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Warm up your Winter – Why you should learn to knit!

Gone are the days when knitting was seen as something “for little old ladies” to do by the fireplace…

There has been an upward trend of wool production in recent years and one might surmise that it has something to do with “Grandma’s hobby” gaining more popularity. So why the increasing interest?

With just about everything in life, technology affords us easier ways of getting things done, and the internet has become a vast universe of resources for anyone wanting to learn something new. From Google to YouTube, there’s a tutorial for everything these days, and knitting ranks right up there on the list, if Google trends are anything to go by. (You may be interested to know that the Free State is the highest ranking province on the knitting search trend, followed by the Western Cape… not surprising given their average temperatures in winter!).

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Added to that, are the health benefits… yes that’s right, knitting is actually good for you! Much the same as adult colouring in books have taken off as the new yoga, knitting has also been linked to stress relieving benefits. Once you’ve figured out the difference between a purl and a knit stitch, you are on track to receiving the same benefits as meditation, reducing your stress and anxiety and alleviating depression through that sense of pride in your accomplishments, as outlined in an article published by New York bestselling author Dr MarcolaNot only that, physically you are doing all kinds of good things for your blood pressure, according to a study by Dr Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School.

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Raising awareness about the craft are initiatives such as the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day campaign, bringing together people from all walks of life, from beginners to experts, to create for a cause. Knitted or crocheted blankets are made as a whole, or blankets are made up by sewing knitted or crocheted squares together. The handmade blankets are then distributed to those in need in South Africa. In 2015, the initiative achieved a Guinness world record when 3133 square metres of knitted and crocheted blankets covered the Union Buildings in Pretoria, making it the largest area covered by a blanket, and they show no signs of slowing down. Their current project aims to achieve another world record through creating a 27km scarf.

So, it’s really not so hard to see why the art of knitting is by no means a dying one, and quite a worthwhile hobby to take up. Whether it’s to help you relax, give back to your communities, or to just feel good about creating, knitting could be your new thing. All you need to do to get your knit on this winter is to browse your local haberdashery stores for wool and needles, find a good tutorial with pictures on google, this Wikihow one could be a start, or better yet watch a step by step video on YouTube. Once you’ve got the basics down, there are plenty of good websites that publish free knitting patterns such as AllFreeKnitting.com, so you can start expanding on your new skill and making a variety of items for you or your loved ones. It’s such a great feeling to wear, or see someone wearing something you created!

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Happy Knitting!

The Voetsy DIY Team

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