A Knitter's Manifesto
Updated: Jun 24, 2018
Lately I've been thinking about my "brand". As I plug away at the sample for my latest design, I've had a lot of time to think over large sections of stockinette. I might be done all that stockinette by now if I hadn't been thinking so much (as thinking turns into fiddling with my website, searching for resources, and designing business cards), but I digress.
As I build this little business, I realize that marketing is an unavoidable part of it that I have to learn, so I decided it would be prudent to take a little time at the beginning to figure out what I am really trying to achieve here.
I asked myself and some lovely members of the Instagram community - what is it we love about knitting?
"I love the endless possibilities that knitting gives to crafting: yarns, patterns, colourways. Also, I love the magic of it, how some tiny knots can create consistency and texture. And of course, the love and mindfulness you need to produce when you knit 💕"
"It’s the most accomplished feeling wearing something you made! I love the way knit garments look and wear. It’s the only craft I have taken up that has stuck. It’s so cool that it starts with string and ends up as something so amazing and made by hand! 😍"
"It's my lasting legacy from my nana and always reminds me of her. "
"It’s a way of switching my overthinking brain off for a little while - plus you get something unique and wonderful out of it!"
It seems that there are a few major benefits we all identified.
1. The satisfaction of the finished object. Something beautiful and handmade to be treasured by the maker or the recipient.
The creative outlet. Endless possibilities to choose a fibre, a stitch, a colourway. Even when following a pattern, your piece is completely unique to you.
The meditative quality of knitting. Focusing on an activity like knitting has the power to take you out of your head.
I read a great article once about work-life harmony. It explains that there are three types of work we all do - physical, mental, and creative. If you spend too much time in any one of these areas, it can become exhausting. Switching to an activity that primarily engages one of the other categories can restore balance and reduce fatigue. For example, if you have a very mentally strenuous job, going to the gym after work might be the outlet that you need to balance it. If you work outside doing landscaping all day, you might play a musical instrument to bring you back to centre. My brother, a graphic designer, is an obsessive geocacher in his spare time (a mixture of hiking, puzzle solving, and treasure hunting).
I work in a hospital as a medical radiation technologist. It's both mentally and physically strenuous, because not only do I use my medical skills to perform diagnostic tests, but I also help a lot of patients with mobility issues - lots of heavy lifting, and pushing stretchers and beds. Before I became pregnant, I loved balancing this work with a great workout like boxercise, a physical but also mentally restorative yoga class, or playing the ukulele. These days, it's about all I can muster to sit on the couch and not pass out - which is why my return to knitting has been so timely. Knitting gives me the creative outlet I crave as well as the physical and mental rest. And I still manage to feel productive - at the end of it, I have a beautiful, one of a kind item that I have made with my own two hands.
This is why I'm so passionate about designing patterns. Knitting has been such a gift to me, and I know it can help others restore balance and create joyful moments in their life.