"You're knitting socks?" asked a friend recently, "what's the point?"
"Have you tried a pair of hand-knit socks before?" I asked in return.
"No but you can just buy them in shops. So much less hassle."
Ah yes, and so is buying a jumper, a hat, scarf and gloves but this is not why we knit. If we wanted something simple, which we could buy, then we wouldn't go to the trouble of learning to knit in the first place. We knit because the process brings a level of joy and calm to our lives that no other thing can or because we want the pleasure of saying 'I made that. With my hands. And it doesn't suck.'
You cannot buy the sense of achievement you get when you've made something that looks good.
So here are my top 5 favourite knitting and crochet myths:
1. Knitting is for old people
Yes, yes it is. It is also for young people and those inbetween. That's the cool thing about knitting, anyone can do it. And once you learn then you have the skill for life. Like riding a bike. Oh and do you know what? Old people don't just make old-fashioned things or 80s baby knits. They make some really awesome, fashionable things too. And hey, young people knit 80s style too.
2. Crochet, that's like knitting but just in a long line, right?
Nope. Crochet is not knitting. It is a skill in its own right that just happens to look a lot like knitting. It's not even just granny-squares, although they are pretty cool. It is amigurumi, sweaters, socks, shawls. It is everything you can turn a piece of fabric into because that's what crochet is - making wool into a bit of fabric that becomes a thing. Cool huh?
3. What's the point of knitting socks?
I quite like my feet. They take me to lots of cool places so I like to thank them with comfort. This comes in the gold-standard, palace of rest which is the hand-made sock. It is like walking on air. Try it sometime. Oh and they make great portable knitting projects too.
4. Isn't it just cheaper to buy the jumper?
Well duh! If you want your jumper made from acrylic that will go out of shape after a few washes, then yes, it is much cheaper to buy a jumper. But that is known as a false economy. A hand-knit jumper will last a life time and it isn't just wool that goes into it but sweat, tears, time and joy. Each hand knit jumper will fit me perfectly and will remind me of what I was doing when I made them. How many shop-bought jumpers can do that?
See also Why is yarn so expensive?
5. But it takes so long to do.
All good things come to those who...
What else am I going to do while watching the TV?
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