A “Knit” Hobby for Everyone
Knitting is much more than a couple of funky needles and a lot of string. It’s a statement, a way to create something both useful and personal, and in some cases, it can serve as a math supplement.
As the craft of knitting continues to fall out of favor, some people have found an alternative way to share their craft: the internet.
For those interested in learning how to knit, this can be both a gift and a curse. While nothing quite compares to the accessibility of online information, learning from a human being provides the luxury of direct explanation.
Without a resident knitter on hand, a combination of YouTube tutorials and some dedicated online browsing can serve as a reasonable substitute.
The Reddit of the crafting world, Ravelry.com is a website designed to allow both knitters and crocheters to discuss patterns and techniques. A free account requires as little as a password and username and gives users access to over 400,000 patterns (though some require an additional cost to unlock).
The website includes groups such as “Sock Knitters Anonymous,” “Lazy, Stupid, and Godless” and “Sheepless in Seattle,” where members can connect for a dose of crafting enthusiasm. This stand-in for the more traditional “knitting circle” approach — where friends get together for knitting and socializing — is very effective at creating that kind of community without the physical aspect.
Ravelry is a great place to meet other craftspeople or to find patterns that have been made and reviewed by creators.
KnittingHelp.com is a public forum where answers to questions are crowdsourced from other knitters and only takes a free sign-up to post comments. Also, for a more minimalist approach, KnittingParadise.com is a fairly bare-bones operation. A little more difficult to navigate, its harder to find a specific pattern than on other sites such as Ravelry — which let you search by details like what type of yarn is used or the number of different colors in each pattern.
Yarn is relatively expensive. For instance, knitting a wool sweater could cost just as much as buying a new one, considering the cost of materials. For a student budget, pursuing yarn related crafts can prove unnecessarily pricey, especially when it comes to quality products.
With a little extra spending money, a knitting spree can prove to be a worthwhile investment.
While most products are available online, it can be beneficial to find a store to discuss measurements and specific when it comes to supplies.
If you’re looking for something close by, Mad Cow Yarn is located east of SCC in the Lake Forest Park town center. This is a great place to talk to experts about yarn weights, needle choice and the different materials from which yarn is spun. They also host classes for beginners in a variety of yarn-related disciplines — but that additional insight comes with the caveat that the prices are fairly steep for a limited budget.
A cheaper alternative is taking to the internet for resources. However, that option also requires a more thorough knowledge of what to buy.
Most distributors have a website dedicated to the sale of their products, if you’re looking for a specific brand. Some general stores also sell knitting materials, although they are generally cheaper than name-brand products and of lesser quality.
If you’re looking for a fun, new way to fill your time and keep you warm this winter, the simple pleasure of knitting could be a hobby for you.