21/04/2012 10:27 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Why Knitting Is The Me-Time Choice For Today's Busy Mums

Why knitting is the me-time choice for today's busy mums Rex

You may well ask where a working mum finds the time to knit, but that's precisely the point.
Some days, some weeks, you won't get any time to knit, or feel the energy - but if you can grab even 15 minutes to knit, it creates a quieter, calmer space in the day. A peaceful, meditative window of 'me' time when you're not comforting a screaming child, cooking, cleaning, shopping, on your laptop or renewing your car tax.

It demands just the right level of concentration to make it relaxing - enough to focus your attention and fire up your creativity, but not so much that you can't knit and chat or watch a cosy film at the same time.


And that's why, in this era when we feel we never have enough time and everything costs too much, knitting is back in fashion and staying there, with knitting circles on every high street.


Not that knitters care about whether it's trendy or not. That's one of the good things about knitting - it's not one of those things you feel you should be doing because everyone else is. It's a time-honoured artistic craft, passed down from generation to generation; and best of all, it's functional and practical.

So, how can you get started?

1. Go to a beautiful knitting emporium like Loop or Liberty in London to take the knitters' test. If you find yourself wanting to stroke the balls of wool and mesmerised by the choice of delicate and bold colours, you're going to be a knitter.

2. Take a knitting class for beginners

Nothing too scary; somewhere there'll be tea and biscuits. Many knitting shops run them - I can vouch for Loop's classes and teachers Claire Montgomerie and Aneeta Patel all being excellent. Once you can knit, purl, cast on and cast off, you can knit, and everything else is easy.

3. Decide what to make.

Technically this should come before choosing your yarn, but you can do it the other way around, too. Browsing knitting books for gorgeous patterns is always inspiring, but the easiest and cheapest way to choose a pattern has got to be on knitting site Simply search Ravelry's thousands of free patterns for whatever you fancy - a chunky garter stitch scarf is an easy first project. You can look through dozens of options and see real knitters' photos and notes about their versions, using different yarns.

4. Choose some yarn you love.

If you don't have a dedicated knitting shop near you, head to your nearest John Lewis and the haberdashery department.

Things to bear in mind when choosing yarn:

Not all yarn is wool.

If you want to make something top quality, you need to avoid the acrylic stuff. High quality wool or alpaca is more expensive than synthetic yarn and generally harder to find on the high street. Then again, synthetic yarns can make garments look smoother, wash better and feel less itchy.

Try to see examples of what the yarn looks like knitted up, or ask shops for guidance. Sometimes lovely fluffy balls of yarn make messy-looking knits, but there are some brilliant 100C2VIRTUAL-Gallery-145205%