guest writer

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I was recently contacted by an aspiring writer, Ryan Halston, (Ryan! Is six weeks still recent?! I am so sorry it took me so long!) to post an article he wrote regarding clothing construction.

So, read if you would like. I know Ryan would like it. And, if you would like to give him writing advice, feel free. He would love it.
Please, don't let on that us knitters don't knit to save oodles of cash. (We all know how expensive knitting is. I still get those occasional, "Oh, you must save so much money knitting your own sweaters!" remarks. I just politely smile.) We should just keep that our little secret.

The following article was written by Ryan Halston:

The Many Benefits of Clothing Construction

Embarking on the journey to learn how to knit clothing has many great benefits. Not only is it an antiquated craft with a rich tradition, but many aspects that made knitting popular throughout history are still applicable today. Developing the skills to knit or sew can be unbelievably advantageous to improving your life. These skills can save you money, ensure you have control of the materials from start to finish, and save quite a bit of money, not to mention leave you with a prideful feeling of accomplishment.

Knitting is a great way to take time for yourself and develop a connection with the mind and spirit, and has even been scientifically shown to stimulate interaction between the left and right sides of the brain. The coordination between both hands used to knit effectively gets both sides of the brain processing the same or similar information, and can help to provide relief for medical issues like high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, high stress, and even insomnia.

Other extensive benefits of clothing construction through knitting are the amount of money you can save, and the satisfaction and health benefits that come along with knowing exactly what materials have gone into the making of your garments. Though at first it may seem like fabric is more expensive than purchasing a single garment, fabrics can be bought in bulk and ultimately save you money in the long run, not to mention you’ll actually know what has gone into the making of the clothes.

Mass produced clothing is often made from manufactured cottony that is grown and harvested using harmful fertilizers, pesticides and other potentially toxic chemicals. This can be especially concerning for thrift and antique shoppers perusing wares that could even be composed using toxic asbestos fibers. Asbestos was widely used in a number of products including clothing up until the early 1980’s when the dangers associated with asbestos exposure became more widespread.

Fortunately with the diversity of options in natural clothing materials, as well as having a wide variety of options in styles for the whole family, knitting and clothing construction can really help prevent a lot of associate health issues that can stem from coming in contact with these substances.

Finally, knitting can help you find companionship. It’s really fun to knit, and even more so to knit with others! No matter your location, knitting is such a widespread interested that you’d have to be pretty hard pressed not to find a knitting circle or group to join. These groups are fantastic ways to show off what you know, or just get support from others if you’re just learning the skill.

Though knitting your own clothing may take some more effort than just walking into your favorite store and pulling something off of the rack, the beneficial properties from knitting and clothing construction are well worth the effort. Ensuring you’re not wearing something harmful, saving a bit of cash, and even controlling and developing your own personal style are well worth it.

It really is fun to knit with others. Doncha' think?!

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  1. A great article, well written. I was interested by the interaction between the left and right side of the brain, and the health benefits of knitting.
    About the cost of knitting: yes good wool is expensive but will last for ages, a knitted garment can be unravelled and reknitted many times.
    Thank you for this pleasant read.

  2. Hi Leslie, That certainly was an interesting piece of writing by Ryan. Knitting can be expensive depending on the type of wool you purchase, but you can save money when shopping in the thrift and op shops. I just love knitting anyway, even if it's good or bad for you, I am a knitting addict. Click click! Kind regards, Anita.

  3. Very interesting!! thank you for the information!

  4. One of the greatest assets of my knitting is the opportunity to constantly learn something new. The same two stitches (knit and purl) applied in new ways push me intellectually while the overall satisfaction of knitting keeps me calm. I could go on and on about the social aspect of knitting as a conversation starter, a prompt for stories about memories that even strangers are eager to share, and the fellowship of my knitting group.

  5. Thanks for posting Ryan's article, it was a good read.
    I liked the part of the left brain, right brain. When you use your creative side, you can't worry so much about the rest of the world.

    I also like the idea that I can make gifts all year, and personalize them to the recipients.

  6. "You know you can buy gloves, right?" I'm sure we've all had a non-knitter remind us that buying is an option (maybe even a less expensive option), but knitting is more than just the end project. I loved learning my right and left sides are working while I'm knitting! I knit for the entire experience-the relaxation, the creative outlet, the relationship, and the finished object. Thanks for making my knitting experience enhance by one more relationship, leslie!

  7. I really love Ryan's content. I think his it made it a great article (though I am biased as an obsessed knitter). Ryan also has a strong conclusion.
    Some constructive criticism I have is to be work to not being repetitive (i.e. thesis) and try to avoid mentioning things that you won't be talking about (i.e. sewing in introduction). That's about it!
    Your word choice is strong and I adore your supporting arguments. I think they appeal to totally different areas and therefore are very effective! I'd love to see his sources for the information if at all possible so I can read more about it!

    Thanks for sharing Ryan!

  8. Very nice read. True about knitting; it is expensive at times. But isn't it just worth it? Think of the money we save on therapists! Haha!