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Yarn Musings from 20,000 Feet

I had the opportunity to fly to my parents’ house this past weekend for a much-needed visit with family, and as with all airplane trips I have made in the past, I made sure to bring some yarn along for the ride.

If you’ve ever been to the Spokane International Airport before, you’ll probably remember the rocking chairs scattered about the gates. And if you’re at the airport at four o’clock in the morning, there’s plenty to go around.

I knitted for about an hour at the airport that morning, rocking back and forth in one of those wonderful chairs, and it was glorious.

It is safe to say that most people’s idea of someone who knits or crochets is probably a little old lady with cats and cookies and fuzzy slippers. (Honestly, that description sounds appealing!) And if you’re like me and you don’t fit that description but choose to yarn in public, you probably get some strange looks.

Apparently, some people think it’s odd that a 24-year-old spends her free time messing with yarn.

Some people have told me that knitting or crocheting takes too much time, that they’ve got work and chores and a family to take care of, that they don’t have the time to waste with knitting or crocheting.

Wasting time? Sorry, not sorry: put that nonsense back up your nose.

Yes, having a full-time job and a house of chores and a family to care for takes up a lot of your time (or most of it). But that doesn’t mean being eighty years old and having six cats is a prerequisite for knowing how to knit or crochet. And it certainly doesn’t mean that those who do are odd for doing so or that they are wasting their time.

I taught myself to crochet when I was a senior in college. I wanted a hobby – I wanted fun. And what I got was so much more than fun.

When I crochet or knit, I am relaxed. Yes, there are dishes in the sink. Yes, I should put dinner on the stove. And yes, it can all wait another few rows of this scarf. There’s just something about working with the yarn that is simply magical in its ability to bring peace and joy. And I suppose that if you don’t knit or crochet (or cross-stitch or loom or weave or work with any other similar, wonderful set of skills), then you can’t quite understand.

I’m not saying that people with jobs and families and social lives aren’t too busy to knit or crochet. I come from a large family; I understand how busy that keeps you. Knitting and crocheting are not for everyone. But neither is baking cookies or binge-watching television shows once the kids go to bed. Everyone’s different. Everyone needs a hobby.

My return flight was with a younger, less-experienced pilot and quite a lot of turbulence. It was a big jet. The combination turned me into a bit of a nervous flyer.

Thank goodness for yarn crafts, I say. The flight was a mere thirty-five minutes, but it was thirty-five minutes of knitting and peace and comfort.

I stumbled upon a quote that perfectly sums up my air-travel yarn musings from this weekend, and it’s from knitter and writer Stephanie Pearl-McPhee: “I will not let the non-knitters of this world decide how normal I am.” I feel the same most definitely applies to crocheters.

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Crocheting and knitting is on the rise among younger folks like me. In the 2014 Craft Yarn Council survey, 28% of all crafters surveyed were between the ages of 18 and 44, while only 17% were over the age of 65.

But the most important numbers of the 2014 survey weren’t the numbers about the ages of these yarn crafters or the regions they came from, but rather the numbers about the benefits that these crafters received from their hobbies. 93% of crafters said that they had a feeling of accomplishment, 85% said their craft reduced their stress, 68% said it increased their mood, and 56% said it gave them a sense of confidence.

Young or old, cats or not, the numbers don’t lie: yarn crafting is good for the soul. So yarn on, fellow crafters!

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