Kola Adesina is a travel blogger based in New York City. She spent her childhood in Belgium and moved to the United States after graduating from university. Since she frequently traveled with her parents as a child, Kola feels at home in any corner of the world. Her travel blog explores the best sights and destinations in Europe, North America, and Africa. When she is traveling, Kola Adesina frequently brings home mementos of her trips abroad. Her apartment has become a mini-museum of art and design from around the globe. She especially loves to collect textiles and fabrics.

What is your hobby?

I love to knit. I started out making weird scarves for my girlfriends, and gradually advanced to the point where I can make a nice sweater with very fine yarn.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Friends inspired me to try knitting. I grew up in Belgium where it’s rather chilly in the winter, and I wanted to be able to make something nice for my mother and sisters. It took me a while before my efforts were wearable. I came up with some truly ugly things at the beginning, but I persisted.

Tell us what you love about it.

Knitting is a kind of meditation for me. When I’m knitting, I don’t have room in my head for worries and anxiety. It’s a soothing activity and can be done anywhere. Since I started knitting, long layovers in airports (one of the few drawbacks to the life of a travel blogger) have become much more enjoyable.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I do drop in at my local yarn store’s knitting events every once in a while. I’m not at home very much, but it’s fun to compare notes with other knitters. I’ve made friends at the local yarn store. Shopping local is a good way to foster community spirit, even when you live in such a vast city as New York.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Knitting is a fairly inexpensive hobby to start with, but I’ve accumulated a lot of equipment over the past few years. I have needles in every size and variety. The one thing I spend the most money on is yarn. Every knitter I know has a problem with keeping a large “yarn stash.” I recently bought a set of circular needles where the tips interchange, so I don’t have to carry multiple circular needles with me.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I love my local yarn shop. I try not to shop at the big box craft stores, though they are a good place to pick up needles and things. I also buy a lot of yarn when I’m traveling. I always leave room in my suitcase for yarn and other souvenirs. I have some beautiful wool that I picked up in Scotland. I’m going to make a sweater for my best friend.

Are there any good books for beginners?

It’s best to learn knitting in person, but it’s good to have a book on hand as a reference. Knitting Basics for Beginners by Katrina Gale is a great way to hit the ground running. I have found several YouTube channels that are great for helping me figure out a new stitch I haven’t used before. My favorite is Knitpicks.

How has this changed your life?

Knitting has changed my life because it’s showed me the value of sitting down and clearing your mind. I’m a very on-the-go person, and it’s hard for me to settle. That is probably one of the main reasons I was inspired to start my travel blog: I don’t like to be in one place for very long. Knitting helps me relax and focus my mind. I also have pride in my abilities, and I love to be able to give my friends and family special gifts.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Find your local yarn store and take a class in person. If you can’t find a local yarn store or don’t have time to take a class, you can use a book or YouTube, but you might pick up bad habits that an instructor could correct for you quickly and easily.

Another piece of advice that would have been helpful for me when I was first starting out was to buy enough yarn for a project before you start. Running back to the shop only to find out that they are out of the color you needed, or that the dye lots don’t match, is frustrating. Buy lots of yarn, and if you have extra, keep it in your yarn stash.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I collect art and souvenirs from my trips abroad. I am especially interested in traditional pieces and folk art. I love to spend a summer afternoon wandering a street fair and picking out new pieces of art. I’ve gotten to be an expert on shipping it home. I also love textiles, and I use them around my home.