As some of you may know, I have been knitting since eighth grade. The origin story of this hobby of mine is a little strange, but I’ll paint the picture for you anyway.
I was cast as Mrs. Paroo in Jefferson Middle School’s production of The Music Man Junior. Mrs. Paroo was most often found sitting in a rocking chair on her porch, knitting peacefully until her son Winston came home and chaos ensued. To channel the energy of this middle-aged mom of two, I only had to master an Irish accent (my accent ended up being terrible, but I think everyone was expecting that). Nobody asked me to learn how to knit. Not a single soul on the cast or production team told me I needed to learn, but, being the overachiever I tend to be, learning to knit was a necessity for my performance to be authentic. I was really dramatic about the whole situation and I probably should’ve just shut my yap, but that was a lot to ask for 13 year old me.
I then enlisted the help of a fellow cast member who knew how to knit to teach me. I picked the skill up pretty quickly because it isn’t really that hard. I ended up enjoying knitting immensely. I went to the store later that week and bought my first set of knitting needles and some yarn. I lost interest in knitting pretty quickly after the show ended, so I never thought I would be where I am today, literally knitting until my fingers feel like they’re going to fall off.
When the first quarantine hit in March earlier this year, I found myself bored out of my mind by the end of June. Even though some of the restrictions were lifted by then, my mom still wouldn’t let me go anywhere. I did my best to keep myself occupied, but I was still finding myself lost. Around the end of June, I saw people on TikTok were recreating the JW Andersen cardigan that Harry Styles wore on the Today Show. I have a small obsession with the British singer (and by small I mean borderline unhealthy obsession), so I whipped out my needles and decided to give knitting a try again.
Three months later, I had a finished recreation of the cardigan. I was so proud of myself for finishing it. It’s such a satisfying feeling to be able to say “Oh, I made it myself” when people ask you where you bought something. Since October, I’ve been making Christmas gifts for my friends. As of when I am writing this, I made five hats, a pair of socks, four crop tops, a scarf, and a sweater. Handmade gifts are superior to any other kind of gift, so I’m really proud that I was able to make things for all my friends this year.
Hobbies make us each unique. They allow us to de-stress when we need to. Especially now, when the world couldn’t be doing any worse, it’s important to keep up with your hobbies, if only to stay sane.