Benefits of knitting

Benefits of knitting

A pair of knitting needles with knitting project in progress

Knitting is a hobby that anybody can learn, love and enjoy. When I started knitting I did it out of curiosity and was pleasantly surprised to find all the benefits it has. Besides being a fun activity, knitting has some incredible benefits, here are some of them:

Reduces stress and anxiety

This benefit is the most popular benefit known by people. When you are knitting, you get very focused on the task on hand and the repetitive motions of knitting that your mind forgets about other things that may worry you, reducing stress and anxiety.

Improves cognitive function

Studies show that the repetitive motion of knitting stimulates the brain and benefit cognitive functions as well as reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer and dementia. You are exercising your mind when you are knitting.

Encourages community

You can find knitting groups online or in your community with other fellow knitting lovers. You can build many friendships with people that share the same hobby as you. Being able to share your projects and continuously learn from others can bring a lot of joy and sense of community.

Improves concentration

Knitting can help with your concentration because you are focused on a task for a long period of time. It’s very easy to make mistakes while knitting if you’re not paying attention, so concentration is key. This can help you improve your concentration in general.

Creates sense of purpose and pride

When you start a knitting project, you set a goal that is completing the piece you’re knitting. Knitting allows us to set a goal and work towards it with small increments across time. When you finish knitting a project you get a sense of pride and happiness because you knitted something yourself that took many hours of effort and dedication.

Knitting vs Crochet

Knitting vs Crochet

Comparison between a knitted and a crocheted yarn swatch

When it comes to forms of crafting with yarn, there are two crafting hobbies that stand out: knitting and crochet. Both crafting hobbies use needles or a hook to manipulate yarn to create fabric but use different techniques and give different results.

The similarities

Both crafting hobbies use yarn to create a piece. There are many types of yarn and all of them can be used to both knit and crochet. It might be worth mentioning that crochet could end up using a bigger amount of yarn than knitting.


Knitting is done with two pointed needles and can be done by hand, a machine or a loom. These needles come in various lengths and thickness, could also be connected by a chord or individual two needles.

When you are knitting you have many loops of yarn that are being hold together by a needle. Each loop depends on the stitch below and when you drop a loop by accident, you can mess you the entire structure of your project.

Knitting stitches are created by looping the yarn around the needle and it’s usually done with two main stitches: knit and purl. You transfer a loop from one needle to the other with every knit or purl you make. The combination of these two stitches creates the stretchy fabric that knitting is known for. The simplicity of this technique allows knitting to be done by big industrial machines and mass produce knitted pieces.

You can make any type of project with knitting. When it comes to clothes, knitting is the preferred method because the result is more stretchy and drapes better than a crocheted piece.


Crochet is done with a single crochet hook. These crochet hooks come in a lot of sizes. The size of crochet hook you use depends on the thickness of your yarn. Crochet can only be done by hand and cannot be mass produced by machines.

The main stiches of crochet are chain, single crochet, double crochet and half-double crochet. The combination of one or all these stitches create a crochet piece. When you crochet you only have one loop in the hook. That means your project it’s less likely to unravel if you make a mistake.

You can create a lot of type of projects with crochet. The result of a crochet piece is usually more stiff and that makes it perfect for blankets. Crochet tends to be faster than knitting, so it’s ideal for bigger projects.

Types of knitting needles

Types of knitting needles

Different types of knitting needles on a table: straight, circular and double pointed needles

A new knitting project can be exciting, and you might want to start knitting right away, but making sure you have the right needles is very important. Every pattern has a suggested needle size and type required to complete the project in a satisfying manner. There are three types of knitting needles: straight needles, double pointed needles and circular needles.

Straight needles

These are the types of needles that you may imagine when you think about knitting. Straight needles are long needles with pointed edges on one side and a flat surface on the other side. They are used to work rows back and forth. Straight needles are usually more heavy than other types of needles. These needles are good for projects like scarfs, dishcloths and other type of flat projects.

Double pointed needles

Also known as DPN, double pointed needles have pointed edges on both sides, unlike straight needles. These needles tend to be shorter and lighter, usually bought in sets of four or five needles. DPN are used to work in the round with smaller circumferences like socks, hats, mittens and sleeves.

