Knitting is the perfect pastime for a web designer.
At the end of the day—or month, or several! depending on the complexity of the project—you’ve got a beautiful, functional thing that not only shows off your sense of design and style, but also your technical ability: to know your way around assorted stitches, follow, modify or create a pattern, and troubleshoot along the way (the analogy isn’t perfect, but I think of dropped stitches like html tags that haven’t been properly closed).
Knitting satisfies both my creative side and my inner math geek, neither of which I could do without in my career creating websites.
Usually I have one or two projects going at a time, and when I over-knit for myself, I give away the goods. Most of them go to my husband and kids, but I also have donated several pieces to fundraising auctions for AXIS Dance Company and OUSD’s Joaquin Miller Elementary School.
If you’re interested in starting to knit, I’d recommend a couple books for beginners. Stitch ’n Bitch: the Knitter’s Handbook, by Debbie Stoller, got me started, with its designs that would make any hipster, would-be yarn-bomber or once-upon-a-time post-punk like me proud to be a knitter. The substantially more milquetoast 1-2-3 Knit: Beginner’s Guide, was actually quite helpful with some of the basics as well.
For knitters who are pretty comfortable with the basics, Chronicle Books has some beautifully designed knitting books with great projects. I started with the Hats, Mittens, & Scarves deck, 25 Cool and Cozy Projects by Andrea Tung.
I’ve found YouTube to be an amazing resource as well. There are tons of tutorials on stitches there, and nothing really is better than having someone show you how it’s done.
You can find me on Ravelry, a really great online knitting community, right here.