As we all try to embrace positive aging, a topic that we’ve discussed a lot here at Sixty and Me, it’s important to develop personal hobbies that allow you to pursue your passions. Partaking in activities that bring you joy can enrich your daily life and keep you feeling young!
Many women in the Sixty and Me community share a passion for one hobby in particular – knitting! And while there are certainly plenty of knitting gurus in our community, we also know that there are a lot of beginning knitters as well.
Since it’s always a good idea to kick off any new hobby with some professional tips and advice, we’re joined today by knitting expert Nancy Queen. Nancy not only owns online yarn shop nobleknits.com, but she also maintains an active knitting community of her own.
Who better to offer us some tips for pursuing knitting as a hobby?
Let’s see what she has to say! If you are ready to start knitting, this interview is for you!
Nancy reminds us that first and foremost the most important tip to remember is that knitting is a hobby to have fun with and enjoy!
Too often people start a new hobby and get wrapped up in wanting to be the very best at it or learning every possible technique related to their new past-time.
Most of the knitters that Nancy sees are simply looking for a way to relax and enjoy the knitting process. You don’t have to become an expert knitter to reap the benefits of this enjoyable hobby!
When it comes to knitting, there are only two basic stitches – knitting and purling. Once you’ve gotten the hang of these two stitches, the possibilities for growing your craft are endless.
The knit stitch is when you put the stitch in the front and the purl stich is when you put the stitch in the back. Quite simply, the purl is the reverse side of the knit stitch.
Since all other stitches are simply combinations or variations of the knit and purl stitch, Nancy advises mastering these basics first – and then building on them.
Going along with Nancy’s last tip to build on the basics, she reminds us that if you’re a beginner, start simple. Attempting to create an entire scarf may be a bit challenging at first.
A great way to kick off your knitting hobby is to buy a ball of yarn and begin with a swatch – that might later become a pot holder! This allows you to get a feel for the act of knitting and try out different stitches or techniques before taking on a bigger project.
Give yourself time to master one technique at a time so that you can fully enjoy your progress and the rewarding feeling offered by learning something new.
Nancy brings up an important point. She says that as adults we too often believe that we’re not entitled to a learning curve. And as older women, we tend to be especially hard on ourselves.
Maybe we feel that with all our years of living, we should be perfect by this point in life! But this couldn’t be further from the truth. No one is perfect, no matter what stage of life they’re in.
Try to remember that with knitting, and most things in life, it’s important to allow yourself the opportunity to make mistakes – and learn from them!
Nancy also reminds us that learning any new skill takes times and knitting is no exception. So, be patient with yourself and work on enjoying the entire experience of knitting – mistakes and all! Knitting should be about the process, not the product.
When it comes to choosing the yarns that you’ll use, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
First and foremost, choose a yarn that speaks to you. Your yarn selection should reflect your personality and personal taste. This includes choosing yarn in a color and fiber that appeals to you.
By choosing yarn in a color and material that brings you joy, how the end product turns out will be much less important. You’ll care more about the overall experience thanks to working with yarn that you found so enjoyable.
Nancy offers some suggestions for choosing the specific fiber of your yarn. You want it to feel good in your hands and on your skin. Even if you do not plan to wear your project, you’ll be constantly handling the yarn as you work on your creation.
Nancy really likes Ewe Ewe Yarns Wooly Worsted, a washable Merino made from fine-grade Merino wool. She describes it as being not only forgiving, but also springy and bouncy.
Nancy advises against simply buying a big box of acrylic yarn from your run-of-the-mill yarn store. These yarns don’t offer the luxury or desirable feel that higher-quality yarns do.
Not that acrylic yarns are all bad, though! Acrylic yarn is great for baby items, afghans, or items that will need to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
But you should definitely explore some of the more luxurious yarn choices out there if you can. Yarns made from cashmere, angora, alpaca, hemp yarn, cotton yarn, or Merino wools are all exquisite options.
And let’s not forget about novelty fibers! Nancy shows us a hand-spun yarn from India. While these yarns will cost a bit more, they will always give your projects that wow factor.
Not only are hobbies an important aspect of positive aging and finding ways to enjoy our older years, but they are an opportunity to do something for ourselves.
As women, we tend to constantly do things for other people and forget about doing something just for us. Knitting is the perfect way to learn something new and give yourself the gift of relaxation and fun – you deserve it!
Did you remember the most important tip that Nancy shared? When you go yarn shopping, which yarn qualities do you look for? Do you have a favorite fiber? Is there any advice you’ve found helpful that you’d like to share with the community?