knitting, we can even begin designing our own patterns which is both challenging and fun. — These are a few of the reasons I love knitting!

  77. Nancy Dickson permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:13 am

    Wrote a lovely long response. When I logged in to post it, it disappeared.???? ________________________________

  78. Margaret permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:13 am

    After all the trials and troubles of daytime living, knitting is a haven to retreat to each evening. It never lets me down and comforts me every day. It brings help to charities I knit for and shows my love for family members young and old!

  79. Jan Vick permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:13 am

    I knit because it relaxes me, and most importantly at age 82 learning new stitches or methods of doing something challenges my brain to keep active. I’ve been knitting for over 70 years and I’m still learning and improving my knitting skills, and several of your patterns have been responsible for keeping my interest, so thanks for all you do.

  80. Cathy Carbone permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:10 am

    I love to knit for my family. For my grandkids I made them a pair of booties and a favorite squishy soft blanket. My oldest grandkid asked me to make him a bigger blanket with Seahawks colors. I knit shawls, scarfs and cowls for my sister and daughters. I’ve made my husband a special sweater. I enjoy learning techniques and playing with colors. Knitting relaxes me and stimulates my mind. To me knitting is love and a hug. When the item is worn the person wears the item they send their love back to me.

  81. Ruth Burnham permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:02 am

    I’m 71 now and my mom taught me to knit when I was around 10, so I’ve been knitting for 60-ish years. At first, it was something to do; a way to make gifts for people, keep my fingers busy while listening to lectures in college, whatever. Then I became a handspinner while on sabbatical in New Zealand in 1990-91 and also read Elizabeth Zimmermann’s books, and knitting became a whole new endeavor. The satisfaction of taking a pile of fluff, turning it into yarn and then turning it into something useful/wearable, often designing it myself, was deeply meaningful. Somewhere along the line, I realized that textiles have always been my go-to craft, not pottery or stained glass or other “hard” media, though I’ve done some when need arose.

    I read somewhere that quilting was/is an Amish woman’s socially acceptable way to express her passion, and I realized that it’s not only quilting and not only Amish women. So knitting is so much more than “just” a craft. It is a soul-satisfying expression of self, love, giving, creation.

    So, briefly, that’s why I knit. Oh, and I kind of like being able to say I spun the yarn, too, when I’m complimented on a sweater I’m wearing.

  82. Barb Hay permalink
    August 17, 2021 7:01 am

    knitting is calming and peaceful. also I can make what I like in the colour I like and not have the same wardrobe as everyone else.

  83. August 17, 2021 6:56 am

    I actually wrote a poem about this, called Knitting:

    I am knitting a sweater
    My needles start hesitantly with the first cast-on
    Knit one, purl one
    The yarn flows through my fingers and I see the lower edge emerge

    The yarn, soft and undyed
    was recently the back of a ewe
    protected her expanding body as her baby grew
    enveloped her as she fed her lamb
    parted reluctantly as it was shorn
    leaving her basking in the sun

    I am knitting the mama in every stitch
    knitting the grass she ate and the milk she produced.
    My needles sing to her lamb, a song she wrote to help it grow strong and bold
    My sweater is grass and earth and milk and birth
    My needles connect me to that lamb and that ewe
    and that ewe’s mama and her mama before that

    With the rhythm of each stitch,
    I evoke millennia of knitting mothers
    connecting ewes’ treasures to their own babies

    I am knitting a sweater
    The long strand of twisted yarn
    becomes neat rows stitches that slowly form smooth fabric
    My sweater will wrap a grandmother’s shoulders
    banish the chill for a newly hairless patient
    tie around the neck of a college student far from home
    rest on the back of a chair
    softly cradle a baby
    adorn an overseas care package reminding a soldier that someone cares

    I am knitting the ewe’s love for her lamb
    and her tears when they part.
    I am knitting the farm’s blue skies, its rain, and its fields.

