Staying committed to one project for months is just too much to ask for a person with ADHD.
by Rebeka Covell
Along with relaxation, this weekend also brought back a hobby I had neglected since last winter. Knitting. I used to love knitting; especially when I lived at college and needed a break from studying. I would sit in my favorite chair, put on a movie, and not look up from my knitting until the end credits.
Knitting is so soothing; the click of the needles, the relaxing repetitive motions, the feeling of accomplishment when your project is finally done.
There is one thing I’ve learned about ADHD knitting. Don’t start a project that’s complicated or long unless you really love it enough to work on it day in and day out for months or unless you intend to finish it a few years after you started. I started this beautiful cable scarf the winter of my freshman year in college. I finally picked it back up and finished it in time to wear it in February of last year (my sophomore year of college). After the cable scarf my aunt started teaching me how to knit in the round and I started a simple mitten pattern. I have one mitten done – but it came out kind of too tight and it still doesn’t have a thumb. I’ve pretty much dropped that project.
Staying committed to one project for months is just too much to ask for a person with ADHD. We get bored, we get frustrated, and once the project turns into a chore it’s not even worth it. Remember – it’s a soothing, stress-relieving hobby.
I’m probably never going to be an expert knitter like my aunt. I’m probably never going to knit an entire sweater or an insanely complicated check-off-each-stitch as you go pattern that requires intense focus. As it is I’ll be in the middle of an entire knit row in stockinet stitch and I’ll stop and wonder if I am knitting or purling. As long as we don’t get in over our heads knitting can be really enjoyable for us high-strung can’t-sit-still ADHDers.
For now, I’m perfectly happy making 12-inch square washcloths and millions of scarves – and maybe a single mitten without a thumb every once in a while. Just think; if you never make the second mitten you can’t lose it.