National Craft Month: Why We Knit
Happy National Craft Month! Here at Interweave, we’re so excited to spend this month talking about the crafts we love. Of course, we talk about them every day, but we’re looking forward to giving them some extra attention in March. Come back every day this month (and every month!) to see what we have cooking.
As crafters, we have a personal connection to all the things we make, and each project has a story. I’m pretty new to knitting myself, and one of my favorite things about it (other than getting to make exactly what you want in exactly the right size and exactly the right color) is the stories. I love to hear the story behind each piece—who it’s for, why the knitter chose a particular yarn and color, their successes, their mistakes. But I realized recently that, although I know the stories behind my coworkers’ knitting projects, I don’t know the stories behind the knitting itself. When did they start knitting? What made them pick up this craft, and why have they stuck with it?
I asked a few of my coworkers to share their knitting stories with me. Some of them have been knitting for years and some are relatively new to the craft, but they all have one thing in common: passion. Passion for the knitting, for the yarn, for the craft, and for the crafters. Here are a few of their stories.
“I often hear people say they were taught to knit by someone in their family—their mother, grandmother, aunt, great-aunt, or maybe by some combination of those relatives. The women in my family are not crafty, except for my father’s mother, who was a sewist and cross-stitcher, but she taught me neither of those skills. I learned how to knit from friends in high school. I took to it because of its soothing nature and my attraction to figuring out how to manipulate the shapes and stitches. Once I mastered the knit and purl stitches, and probably an increase and decrease, I just started creating what I wanted without using patterns. It was mostly pretty basic stuff, but I liked that it was functional. That is why I knit—I enjoy the process of creating something that is both functional and beautiful.” – Hannah Baker, editor of knitscene
“I first learned to crochet when I was about ten years old. It was fascinating to me that such complex shapes could be created using just a hook and a strand of yarn. Eventually, I discovered Barbara Walker’s wonderful books of knitted stitch patterns and that was a turning point for me—I have been primarily a knitter ever since. I’m still fascinated by the process of creating beautiful things with yarn (though now I use needles instead of a hook).” – Joni Coniglio, senior project editor
“I knit to keep my hands busy during virtual trips around the world or the galaxy. Television, movies, and audiobooks take me into someone else’s brain. Knitting lets me create something of my own at the same time.” – Deb Gerish, editor of Love of Knitting
“When I started at Interweave, I was so terrified of making a mistake I could barely get myself to cast on. But after many failed attempts and too much frogging to account for, I am completely in love. And seven months later, I only wish I had started years before. I knit almost every day and have found it to be the perfect combatant for my ADHD. It helps me focus at work and relax when I’m at home—I truly can’t see my future without knitting.” – Sarah Rothberg, assistant editor
Why do you knit? What inspired you to begin, and why do you keep at it? I’d love to hear your story—please share it in the comments!
The gorgeous sweater that serves as our featured image in this post is the Bristol Raglan by Kephren Pritchett. You can find this pattern in our latest edition of Interweave Knits!
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