Most knitters know that once you pick up the hobby it’s like a flashback to the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”. You bring just one harmless ball of wool into your house and before you know it you’re swimming in sock yarn, pushing past the worsted weight just to open the refrigerator door.
We have a solution for you: Knitting Book Clubs. The Winnipeg Public Library is now hosting two(!) Knitting Book Clubs starting in October. This is the perfect opportunity to grab a knitting pattern book from your local branch, or download one in ebook form from Freading or Overdrive, and start transforming those ever-multiplying piles of fibre into something both beautiful and useful. Baby shower approaching? Baby blankets are notorious for their ability to swallow up surprisingly large amounts of yarn. Maybe your issue is with single skeins or the remnants from other projects? Toys, mittens, and those teeny tiny adorable socks are perfect projects to use up leftovers while thriftily acquiring a heartfelt and handmade gift.
No babies in the immediate future? No problem! There are a plethora of titles in the library that are eagerly waiting for you to take them home and knit away your tribbles – or, troubles. And I do mean that quite literally.
If you’re anything like me, once you start knitting there’s no end in sight. One project begets another and the “just one more row”s, “I just need to finish this section”s, and “I’m trying to pay attention to this pattern, I’ll eat dinner later”s become a regular chorus in your household. If so, I can tell you there is a method to the knitting madness. Just do a quick search online for ‘knitting’ and ‘health benefits’ and you’ll find article after article listing the advantages of crafting and, specifically, knitting. Many of these cite the Mayo Clinic study where seniors who engaged in cognitive activities, such as knitting and crocheting, had decreased odds of having mild cognitive impairment. These activities even served as a buffer against the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Crafting is unique in this way because it involves multiple areas of the brain at once: creativity, visuospatial processing, problem solving, memory, and attention to detail.
But the benefits do not end there. Knitting has been lauded as the ‘new yoga’ and there’s a certain amount of truth to it. Crafts such as knitting can have profound meditative effects. A CNN article from earlier this year cited psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow phenomenon – those moments where you become so completely absorbed by an activity that everything else falls away. Many knitters cite the hobby as an excellent way to numb pain, relieve anxiety, and cope with depression, among many other disorders.
From the leading ladies of the golden age of cinema (think Lauren Bacall lounging beside Humphrey Bogart) to contemporary celebrities like Ryan Gosling, Kate Middleton, and Nicholas Hoult, knitting has mass appeal for good reason. So what are you waiting for? Grab those empty needles, or that UFO (UnFinished Object), and your library card. Mosey on down to the library or call to register your spot in one of our Knitting Book Clubs:
- Fort Garry Library’s Knit Lit runs the third Tuesday of the month starting Tuesday, October 21st at 6:30 pm. Call 204-986-4918 to register.
- Louis Riel Library’s Knit Night runs the first Thursday of each month starting October 2nd at 6:30 pm. Call 204-986-4573 to register.
Besides, winter’s coming and your dog could probably use a cozy new sweater…