Sunday, 24 June 2018

Knitting: A Positive Addiction

Knitting as positive addiction

When we think of addictions, we usually think of the kind that cause a wide range of problems and potentially destroy lives. But can there be such a thing as a positive addiction? Some psychologists think there is.

In Psychology Today, Dr Mark D. Griffiths looks at knitting as a positive addiction. As knitters, I am sure we have heard someone in our circle jokingly say they were addicted to knitting, maybe we've even said so ourselves. 

Hobbies such as this "could be deliberately cultivated to wean addicts away from more harmful and sinister preoccupations." Taking up knitting could therefore keep us happily occupied and take our minds off other, less healthy actions. In order for this to work, these "positive addictions must be new rewarding activities that produce increased feelings of self-efficacy."

There have been several articles in the papers about the health benefits of knitting such as reducing stress and creating a feeling of purpose. In other words, knitting can be a coping mechanism for the usual stresses we experience in life. We can find a new sense of purpose in knitting, which can be seen in the surge of craftivism (guerrilla knitting and pussy hats, anyone?). We love to create things, and it is even more satisfying for some if there is a greater purpose behind it. Knitting for charity comes to mind, for example. In these cases, it is important to us that there is a greater purpose behind what we create than simply the act of creation.

However, Griffiths relates that knitting can indeed be as addicting as a drug. We even have an ever growing stash and we can't stop ourselves from buying more, using terminology with a "clear crossover to the drug culture" (Etherknitter). We may not always feel we are in control of our yarn-buying habit, we spend a lot of time pursuing our craft, and for some of us not being able to knit can cause actual symptoms of withdrawal.

Griffiths concludes that it "is theoretically possible for an individual to become addicted to anything if there are constant reinforcements (i.e., rewards)", which makes sense. As long as knitting doesn't have detrimental effects on your life, there's nothing to worry about. Enjoy your WIPs and yarn stash and the joy they bring! 

Would you say you are really addicted to knitting? I have to say I am not, though I enjoy it. It's never interfered with anything else and has always been a nice way to spend my free time. I enjoy creating things with my hands, especially if they are intricate because I like the challenge. And yet none of my creative hobbies have ever had a negative effect on any other aspect of my life. That's just how I like it.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Pattern Inspiration: Beach Days

There's no denying it, summer is here and I can't stop thinking about holidays at the seaside. While I won't get away until later summer or early autumn, there's no reason I can't enjoy looking at all things that remind me of the beach. So this week's pattern inspiration post comes as no surprise, inspired by a longing for sea, sun and lazy days. Enjoy!

1. I absolutely love Life's a Beach! The fossil pattern looks amazing in the blue yarn and this cowl is just what you need on a windy beach walk. The pattern is available in English and German, and if you have two balls of 4-play, you're good to go!

2. If you've got your hands on issue 89 of Knit Now, you will have seen these fun little Beach Bears. I love those little life preservers and the seashell necklace one of them is wearing. While toys are always fiddly to knit, these would be a fun distraction from your usual projects. 

3. Amanda Berry's Beach Hut pattern is absolutely free. Yay! In my eyes, nothing is more British than the sight of colourful beach huts, so this knitting pattern is perfect for lovers of the British seaside. Why not knit two or three in different colours for the full effect?

4. This light jumper is a-ma-zing. Jellyfish is only available in Russian, sadly, but I had to show it to you because I am intrigued by its ethereal quality. It looks like some rows are knitted with a transparent yarn or thread so the sleeves and neck appear disconnected from the rest of the garment. I can imagine that if you are an experienced knitter and don't read Russian, you can probably wing it without the pattern. I just love the whole look of it.

Have you discovered any interesting patterns lately you'd like to share? Post them here or over on Twitter @KnittyNadia. See you there!

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Happy Worldwide Knit in Public Day!

Worldwide Knit in Public Day

Happy Worldwide Knit in Public Day, everyone!

Knitty First Fall issue is out

Whether you are actually out and about with your knitting today or at home, this is the perfect day to knit in company. Incidentally, this is also the day the latest Knitty magazine is out, so check out the new patterns! (I can't believe it's already the autumn issue. It's not even summer yet.) Maybe you've even cast on one of them especially for today?

To MAGA or not to MAGA

You may have heard about Karin Aida's latest hat pattern that has been causing quite a stir! If you are a Trump supporter, it definitely isn't for you, as the name makes clear: the Not for Trump Fans Hat piqued everyone's interest and the comment section is quite something to behold. It's very different from the usual comments you find on pattern pages and in a way I am disappointed that it now reads like all other political comment threads, but that was inevitable, I suppose. So if you fancy a peek, go ahead and remember the popcorn.

Your thoughts

Let me know what you've knitted today and if you have knitted in public. Leave your comments here or find me on Twitter @KnittyNadia. 

Speaking of Twitter

On Thursday evenings at 7:30 (UK time) you can join me and other knitters for our weekly #knittinghour chat. We're just a small bunch who like to talk about yarn and all sorts of other things going on in our lives at the moment. It is promo-free, so there won't be any unwanted spam.