    Not only warmth – beauty too
    brilliant colors and a shape that highlights the wearer’s own beauty

    I am knitting history
    Every stitch links this sweater, this moment
    to thousands of knits and purls through time
    offering warmth, protection, and beauty

    I am knitting tomorrow
    Retaining a whiff of the sheep from which it comes,
    the sweater will last, passed down from one wearer to the next
    Each one soaks in the earth, the ewe, my loving stitches
    and adds her own story, warmth, and tears

    I am knitting the earth
    stitching fresh grass, spring sunshine, a young ewe, and a newborn lamb
    weaving stories of survival and warmth and celebration

    And as I bind off the final stitches, sew each piece together, tie in the ends
    I seal in stories and heritage

    I am knitting a sweater

  84. Stacey Schappert permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:55 am

    Knitting and crochet definitely provide me with a sense of accomplishment in my life. Creating something wholly you, from your imagination, beginning to end is magical! It’s definitely very rewarding to be out and about in something that you created and receive compliments from total strangers, but it’s even more rewarding to look at something you didn’t think you could do (maybe couldn’t do a day or a week ago), and think to yourself, “Wow! I did that!” Knitting and crochet are like any other activities in life, they can be extremely rewarding when you are able to impress yourself with your skills! And just like anything else in life, knitting and crochet take time, practice, persistance, and effort to achieve that level of accomplishment. There are a lot of ups and downs in every journey!

  85. Heather permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:55 am

    So Many Reasons! The “Aha! I actually made this” moment. The beauty of colours and textures. The gifting your love to friends and family. The way you can be productive in otherwise downtime moments. The warmth…I live in Edmonton where it’s freezing for so much of the year! Love knitting. Thanks for your pattern library…it’s one of my favourites and most used.

  86. Amanda permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:52 am

    What a lovely read! I knit (and crochet) for many reasons. It brings peace to my mind when I’m anxious. It allows me to sit back, take time for myself and really focus inward. I have 3 children under 6 years so it’s safe to say I don’t have much “me” time. Knitting allows me to spend time with my kids and work on something that brings me joy at the same time. I love gifting knits to others! To me, it represents my love for them ❤️

  87. Karen Stewart permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:51 am

    Knitting challenges my brain, and calms my soul

  88. claudiajhollandcomcastnet permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:45 am

    While I learned to knit as a teenager in the sixties, I didn’t stay with it and only picked it up again about 7 years ago, when I was 60. I am a person managing depression and anxiety and I find that knitting is calming like nothing else. The wonder of seeing a pattern emerge from designer’s instructions to needles and yarn is magic. Feeling the fabric as it grows caress my fingers and hands and even my lap, is it’s own kind of alchemy. If I am knitting for my family and friends, their delight at receiving a handmade garment is priceless; if I am knitting for myself, seeing the finished product, then trying it on and wearing it provide a sense of accomplishment and palpable self love. There is simply nothing else like it for me.

  89. Nancy S permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:43 am

    This reminds me of a conversation with my husband just a few nights ago. It went something like this:
    H: is that a new project?
    Me: Yes (said with a glowing smile)
    H: What are you making?
    Me: A basket to hold my knitting.
    H: Don’t you have a knitting basket?
    Me: No words. Just quietly gave him the side eye.
    H: Why do you knit so much? (Said with genuine nonjudgemental curiosity)
    Me: It fascinates me. The way a few strands of fiber can be combined to make something beautiful and/or functional…And that a human figured out how to summon that newly made item into being…And the almost endless possible combinations of color and texture…Fascinating. And how soothing is the rhythm?

    So I guess the question really could be: why not?!

  90. Cathy permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:40 am

    I love the rhythm of knitting. I find it to be calming,especially during COVID lockdown. I also enjoy the challenge of learning new stitches and projects. Took up knitting after I retired and am so happy I did, The tin can site has been very helpful, I have made several of your projects.

  91. Pat Carpenter permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:34 am

    Besides loving to feel the fiber, satisfaction on completing a project it is also the creativity of picking colors that are pleasing to work with and changing patterns to make them my own when the urge to do so happens. Sometimes the rote pattern is what is needed and sometimes something more challenging. Meeting people who also knit and become friends is a wonderful addition to the process.

