The knitting needles have been a symbol of old age for decades; the traditional archetype of the grandmother is curly grey hair, big glasses, a walking stick, an apron and a half-knitted scarf. But all that is quickly changing as their grandchildren pick up those needles and start making creations of their own. 

Image credit: Unsplash

Image credit: Unsplash

So many celebrities under forty have spoken out about their love of knitting as a hobby; Tom Daley, Nicholas Hoult, Lorde, Amanda Seyfried, Cara Delevigne and more love to get stuck into a yarn project. So what is it about knitting that makes young people so interested?

It relieves stress

It might surprise the older generation, but even young people get sick of staring at their phones all the time. It gets worse when so many jobs and, indeed, the education system requires hours in front of the computer. It’s headache-inducing, and prevents us from feeling grounded in reality. We lose touch with ourselves and go to bed feeling stressed and anxious. There’s just too much information coming at us from so many places. That’s why things like meditation, yoga, gardening and, yes, knitting have been such major trends over the last few years. Anything that allows us to be mindful, not think about the stresses of our everyday life and breathe for a few hours is just what the doctor ordered.

It feeds in to social media trends

In a fast-paced world taken over by technology and excess, the youth of today are daydreaming about the peace and simplicity of rural life and all things soft and cozy. Cottagecore is a huge trend on TikTok, and there are few things more cottage-y than knitting granny blankets for your couch. Plus, the old Scandinavian concept of hygge has been popular for years now, given its association with ultra-cozy things like warm drinks, open fires and, of course, knitwear.

It’s (fairly) cheap

Needles, stitch markers and the like cost very little, though the price of yarn varies massively. However, synthetic yarn can be purchased at such low prices in bargain stores, thrift stores and haberdasheries. Obviously, it depends on the project as to how much yarn needs to be purchased but, compared to other hobbies such as painting, photography, sport etc., you’re not likely to rack up too much of a credit card bill. In this financial climate, we need hobbies that won’t break the bank.

The sense of achievement

It’s important for young people to feel like they’ve achieved something, whether it’s through work, education or creative expression, but we’re in a time where many find it hard enough to get out of bed in the morning and suffer greatly with mental health disorders. The great thing about knitting is you never tire of seeing just what you can create with a pair of needles, minimal movement and, quite often, minimal brain work. And it’s that kind of feeling that keeps us motivated.

You can do it anywhere

Instead of scrolling through your phone on public transport, in waiting rooms or during dull parties, you can sit and knit to keep you occupied. You only need some yarn and two needles. You can do it outside, in bed, at the laundromat… It’s one of the most travel-friendly hobbies around.

MORE: Tom Daley launches Made With Love knitting kits

Most people can learn to knit in no time

Knitting is not an artform that requires years of practice to get right. You can learn the craft in a day and be plotting out your own patterns in a week; that’s assuming you are able to see, use your fingers and know basic math. The tricky bit is getting the tension right and getting used to what counts as a stitch and what doesn’t. Once you’ve got those down, you can knit anything. 

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