By Robin Tilling
The store’s annual summer sale began Friday (going strong through the 27th, FYI!), which is always fun as it makes for a party atmosphere and brings people in that we don’t see as frequently as we’d like. Stash buying is always a topic on knitters’ minds when they enter a yarn store and it often leads to some good discussions about the benefits of knitting. There are products all over the internet sporting the phrase, “I knit so I don’t kill people.” It’s rather extreme, but it does illuminate the way many of us feel about our craft.
I’ve always been a very public knitter – I knit everywhere. Meetings, the pool, in the car, waiting in lines, at movie theaters until the lights dim, parties, I am never without knitting. I find it makes the interminable less so, calms me when people prolong meetings by reiterating comments, allows me to enjoy the quiet moments while my kids are in scheduled activities, and makes me feel industrious when my time is seemingly not my own. It’s also an easy conversation starter in awkward social gatherings, and has led to marvelous friendships with people I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise. I know people who use knitting to lose weight (can’t snack when hands are busy) and quit smoking (ditto). Knitters have always known the benefits of this portable skill.
Now, researchers are examining how knitting, and other handcrafts, benefit our brains. They are calling it “a natural antidepressant” AND, even better, believe that craft activities like knitting fight the effects of aging on our brains. Sure, you can do crosswords or sudoku, but will you wind up with a marvelous gift for your loved ones or a fabulous sweater to keep you warm next winter? Couple this new research with the Yarn Harlot’s theory that knitting should be part of your “entertainment” budget, that if you factor the cost per hour of actually knitting it is a bargain as entertainment with the added bonus of a finished product, and it is mystifying that knitters are such a small part of the population.
Think about your friends and family and who might benefit from learning to knit. One husband was in the store recently and telling me that he learned to knit because he didn’t think his wife could work through her stash in her lifetime alone. How sweet is that? I probably shouldn’t mention that he was eyeing our new yarns.
The sale runs through July 27th, with all yarns on sale from 10-70% off.
P.S. The Yarn Harlot’s theory can be found in her book, Knitting Rules.