  92. Marguerite Annen permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:34 am

    Thanks for so eloquently expressing why you (and I) knit. COVID brought another dimension to knitting for me. As a person who lives alone I found it very difficult during the first lockdown in particular. I arrived home from New Zealand on March 13, 2020, and soon found myself alone at home for an undefinable time. Very quickly, however, Arne and Carlos began a KAL knitting squares that they designed as the KAL progressed. Soon it seemed that the entire world was being ‘knit together’ through Youtube and Ravelry. For those of us in unexpected solitary confinement, knitting was our connection to other human beings in similar situations. As we knit our squares, each stitch represented hope for a future when the square would be done, when the afghan or pillow would be done, when we would once again be able to see our loved ones and friends in person.

  93. Marcia Stephenson permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:34 am

    knitting for me is relaxing and stimulating at the same time. I knit every day, after work, and it helps me unwind and clear my head. I love looking at the advance of color and feeling the sheepy texture of the yarn in my hands.

  94. donnacarolmorgangmailcom permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:29 am

    I think I’ve always loved the feeling of simply being in the moment that knitting can create; of experiencing a peacefulness that is often absent in other parts of life.

    There is also the creativity element – I did a technical job in my earning years, but knitting allowed me to create something useful and beautiful. I am sometimes awestruck by the realization that I have made an item that is not identical to any other on the planet, because of my choices of different yarns and adjustments to the patterns, but also because no one knits completely the same as anyone else.

    Finally, as an elderly woman, I realize that I don’t have much time left, and the sight of a large and beautiful stash tricks me into thinking that I couldn’t possibly die before it’s all been used …

  95. Gloria Gooderham permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:29 am

    Thank you for the link to your blog. I’ve asked myself that question so many times over the many (75) years or so that I’ve been knitting. I made my first pair of socks from the Girl Guide knitting book in 1952 and making socks is still my favourite thing to knit. I’ve also made some TinCan patterns too and love them. There’s no one reason but I agree with all of yours.

  96. August 17, 2021 6:28 am

    While I learned to knit as a teenager in the sixties, I didn’t pick it up with any regularity until about 7 years ago and I haven’t stopped since then. I am a person who lives with depression and anxiety (not a good combo at any time, but especially in this day and age) and I find that knitting calms me and actually brings me peace and joy. I love watching the pattern emerge and even more, the feel of the fabric as it passes through my fingers. When I finish, if it’s for my children or friends, their delight at receiving a handmade gift is priceless. If it’s something I have knit for myself, wearing it cloaks me in self love and the confidence of a job well done.

  97. August 17, 2021 6:27 am

    I have always loved knitting since my grandmother taught me nearly 60 years ago! I love the connection that it gives me to the past. I just love the whole process from beginning to end. It always gives me a thrill when I gift something handmade to someone who appreciates the work that goes into it.

  98. Chy Magenta Dixon permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:22 am

    I love knitting for the exact same reasons as you. Your words and reasons are perfect! I couldn’t have said it better myself! ☺️🙏🏾

  99. Suzy permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:18 am

    Sometimes my knitting connects me with my mother and grandmother. Both are (were) amazing knitters. It feels good to know that their love of creating is a part of me.

  100. August 17, 2021 6:17 am

    All of the above! But most important are the connections I have made over the years with other knitters, they are some of my best friends.

  101. Carla Barth permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:12 am

    My Grandmother taught me to crochet. She tried to teach me to knit but I kept losing stitches and would have a hole. I loved the look of a knit. It always looked so neat and tidy. So, I got on the computer and I taught myself to knit at the age of 58. I am now 62 and love knitting things for my children and grandchildren! I love the feel of the yarn in my hands and the relaxing flow of the pattern. The different patterns and textures go on and on. The possibilities are endless! Thank you for this website. You are always encouraging and so full of ideas.

  102. Deepa permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:10 am

    I knit to make absolutely “one of a kind” things. It never gets old to hear someone admire what you are wearing, tell them “I made it” and watch their jaw drop. As for the process, to make and create is a human necessity, no less than eating and sleeping- that’s why in Lascaux they were painting caves.

    It is also fun to challenge yourself, try a new technique… after one bad experience with brioche, I know I will give it another try! :)

  103. Sue Smith permalink
    August 17, 2021 6:00 am

    I love the feeling of the fibre as it slips through my fingers! It soothes me and makes me happy!

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