So this weekend just gone I went back up to Surrey area to visit my Uni-Family since both Emily as well as Joe & Aileen have moved into their own places now and we had a sorta house warming meet up. (any excuse to visit them!)
For me to travel back to my university it takes me roughly 3 and a half to 4 hours on the train. Yes it is quicker to travel by car – by about 2 hours! But I have yet to do that long a distance in a car and would not be comfortable to drive myself that far, so I take the train, it is a journey I have gotten to know extremely well and I am often fond of looking out the window and reminiscing my Uni days.
That being said, 3 to 4 hours is a long time and one can easily become bored doing nothing in a train. I often take a book to read but easily become distracted by my phone as I message my uni-family of the status of my journey and then, because I am on my phone, I scroll through the usual social media apps with no end goal except to inevitably drain my battery of its life.
But this time I wanted a change. Since discovering knitting I have found I often become obsessed – like I do with reading – except this activity lets me still be sociable and interact with others at the same time. What this activity has let me become ‘unsociable’ with is my phone. As I get in the knitting zone I leave my phone alone, it’s not constantly within fingertip’s reach and at the slightest buzz I grab it and get lost in the digital world.
(yes I realise the irony in taking a photo on my phone for a blog about stepping away from my phone!)
Whilst on my travels I talked to many commuters who were curious about my knitting. They asked me questions like:
what was I knitting?
how long had I been knitting for?
who was I knitting this item for?
what made me choose to take up an ‘old lady’s hobby’?
In truth I have been wanting to knit for such a long time but I have never had the patience to persevere and actually learn how to do the craft well. I would often be able to do a couple of lines and then I would drop a stitch, create a hole and the whole thing I was working on would fall apart and I would stop trying for another few years. I think the only reason I have kept at the hobby this time round is because it has been such good physio therapy for my hand. Because I struggled to hold the needle, I had to take it slow, I learnt the technique quicker than before and now I mostly work on pieces with the aid of muscle memory.
At the moment I am working on a personalised present for 4 special people in my life and I am hoping to get them all ready before christmas – however I think this might be a challenge too far for myself! Having those few hours on my weekend travels let me really get stuck in to this first present and I am nearly a quarter of a way done.
I got chatting away with one lady on my train home which really made me smile. She was telling me that she was the only woman in her office to not knit. She listed off about 10 names – and some guys were on that list too! – When I told her that knitting lets me unplug from my phone she laughed and told me that is what all her coworkers said too as she works in an IT office. So she totally understood my way of thinking and how I was trying to step away from my portable computer of a phone and actually live my life!
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working for Hoobynoo But working as a Creative Marketer and spending pretty much the majority of my time on Social Media sites like, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, rather takes the ‘fun’ out of the sites for me. Now I’m not saying that I’m not still tapping away updating and blogging and sharing to these sites in my free time, I am. But I have got to the stage when I can almost disassociate myself in the moment – almost like an out of body experience – when I stop and say to myself:
“do you realise you’ve just waisted 10 minutes of your life and gained nothing from it?”
and that’s where knitting has become the savour of my literal Social life!
In knitting I have found that I can multitask, I can chat as well as knit. This has also opened the door to some brilliant conversations when I have been knitting in public. I think because it is unusual to see someone knitting outside – especially someone of my age – people feel open to comment and this follows with a developed chat. What has also been quite nice is that because of this hobby it has brought a new found joy in social media as I am not constantly tapping away at my phone. Instead I have, in a way, rekindled the excitement of checking out social media sites for new content after hours of not being online.
So yeah. If you’ve never tried knitting why not have a go, be patient and take your time, you might just re-find yourself in the craft like I did!