Why dancers should also start knitting…

Photo taken by Corbis, sourced from: http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h–/q-95/sys-images/Money/Pix/pictures/2008/09/15/KnittingCorbis460.jpg

I first learnt to knit when I was about ten. I would sit on the sofa with my Nana and she would repeatedly show me what to do whilst I fumbled around with a ball of wool and two needles. I don’t think I made anything vaguely successful, except maybe a rainbow coloured blanket for a Barbie… But, now coming back to it ten years later, I find that there are many benefits to knitting that I would never have thought about before.

First, there’s something appealing about doing something repetitive and almost menial. Juggling so many different thoughts in a ballet class- counts, intention, musicality, technique… the list goes on. But, with knitting you just repeat the same process over and over again. You know what’s going to happen, and unless you hash it up and drop a stitch you pretty much know what’s going to be made at the end.

Which leads me nicely to how knitting is highly satisfying and therapeutic. Transforming one long piece of string into (a hopefully beautiful) piece of material, is something I need when I feel like I’m getting nowhere with a dodgy knee injury. I’m distracting myself by creating something new.

Therefore, knitting taps into the wonderful creative side of each person. Plus it’s also highly practical, I made myself a new scarf, which is very useful addition in this blustery March. I’ll get home from class, eat, shower and then jump in bed and knit for a little bit before I fall asleep. Each night my piece grows a little bit, and I can focus on this repeating pattern over and over with little to no distraction.

I did a little research on knitting, and there seems to be a lot of connections between knitting and reducing stress. So if you’re feeling anxious about rehearsal period, why don’t you knit yourself a little calming scarf? I will even teach you how to purl if you ply me with tea and cake. We can sit up a knitting club. Who’s game?

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