It’s the latest craze of choice among fashionistas: knitting! Which is handy, because this manual activity from yesteryear is both relaxing and environmentally responsible. Knitting needles at the ready, gals!
It is not known whether the rise of knitting as a homecraft came about because of the latest lockdowns, or whether it came from the cutting-edge young designer scene. But one thing’s for sure: in 2021, knitting your own woolly hug is on trend. As Instagram icons, fashionistas swear by their knitting needles like nothing else. As evidenced by the runaway success of We are Knitters, which offers turnkey kits (even for absolute beginners) for making your own on-trend wool garments. Not forgetting the landslide trend of arm knitting (no knitting needles required), for XXL chunky knits that are perfect for blankets, hats or scarves.
What is Medknitation?
This pun (a contraction of the words “meditation” and “knitting”) positions this pastime, which was long the preserve of grandmothers by the fireside, as a new form of meditation. Knitting is a fun way to hit your brain’s pause button, focus on the present moment (a plain stitch, a purl stitch) and let go of everything else.
Is knitting as effective as meditation? People across the English-speaking world think so, in any case. They consider the art of knitting to be a new form of yoga for the mind (and fingers – knitting is an excellent way to reduce the risk of developing arthritis!). This manual activity is very calming, and could also be an infallible way to quit snacking, e-cigarette smoking or biting your nails! Not forgetting that knitting as a relaxation method can be done just about anywhere, even on the underground or in a waiting room! Plus, you don’t need to spend hours knitting to get the relaxing benefits of it. The regular tempo of the needles over a few rows will very soon leave you more chilled out and relaxed!
How do you get started with knitting?
If you order a small amount of equipment (needles and balls of wool), you will easily be able to follow tutorials on YouTube. Our favourites: the (French) tutorial channels “Tricot Françoise“, “Joueuse de pelotes” and “Les Triconautes“. On Instagram, you can follow the following hashtags for tons of ideas: #maille, #tricotaddict, #tricoteuse. To start with, don’t make things too difficult for yourself. Start with easy pieces with only one type of stitch. Knitting is like cooking – you unleash your creativity as you go along!
When it comes to needles, go for the wooden or bamboo variety (4 to 6 mm). These are slightly more expensive than plastic ones, but every bit as non-slip. Top tip: there’s a good chance you can get your elderly aunt to lend you some needles – it’s the kind of thing that people hang onto.
When it comes to wool, vegans should steer clear of alpaca (from an animal similar to the llama), mohair (angora goat), cashmere (Indian goat) and merino wool (sheep). Instead, go for plant fibres derived from cotton or linen. Otherwise, there are also a great deal of wool producers that are ethical, respectful of animals and the environment (see for example De rerum natura, Lily Neige, Rosy Green Wool, Bergère de France, and even Fonty). One last piece of advice: opt for natural wool without added acrylic (a derivative of petrochemical oil).
A responsible alternative
Knitting your own winter jumper or spring tank top is also about viewing fashion in an environmentally-responsible way. As well as giving you the satisfaction of having crafted something (that nice “I made it myself” feeling), getting into knitting is also about going against the current of fast fashion. By creating your own fashion and investing in sustainable pieces that you won’t get bored of.