100 Days of Useful Homesteading Skills: Day 46 – How to Knit or Crochet

One of my favorite items was a heavy, warm crocheted wool sweater made by my grandmother. It was tough, warm, and outlasted me, eventually needing to be handed down to younger siblings, sigh! There will never be another like it.

Why do we say that knitting or crocheting is a useful homesteading skill? Does it really save you money, make money, or help out on the homestead?

That depends on who you talk to and how you do it.

Some homesteaders grow their own fiber, prepare their own fiber, dye it, spin it, and weave, crochet, or knit it themselves. Does it save them money, and labor or make money for their homestead? An overwhelming majority would probably say, “no.” Is it, however, incredibly satisfying knowing you could not only feed your family but clothe them as well if the world turned upside down, probably most would say, “yes.”

Fiber and the ability to process it into a functional end product for your family is a very nice side benefit of raising a variety of different animals. Sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, and even some rabbits produce the right fiber to do the job. They also produce meat and, sometimes, milk for the family.

While these skills not financially beneficial and take a long time from start to finish, they are very rewarding in the satisfaction and relaxation they give to the people who do them. Kniting or crocheting warm hats, mittens, and scarfs aren’t the end of it either. Toys for children, beautiful gifts for friends, and stunning christmas ornaments can also be made.

There are ways to make knitting and crochetting affordable. Looking in yard sales, thrift stores, and online for unwanted yard is a good place to start. Old tshirts and sheets can be cut into strips and crocheted together to make rag rugs to warm your floors. 

You can knit your own socks for longer, warmer wear and save money on replacing socks every couple of months. Sweaters also can be easily made, warm afghans, slippers, potholders, washcloths, and a multitude of other items. Besides all these useful things, it can also be wonderful for your health.

But don’t take my word for it, research has shown (Polino) that crochet and knitting helps lower your blood pressure, reduces stress, reduces dimentia, and relieves pain. Homesteaders often have a lot of stress to deal with to meet the demands placed on them by Mother Nature, do something good for yourself and learn a craft that is good for your health and your family.

Polino, M. (in press). Crochet Therapy. Creative Interventions and Activities, 1–4. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/aca-acc-creative-activities-clearinghouse/crochet-therapy.pdf?sfvrsn=6

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