Is knitting a creative hobby?

Is knitting a creative hobby?

Some of you reading this may think 'yes' and others 'no' and this all depends on why you knit and what kind of knitter you are. Is knitting a creative hobby?

Do you think you're not a creative knitter because you only make things by following the pattern to the letter? Do you think you lack creative expression because you only use the exact yarn colour that the pattern recommends? Do not overlook the fact that you are picking up some yarn, casting stitches on to two needles and making a full blown item out of it. Can everybody do that?

You should stop viewing yourself as a pair of hands that just follow instruction and view yourself as Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold. I think a lot of knitters forget that knitting isn't something that just anybody can do. They have machines to do that these days so why the hell do you pick up your needles and knit? 

The answer is simple: it's because you're creative. 

Of all the things you could do with your time, you have chosen to practice some mindfulness, skill and creativity. Yes, you've used the exact same colours that the designer has used and yes, you're just doing what the pattern says but you're doing it. You're making something. You are bringing something new and colourful (and sometimes even useful) into the world with your hands. 

Don't underestimate the creativity required to knit. 

Sure, some knitters are more creative than others. Some will just knit what they feel like without ever consulting a pattern. Some have a great eye for colour. Others need a bit of direction. Some knitters are forced to be more creative due to budget limitations or local availability. Others just want to do it their own way and add their own spin. Even the knitters who stick to the plan religiously are creative. 

Knitting is a creative hobby

Long gone are the days when knitting was absolutely essential for clothing yourself and your family. Knitting is now a hobby. It's a hobby where you create, focus your mind and settle into a rhythm. 

I would say the same about any hobby that involves the making of something. My husband builds and paints Warhammer models. He builds them from pieces that have been cast beforehand. He didn't cast them himself. Does that mean the hobby is not creative? No, it doesn't. He builds them and paints them how he likes. He makes something out of that kit box. He could paint the models just as they appear on the box and it would still be a creative thing to do. 

Baking is creative. Nobody bakes cakes because it's an essential food staple, They bake cakes because it provides some mindfulness, creative flair and a delicious treat. Some bakers are more adventurous than others and will add their own twist to a recipe; others will follow recipes to the letter. They are both being creative. 

We can say the same for sewing, quilting, scrap booking, flower arranging, photography, crochet, basket weaving and much more. You get the idea. 

Why do some knitters think they're not creative?

When comparing yourself to a Renaissance master or the head of a design house, you might feel less creative. If you compare yourself to Amadeus Mozart, you might feel less creative. Something you might think or say is "I could never do that". 

Creativity doesn't have to be the act of churning out original masterpiece after masterpiece. It doesn't always have to be a unique, out of this world spin on something. 

Here's an example: 

Call me maybe by Carly Rae Jepson topped the charts in 2011 for being ridiculously catchy, but why? Was it just a beautifully written song? Not quite. It was cleverly composed to feature sounds from other successful pop hits. It was incredibly catchy and difficult not to remember the tune of. The composers were inspired by sounds that had gone before to make a new track that featured the catchiest elements of a good pop song. Pop music still does this now. It's not new as such and relies on musicologist data but it's creative!

It's in your head now, isn't it? 

We all have creativity within us

I believe that we all have creativity within us. The human race would not be where it is today without creativity. It doesn't have to be expressed through the arts. It can be expressed through problem solving, interpretations, adaptations and finding a new way to look at something or a new way to do something. 

A lot of people I meet say that they're not creative, especially when they're looking at something that myself or someone else has made. What if you have never had the opportunity to be creative growing up? You can't give yourself a review for something you've never tried. I often worry that there is so much pressure to do things right and not waste time that we don't mess around and explore our creative abilities. I worry that young people today are so pressured into passing exams that they are not given opportunities to be creative with their thinking. It is something that requires opportunity. 

I believe that knitters who think they're not creative have either been told that they are not or they have compared themselves to someone who is more expressive with their knitting creativity. I believe that creativity is within all of us and can be nurtured or suppressed. 

I once had a music teacher who would say "everyone can sing". She was right. We can't all be Celine Dion, but we can all do something with our voice. It's not all possible to listen to in comfort but it can be done. It's the same with our creativity. 

Do not underestimate the creativity that is involved with knitting or the creativity that grows from knitting. You don't have to be a designer to be creative. You don't need to come up with original, mind blowing ideas every day to be creative. We all have a little bit of creativity within us. Pay attention to it and value it for the wonder that it is. 




Further reading: 

Why call me maybe is so catchyABC news 

On learning how to be more creative Lauren Rad

How Creative Are You? - quiz 

Knitting generates creativity- The Knitting space 

Crochet Vs Knitting - Hanna Gough 

Things I wish I'd known as a beginner knitter- Hanna Gough

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I follow instructions/patterns as am getting on abit & the memory isn’t perfect but I’ve created it myself and am okay with that. Also I have a gal pal who always asks me for help when she’s made an error or can’t understand a knitting pattern & I feel creative sorting it out.

Judy Yeager

I love this. It always drives me nuts when knitters dismiss their creativity

Louise Tilbrook

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