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Guest Post: Knitting Awakened my Calm Creativity by Claudia Kafoe, Lifestyle Coach

I think it's been about 2 years since knitting came into my life. To give you a little insight about where I was at that time in my life, and how knitting was such a huge benefit for me, I'll first give you a little backstory to my situation.

At that time I was having a lot of health issues. I was dealing with a hormonal disorder called PCOS (after quitting the pill this came to light).

The symptoms of the PCOS disorder had a massive impact on my physical and mental health, to the point where I just couldn't eat, sleep and relax anymore at home and constantly felt restless. When your hormones are out of balance, your body and mind are out of balance. At that time, I had no idea about the effects of an unbalance on our natural hormonal system.

Whilst having to take heavy chemical hormone pills that would supposedly treat my PCOS, I was instead suffering more and more issues. After a while it was clear the chemical hormone pills made my symptoms worse and made my physical and mental health go even more down the drain. In the end it made me feel depressed. So I started doing my own research towards natural ways of treating my disorder....with success!

In the midst of all the chaos, Alice mentioned to me that knitting could be a very helpful way to feel grounded and present. And boy how I wanted to give that a try, I was desperate to find ways of giving my mind peace and quietness from all the worries and stress.

For many years I was a Designer for fashion brands, I mainly designed kids clothes on a computer using Photoshop and Illustrator, so the idea of learning to knit made me feel both excited and apprehensive at the same time!

Excited because of my love for creation - I missed being creative. Apprehensive because I had never really worked with my hands before and thought that I could never ever learn the talented skill of knitting. It always seemed so beautiful but so complicated to me. My whole life I have been intrigued and impressed by people that make things with their own two hands. It's so authentic, raw and unique. You can always see, feel and sense the love of all the hours of blood, sweat and tears that have been put into the piece by the knitter. I love that. But I always thought that I wasn't capable of such skillful work. I was a bit scared and thought I would fail completely. Surely I would never have the patience and qualities that are required in order to knit something!

But hey, if you never try something new, you never get out of your comfort zone and you won't grow. I now work as a Lifestyle Coach and know that the quickest way to acquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do. And I always practice what I preach!

So I started the Beginner Knitting Course with Alice. I don't know how she managed to stay so calm but I was a freakin' nightmare student! In the beginning my brain was still all over the place. I had trouble focusing, due to the lack of sleep. Overreacting when I made a mistake, messaging her in panic that I f*cked up AGAIN! I blame it all on the hormones, of course.

But everytime Alice stayed so calm, encouraging me time after time, re-assuring me that this is a normal process and that I can do it. "You've got this!'. The knitting lessons taught me how important it is to not focus on what is not going right (yet), but instead focus on what you've already accomplished!

Slowly during the process I started to relax, and believe in myself too.

After the Beginner Knitting Course I even knitted an amazing jumper! Ok so still with some f*ck ups, but hey, again as a Lifestyle Coach I know that if you can let go of perfectionism, beautiful & pure things come out. I wear my own handmade knitted jumper with so much pride. And the little mistakes show the love and all the hours of 'blood, sweat and tears' that I have put into it.

I have been knitting for a while now and I can absolutely say that it still helps me get out of my head and calm my thoughts. Concentrating on my hands, on the meditative repetitive knitting movements. Yes, if you knit a jumper you also have to keep your mind engaged with - you need to count rows and keep an eye on when you need to make a change when following the knitting pattern. But again, that is a different way of working with your brain. Knitting puts you firmly in the here and now. Which is so healthy for our mental and physical state.

In this fast and quick society we live in, we just don't take enough time to zone out. To do nothing, and to just be bored. We don't even know how to do this. So meditating or just staring for hours into nothingness is something that feels very uncomfortable for many of us. We don't feel "productive" if we don't do anything. We like to run away from our own thoughts and that's why we are always in a state of go-go-go. This is damaging to our minds and bodies, you can imagine...

Therefore I have found that learning to knit is the BEST start to opt out of the rat race of life, even if temporarily. Knitting helps you practice being calm and mindful in a creative way. And still feel productive!

Learning to knit opened the door for peace and quietness in my mind, it gave rest to my body and a sense of clarity for my soul. After I completed the Beginner Knitting course, my soul craved more of this mindfulness state. So next to a a happy knitter, I am now also a practitioner of meditation and just doing nothing. And it has helped make me a far more happier and healthier person.

Besides all the above amazing benefits of knitting, learning this new skill gave me an incredible boost of confidence. I can now say I can knit!! WOW! It showed me again, that no matter how old, or in what state of being you are, it's always good to learn something new. In fact, the worse you feel, the more beneficial it can be for you.

As a Lifestyle Coach I encourage my clients who feel stuck in their lives, anxious or lost, to start and learn a new skill, preferably knitting. Because I can speak from my own experience how helpful this has been for me.

It's been proven that learning a new skill triggers something positive and productive in our brains. It opens up a whole new area of creativity and effectively boosts your confidence. And that combination, gives you so much more power to change things for the better all through the rest of your life. Feeling zen and confident is the right state of mind to help step out of other comfort zones too. And change even bigger lifestyle topics such as jobs, relationships. Things that you would love to see differently but didn't feel strong and confident enough to take action on before.

If I may give a final suggestion - do the Beginner Knitting Course with a few friends, the group class option. It's so much fun to schedule a knit evening per week. Having a glass of wine or 2, chatting about life, whilst learning how to knit the coolest handmade clothes (or other items) for yourself. No more fast fashion waste and you can wear what you knitted with so much more pride and joy than anything you bought.

As you can see, learning how to knit has more far reaching powers then you would ever think....

Claudia x

If you feel stuck in your life and think you could use some motivation, tips and tools to create a happier and healthier lifestyle - then you should check out my website: and/or follow me on Instagram: @turnthetables.coaching


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