“Knitting is the new yoga.”
At least, according to New York-based DIY company Shil, it is. (That phrase is trademarked, by the way.)
Is it, though? Is knitting “the new yoga?” Looking at this Shil “Super Easy DIY Knit Kit” box sitting in front of me, it seems as though the statement might be true. Printed on the box, there are various knitting benefits that could also be used to describe yoga benefits, the likes of which are: providing a sense of calm and peace, connecting people, improving focus, acting as a natural anti-depressant, keeping your brain active, keeping your fingers limber, helping control thoughts, and, last but not least, providing a sense of accomplishment.
O.K., Shil. I can see where you’ve made the connection.
Except for that last benefit, the one that says knitting provides a sense of accomplishment. Because that implies you’d actually have to complete knitting a hat or a scarf or a fanny pack in order to feel accomplished. Nobody feels accomplished from trying to knit and failing. Multiple times. Again and again.
My sister-in-law bought this Shil knitting kit for me for Christmas. She thought it would be a fun traveling activity for me, and I agreed. My holiday itinerary, after all, included a flight to Florida, a flight to New York, and a 10-hour drive back down to Charlotte. I had plenty of time to kill, and knitting seemed like a worthwhile hobby to pick up in my downtime.
Is this where I say, “‘It’ll be fun,’ they said?”
Because… “It’ll be fun, they said.” But it wasn’t fun. I tried and tried again. I tackled the task with renewed optimism and patience after each mistake forcing me to start all over, but I just couldn’t do it.
I chose to open the “Super Easy DIY Knit Kit” on the 10-hour car ride, which proved to be a mistake. (Not because I was driving. We all know it’s too hard to knit well when you’re driving!) It was a mistake because learning to knit on a long car ride is like being locked in a room until you complete a Rubik’s cube. There’s no way out, no other options, and certainly no end in sight.
“Super Easy” my ass.
Every time I thought I was making headway on my wool beanie, I would run into the same exact issue. I couldn’t do the actual loop-dee-loop that secures each knot in place. And for those who know nothing about knitting (ha, n00bs), those knots are what turn a pile of wool into a head-hugging beanie. Those knots are actually the entire point of knitting. And every time I screwed up the knot, I lost my grip, and my entire progress got erased. Again and again and again, each time with the wool getting so overworked that it would break, and I’d be left with less to work with. Like a ticking time bomb fueled by inability and failure.
At one point, my sweet boyfriend grew tired of hearing me curse at a ball of wool. Somewhere between New York and North Carolina, he pulled the car off the highway and tried to do it himself. Because, you know, his grandma knits, so it must run in the family. Logic.
To my elation, sweet, sweet Brad couldn’t knot the thing either. He tried and tried to no avail, and that’s when he realized he should never try to prove me wrong ever again. We have a very happy relationship.
It wasn’t too long after that I gave up for good. I threw the fuzzy mess on the dashboard, reclined my seat, and took a snooze.
So, is knitting the new yoga? Yes. Yes it is.
Why? Because I suck at yoga too.