Knitting a Planet

Knitting a Planet

Last week, I embarked on a (very, very tiny) new knitting project. After spending what felt like forever looking online for some cute, easy patterns, I came across this adorable little thing and knew that it was the one – a combination of two of my favourite things: space and knitting! I swiftly set out on a hunt for some cute yarn, stuffing, and plastic toy eyes, and then I was ready.

I know that this may look very tiny and simple to some, but I haven’t been knitting for long, and I’ve never made anything more complex than a scarf. So when I looked at the pattern and saw all this lark about increasing and decreasing stitches, I knew exactly what I needed: my grandma.

I really do have to give most of the credit for this cute little guy to my grandma. She taught me all the basics, and she helped me get through the first part of my project with a tremendous amount of patience.

The actual pattern is really simple, but knitting on needles that were 2mm thick with sock yarn was pretty tricky. It’s tiny and tedious, and the knitting needles were really sharp so my fingers got stabbed a lot. But you know what? It was so worth it. Look at this little guy!

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Everybody, this is Ralph. He was named by the wonderful Paige, who will soon be receiving a little knitted planet of her own!

Ralph didn’t take long to make at all, and all the stab wounds on my fingers were forgotten as soon as I completed that final stitch. He’s going to be my little mascot for uni this year, so I’ll be keeping him right on my desk where I can see him offering his silent support. I have my very own planet, and he’s rooting for me.

Knitting for Stress Relief and Anxiety

Knitting for Stress Relief and Anxiety

Back when I was fourteen and first saw Jenny Humphrey killing it on Gossip Girl, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I wanted to know everything: how to draw, cut, sew, knit, the whole shebang. That dream fizzled out when I realised that I was actually a rubbish fashion designer, but the desire to knit never left me. Finally, this summer, at twenty years old, I picked up my first pair of knitting needles and a ball of yellow yarn, and I learned how to knit.

A lot of people think that knitting is just reserved for old ladies gossiping about Barbara’s bad perm, but that’s not the case at all. Knitting is a great way to pass time, and once you know the basics, you can make something adorable that will leave you feeling super proud, whether it’s a scarf, a pair of socks, or a jumper for your begrudging cat.

For me, knitting came with a surprising benefit. I’ve struggled with anxiety for a good few years, and I’ve always found it hard to find something soothing that doesn’t overwhelm me. Music makes me feel worse, I can’t focus on reading when I’m in a state, and it’s not always possible to just drop everything and go for a nap. This is where knitting changes the game for me.

Once I start knitting, all I have to do is focus on my stitches. All other thoughts seem to evaporate from my head, and the only thing that matters is remembering if the next stitch is a knit or a purl. I may only be making the most basic scarf, but it’s enough to focus on to get me through those times when my head feels like it’s about to burst at the seams.

Everybody experiences anxiety in different ways, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Knitting may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but sometimes these things are just worth trying. If you’ve never even set eyes upon knitting needles before, then it’s easy enough to get started with the abundance of YouTube tutorials out there, which I found really helpful and easy to follow. An added bonus is that knitting is a relatively cheap hobby to pick up; you can grab a ball of yarn for just a couple of pounds, and knitting needles are cheap as chips too.

I’m no pro-knitter, but I do owe some of my sanity (or what’s left of it) to knitting this summer.