Due to the current circumstances, many Concord Academy students, including myself, find our daily lives more stressful than usual. Being on screens so much can easily cause us to feel drained. Thus, it is important to find a way to relax that gives us a break from the screens. Many people love to knit at CA, and believe that fiber arts can be a useful stress reliever during this special time. 

Allie Ehlinger ’22 is a co-head of Wool Pack, CA’s fiber arts club. She loves the process of knitting and getting to see the final product. “It’s cool to turn a ball yarn into something I can wear,” says Allie. “I like making clothes instead of buying them because I can make things exactly how I like them while also making sure my clothes are sustainably and ethically made.” In addition to making sustainable fashion, Allie believes that fiber arts can help people destress and remain focused while watching or listening to something.

“I think [knitting] helps a lot with relaxation because it is meditative while also providing with your hands to do,” says Allie. “It’s a nice fidget when I’m stressed too.”

I started knitting a few weeks ago when I was struggling to relax at the end of the day and in between classes. I searched for a list of activities that help with stress, and knitting was one of them. I’d always wanted to try knitting because I thought it would be advantageous to make my own clothes, so I decided to order some knitting needles and yarn and watch an intro video on Youtube. Despite missing some stitches at first, I am now able to knit with very few mistakes. I just started my first project, a yellow infinity scarf, and I am so excited to wear an accessory I will have made myself, knowing that it is created ethically.

Knitting also helps me to relax during these unprecedented times. Every night before I go to bed, I knit for half an hour to clear my mind. As Allie shared, knitting helps you enter a meditative state. Additionally, knitting helps me stay focused during long meetings, classes, and lectures since it gives me something to do with my hands while having to sit and listen for extended periods. 

I’d certainly recommend that CA students try knitting as a way to get away from the computer screen and relax. If you don’t know how to knit, it’s surprisingly easy to learn. You could watch YouTube videos as I did, but I’d highly suggest that you go to Wool Pack’s meetings, where you can learn how to knit from people like Allie. In addition to acquiring a new skill that can help you decompress, you’ll make some new relationships and join a fun community.