Circular needles

Circular needles are two pointed needles attached with a cable. These needles can be used to work both in rows and in the round, making it the most versatile type of knitting needle and perfect for beginners. Circular needles can be fixed, or you can buy an interchangeable set with different sizes of needles and cable lengths.

Material of needles

When it comes to the material of a knitting needle, there are many options available. The three most common materials are metal, wood and plastic. Each material would be more suitable for a specific project. For example, yarn tends to slide more easily with metal needles and would be better for a project with cables. If you are a beginner, a wooden needle would be better because the yarn won’t easily slide out of the needles.

Types of yarn

Types of yarn

Yarn laying on a table

When it comes to choosing the yarn for your next project, there are two main factors to consider: fiber and weight. The fiber is the material the yarn is made of. The weight is the thickness of the yarn. Depending on the project you want to make, you may need a specific type and weight of yarn.

Yarn fibers

There are many yarn fibers available in the market, here are some of the most common:


This is the most common type of natural yarn fiber. It’s very warm and durable and perfect to make a winter garment. This fiber can be itchy.


This yarn fiber is a little more rigid than the others and shows intricate designs very well. This yarn fiber is also very breathable and perfect for hot weather knitting. Cotton yarn can be a little tricky to work with if you are a beginner.


Acrylic yarn is very cheap and perfect for beginners. This man-made fiber is perfect if you want a cheap and washable yarn fiber option.


Cashmere is very soft and is considered a luxurious yarn. The reason behind is because the process of collecting the yarn is very labor intensive.


This natural fiber comes from the merino sheep and it’s softer than regular wool and doesn’t cause allergic reactions.


Alpaca yarn comes from the South American alpacas. This fiber is soft and warmer than wool but doesn’t hold its shape as well as other fibers.


Silk fiber is an expensive and strong type of yarn. It doesn’t have a lot of stretch and can be very slippery. It’s better for summer garments.

Yarn weights

A yarn thickness is measured by the yarn weight. There are seven common yarn weights:

Lace 0

Lace weight is the thinnest type of yarn. This yarn is better used for light lace shawls.

Super fine 1

Super fine weight is commonly used for socks and shawls. Is slightly thicker than lace yarn.

This weight includes sock and fingering yarns.

Fine 2

Fine weight is perfect for light sweaters, baby items and accessories. This weight includes sport and baby weight yarn.

Light 3

Light weight is used commonly for knitting sweaters and lightweight scarves. This weight includes DK weight and light worsted yarns.

Medium 4

Medium weight yarn is the most popular and common type of yarn. It’s perfect for beginner projects. It is suited for almost every project. This weight includes worsted and aran weight yarn.

Bulky 5

Bulky weight is perfect for rugs, jackets and blankets. It’s a thick yarn and projects tend to be finished faster.

Super bulky 6

Super bulky weight is the thickest of them all. It’s commonly used for heavy blankets, sweaters and rugs.

Knitting tools every knitter must have

Knitting tools every knitter must have

Knitting notions laying on a table

Some people may think that all you need to knit is a couple of needles and some yarn. While a pair of needles and yarn are the main materials used to knit a piece, there are some additional tools and accessories that are very useful when knitting a new project. Knitting notions is a term used in the knitting community to refer to tools and accessories you have in your knitting kit and help you while knitting. Here are some of my must have knitting notions.

1. Stitch markers

These tiny stitch markets are used to mark some part of your knitting piece and serve as a guide for future reference. They come in various forms, but these two are the most common.

2. Stitch holder

A stitch holder is used to hold stitches while you are working on other stitches.

3. Measuring tape

It’s very useful to have a measuring tape at hand when you are knitting, especially for a clothing garment. Patterns usually specify how much a piece needs to measure.

4. Tapestry needles

When you finish knitting your garment, you have to weave in the ends of your yarn tails. A tapestry needle helps you with that. It can also be used to sew seams together.

5. Cable needle

Cable needles are used to knit cables. They help you to hold some stitches while you knit the next ones, creating the cable pattern.

6. Knitting and needle gauge

This tool helps you to measure the gauge of your piece, so it will be the same as the pattern. Gauge is the measurement resulting from the number of stitches you knit in a determined number of rows. This tool also helps you measure the size of your knitting needle, in case is not written in the needle.