Knitting as Deep Play


I finished Rest last week, and spent the week thinking about what the most striking thing about it has taught me. And that would have to be the concept of Deep Play, as it relates to hobbies. The phrase is borrowed for anthropologist Clifford Geertz, but applied to work, creativity and rest, it becomes very interesting to us crafters. Can knitting be deep play?




Pang defines hobbies as deep play, when

They had some strong family or historical component. They were mentally absorbing, and often physically challenging. Finally, they offered some of the same satisfactions as their professional work, but at a different time scale or in a different medium.

… Unlike more passive entertainments, or mere diversions or distractions, deep play doesn’t compete with work. Because it is psychologically restorative, and offers a mental break from even the toughest problems, deep play enables people to work even more intensely.

-AS-K Pang in The Penn Gazette

I think knitting easily checks all these boxes. Awesome.

Pang’s book is a thought-provoking work, written in a conversational style, which in effect reframes the discussion of work, rest and even the hobbies we turn to in our downtimes. So knit on, intrepid knitters!



Review of Clifford Geertz’ seminal work Brief Notes on a Balinese Cockfight from The blog Cultural s

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s blog, Deliberate Rest

The Power of Play in The Penn Gazette 

Running, Writing and Deep Play on the Psychology Today blog




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