There are two types of knitters. Which one are you?

This has been a tough year. We all search for ways to escape from our worries and anxiety. When you are knitting, do you find yourself sitting and focusing on something such as your breathing or the pattern? You enter a space where your problems disappear as you focus on something outside yourself. Sounds like meditating, right?

Recently, my good friend and fellow knitting teacher (one of our Affiknity Retreat teachers), Kate Atherley, wrote an article for The New York Times about knitting’s meditative nature, entitled, “Pick Up the Knitting Needles for a Mood Booster.” No matter the reason we choose to knit, there are many positive benefits such as creating something warm for yourself or others or participating in a supportive community. Kate also mentions that knitting can improve one’s mood, cognitive function, and chronic pain.

In my experience, there are two types of knitters, and here are some patterns for both types:

01. Simple, Meditative Knitting Patterns

The first type are those knitters who find comfort in repetitive, meditative knitting. This is simple knitting that is used to calm your spirit, especially during stressful times. There’s something about choosing the right yarn and clicking together my knitting needles that always soothes my nerves. If you’re a knitter who likes to focus on the act of knitting, here are a few patterns that you might enjoy.


Looking for a sweater with a design that’s relaxing to knit and flattering to wear? Try my popular Jetson sweater. Featuring classic stockinette stitch, it’s straightforward to knit, allowing you to float away in your thoughts.



Another great option is Seagate, another stockinette design that features unique details including a versatile cowl neckline.

Geneva Vest

The talented Fiona Ellis designed this simple, reverse-stockinette vest called the “Geneva Vest.” Named after Geneva Misener, the first female professor at the University of Alberta and a vocal spokesperson for women’s rights in the province, it features a beautiful cable detail at the bottom.

Dandelion Slouchy Cap

Tired of wearing the same hat every day? Want to make something different? The one and only Carol J. Sulcoski has a pattern for a fun, easy-to-knit hat called the “Dandelion Slouchy Cap.”

02. Patterns to Learn New Skills and Focus Your Energy

The second type of knitters are those who love the challenge of devoting their minds to complex knitting as a distraction. Here are some complex patterns to dive into and focus on learning new skills.

Brioche Bandido

It’s time to grab a couple of skeins and create this multi-colored cowl. The “Brioche Bandido” crafted by my friend, Laura Nelkin, will keep you warm and in style. It is the perfect touch if you want to add a pop of color to your outfit. Using the brioche stockinette stitch and other stitches will help you achieve this look.

Castaway Tam

The “Castaway Tam” is a cute hat made by Mary Jane Mucklestone. The colors and different patterns, such as the border and peerie, combined give this hat a fun, unique look for outdoor festivities. Try this pattern if you want to add a little something extra to your next hat.


Looking for something elegant? The “Chambourein” is a beautiful shawl made by Brooke Nico. The sequence of twisted rib stitches shows its texture and grace.


If you’re ready to knit sweaters for you and your whole family, check out my Affiknity pattern which is on sale through January 24, 2021. You will have access to hours of video tutorials to learn how to create cardigans and pullovers for anyone in your family.


Whether you are one type of knitter or the other, we all find joy and comfort in the hobby. Leave a comment below and let me know which type of knitter you are!

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  • Barbara Behar January 25, 2021   Reply →

    I think that it’s possible to be both. I often have two projects going at once. One is a “mindless” knit, great for car knitting or while watching tv. The other is for when I am clearheaded and want to challenge myself to learn a new skill or to make a complicated pattern where every stitch must be counted.

    Loving your convertible mitten pattern btw!

  • MJ, the SKEINdinavian January 30, 2021   Reply →

    I am both types. I LOVE learning new techniques, many of which I have learned through YOU, THANK YOU.
    I also LOVE an easy project, one where I am able to wander off where my mind wants to take me… or work through patterns I am designing.

    I would dearly love to knit Brioche Bandido. It is STUNNING! However, I have a real problem knitting Brioche stitches. Too frequently, I fumble and have a HORID time getting back to before my fumble. Have you ever done a tutorial on the Brioche stitch? If so, I have not found it yet.

    Thank you so very much for all the tutorials you have had posted on MDK. They have helped me become a better knitter, and to understand the WHY of doing things your way.

    • Julia February 8, 2021   Reply →

      I use knitting for both the meditative, soothing, process of knitting and the challenge of something more complex, requiring focus and allow absorption into the object on my needles. I keep at least one easy, soothing, process project at all times. I keep a more complex project for those other reasons. I’m happiest when i have the perfect mix of projects underway.

  • Rita A Giovinazzo February 11, 2021   Reply →

    I’m a combination knitter, however my arthritic hands won’t allow me speed crazy continental knitting,. I do try to speed knit by throwing as fast as I possibly can when I’m purling. It’s a shorter throw. I’ve knit all kinds of items from stuffed toys to complex sweaters. I prefer complex stitch work over simple. I used to do a lot of colorwork, but it is not as easy as it used to be. I knit to stay busy. I can’t just sit and watch TV for example. I have to do something. I have multiple projects going at the same time. I need variety.

  • Jennifer S Elliott March 25, 2021   Reply →

    I’m both. I’ve always got a simple project that’s knitted in the round that mostly requires no attention. Then when I’m clear headed another that requires my attention.
    Thank you Patty just love your work.

  • Laura Goldin July 3, 2021   Reply →

    Like some of the other commenters, I’m the 3rd type: Igo both ways. My mind demand a challenge or I just need to unwind. Sometimes the challenge becomes meditative.

  • Kali October 8, 2021   Reply →

    I get bored easily, so almost everything I knit is at least moderately complex. I’ve really fallen in love with the intricate patterns you find in some Japanese knits.

    I wish I could buy just the pattern for Affiknity – I like the look of it, but I really don’t need a class, just a pattern.

  • Julie Hamilton December 17, 2021   Reply →

    I fluctuate between trying something new and going back to the same old thing….usually whip up the easy stuff when I watch football or am wanting to keep my hands busy….then on to something more challenging (needless to say, I do a lot of ripping out on these projects!)

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