For a pastime that requires unplugging (you need both of your hands, after all), knitting has taken off on Instagram. One chance night, scrolling through my Explore page, I stumbled upon an especially good sweater. A week later, I started searching the platform for knitting DIYs and kits. A few weeks after that, I began making my first blanket. For once, I wasn’t doing something for the ’gram, to pull out the long-classic phrase—I was doing something because of it.

Instagram’s community of knitters are not only keen to share their work on the platform, they are eager to follow one another’s progress, give advice, and cheer each other on. “Usually, when people ask something on one of our Instagram posts, another follower will answer them before we have the time to respond,” says Alberto Bravo, cofounder of knitting kit company We Are Knitters.

There are plenty of hashtags that keep them in cahoots: #KnittersOfInstagram boasts 6.3 million posts and #KnittersGottaKnit, a whopping 497k. But a smaller hashtag best sums up how this age-old craft has taken on new meaning and purpose: #Knitflix—a reference to what may arguably be the most common pastime of today, Netflix—with 12.5k photos and counting.

Beyond being an affordable, achievable DIY, several studies have shown that knitting can improve mental health, decreasing anxiety and depression. It can help you de-stress, too—just think of it as meditation for people who need to do something with their hands. Plus, you end up with a cool scarf or blanket or sweater.

As I’ve made slow but steady progress with my blanket, amazing yarn creations have taken over my Explore page—and I dream about the impressive textiles I might be able to make one day. “After seeing people around you completing projects and sharing the process, it makes you think, If she was able to do it, why can’t I do it too?” Bravo says. Here, just a few of the discoveries that keep me knitting and purling…and knitting and purling.

Bling Ring

Copenhagen-based knitwear designer Lærke Bagger’s creations are positively kaleidoscopic. Consider this a strong suggestion that beads and yarn can, and should, live in perfect, over-the-top harmony. (Bagger’s designs can use as many as 25,000 beads and take a month to make.)

Face Time

Signe Riisom is a Danish portrait artist—but there are no paintbrushes involved. Instead, she uses knitting needles to bring her cool, abstract creations to life.

Oh, My Gourd

The gallery-worthy soft sculptures made by Danish creator Stine Leth are simultaneously soothing and invigorating—what’s not to love?  

Hip Hypnotism 

There’s a lot of beauty in the artful chaos of Denmark-based Lulu Kaalund’s designs. This throw is pretty much made to be stared at—and makes me want to reupholster a sofa in one of my creations. 

Ripple Effect

U.K. designer Hannah Dolden’s futuristic textiles are totally new wave. Just imagine all the pattern-mixing opportunities based on these samples alone.

Pattern Play

Ready to think beyond the cable stitch? Hamburg, Germany–based artist Anna Husemann’s abstract layered patterns will make you feel soft and fuzzy in a whole new way.

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