By one definition, creativity is the act of using imagination to make something anew.  For the students in my clubs (Creativity Club after school and Crafting for a Cause during MS club time), it means writing and sharing short stories and poetry, creating graphic novels, drawing, singing, crocheting, and knitting.  In this space, we play, learn new skills, work on projects, troubleshoot problems, and share successes.

As an English teacher, it always excites me to see students engaged in extracurricular creative writing, but knitting has also become a creative outlet that many students engage in during club time, before and after school, and even at lunch.  I love to see students making this connection with a traditional craft that spans gender, generation, and culture — teaching them to create something with their hands within a social setting.  It’s not always about doing perfect work or completing a project.  Most of the time it is about being in the moment.

In this fast-moving world of instant-communication, instant-information, and instant-gratification, kids need something like knitting in their lives.  Knitting engages the mind and improves concentration.  It is itself a form of mindfulness — teaching us to pay attention, be present, and relax into a rhythmic, repetitive process.  Knitting the basic stitches can instill a sense of peace and well-being, and learning more complex patterns can lull us into a deep and satisfying state of concentration where nothing else matters but the moment and the work of our hands.

Knitting teaches us to quiet our minds, cope with stress productively, and present our better selves to the world.  It is so important to engage in this kind of self-care and maybe even find a community doing so.  Finding a moment for creativity in your life is good for your hands, head, and heart.

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.