How Learning to Knit Made Me Turn Off My Phone

And reconnect with a skill I had left in the past.

When I was 5 years old my great grandmother taught me how to knit. She had emigrated to Australia from Italy late in life. As a result she could not speak a word of English. But she knew how to knit and did not need words to teach.

She was patient, thoughtful and watched over every stitch that I made. Teaching me when I needed it, guiding me through the process, watching as I learned the rhythm of the needles. Encouraging me when I made mistakes. And thrilled when I had finished the square for the blanket we were working on. It was a very special way to bond without words and I will always remember those times with her.

Growing up I was always making something either a dance routine, a cubbyhouse, a pair of shoes, a dress for my barbie doll. It was no surprise that I would choose to create, innovate and build businesses across the world as the focal point of my career.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Last year I was introduced to We Are Knitters — a company that has made knitting ‘cool’ again with their DIY knitting kits and colourful yarns from Peru. It reminded me of those days when I first started knitting. But this time the colours of the yarn were beautiful, the texture was chunky (and so soft) and when I saw the patterns of the scarves, beanies, blankets and sweaters I wanted to make all of them. Immediately.

When my first kit was delivered I was excited to start, even though I had not picked up a knitting needle in years. I opened the kit, watched one lesson on YouTube and started on my scarf. I also turned my phone off. For the next six hours I methodically stitched row by row watching the light grey scarf evolve before my eyes. Not once was I tempted to try to turn my phone back on. Mainly because I was too scared that the yarn would fall off the needles!

At 2am I finally crawled into bed feeling calm, relaxed and happy. And slightly in awe that I had actually made something I would actually want to wear as soon as I woke up the next day.

What I didn’t expect when I started to knit again was that everyone that I spoke to also wanted to learn. Or was already knitting. In secret. There was an entire community I was unaware of.

Everyone is looking for a way to disconnect, relax, unplug and have a time out from every day life. A break from the never ending stream of emails, texts, status updates and news feeds that we see every day. And knitting is that outlet for so many people and now I understand why. Because it gives you something to focus on instead of your phone. And that can only be a good thing.

Originally published at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Thrive 5//

The “Thrive 5” Podcast: Tunde Oyeneyin on Why Joy Is a Form of Resilience and the Importance of Leaning Into Discomfort

by Margarita Bertsos
Tom Werner/ Getty Images
Work Smarter//

10 Pieces of Compassionately Direct Feedback That Have Helped Us Grow

by Marina Khidekel
Challenge Winners//

Bonding with His Daughter, Brandon’s Building a Bright Future

by Thrive Challenge
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.