The delight of a hand-knitted gift is unparalleled for both the giver and the receiver. Maybe it’s because the joy of creating something by hand for a loved one holds so many special feelings. The expression of delight from the recipient is proof that handknitting for the holidays is forever here to stay.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my ideas and reflections about knitting. The posts will include cool knitted items, a look at the connection between yoga and knitting, cute knitting for babies and men who knit. All posts will include free projects perfect for holiday giving. Can you guess what the most popular hand-knitted item is this season? Check out the patterns below to find out.
Since I started knitting years ago, popularity in knitting has risen and now seems to be peaking in some unusual places. Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore and even Russell Crowe (who it turned out doesn’t knit, but just was photographed with yarn and needles in hand) are knitting their way through photo shoots, magazine articles and on film. Monica Lewinsky told Marie Claire that the only way to stay sane was to knit during grand jury hearings. Hilary Swank appeared on The Tonight Show talking about her favorite pastime, knitting between shoots. Check out thirteen celebrity knitters.
Knitting conjures up images of grandmothers knitting garments to keep loved ones warm. Not only do the hip and famous find knitting appealing, its meditative properties are promoted in Yoga Journal as a true mind/body relationship. “An agitated mind is replaced by a calm one; otherwise, the tension show in the stitches…It reminds me of a gentle walk in the woods in late afternoon – the peace that comes from breathing in the deepening light of day.” In Health magazine, knitting is even regarded as “the new yoga.” A survey a few years ago stated that the majority of knitters knit because it gave them “permission to relax.”
As far as passions go, most people would not consider knitting to be one. After reading The Knitting Sutra, by Susan Gordon Lydon I realized for many knitters, passions run deep. I hosted a knitting retreat at my house for my friends who knit or wanted to learn to knit. A group of friends (and my mother) were invited to lug their yarn, needles and “show and tells.” When my then, 17 year old daughter threatened to crash the retreat with her buddies, an email went out to them too. Who would have guessed that a knitting retreat would be such a hot teenage ticket? As we relaxed by the fire and knit both useful and funky items, it was obvious that stress relief transcends the generations.
Check out this wonderful holiday knitting book for some gift ideas – Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick.
Is knitting a favorite pastime or a passion? I would love to hear why you knit! Happy Knitting!