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Michelle Obama hooked on knitting, thinking about retirement

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2019 Invision

FILE - In this May 11, 2019, file photo, former first lady Michelle Obama speaks during an appearance in Atlanta. Obama and soccer star Mia Hamm are among those chosen for the 2021 National Women's Hall of Fame class announced Monday, March 8, 2021. Former PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi and retired Brig. Gen. Rebecca Halstead, the first female commanding general at the strategic level during combat in Iraq, are also included along with several other women. The Women's Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 2, 2021. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP, File)

WASHINGTON – Michelle Obama is knitting and thinking about retiring from public life.

The former first lady says in a new People magazine interview that she picked up knitting needles to pass time during the coronavirus pandemic. And now she's hooked.

“Knitting is a forever proposition," she said. “You don’t master knitting, because once you make a scarf, there’s the blanket. And once you do the blanket, you’ve got to do the hat, the socks.”

She's working on her first crewneck sweater for her husband, former President Barack Obama.

“I’m figuring out how to make sleeves and a collar,” she said. "I could go on about knitting!"

The former first lady also talks about how the pandemic helped her and her husband reclaim “stolen moments" with Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, who both returned home from college to quarantine with their parents at the family homes in Washington and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Mrs. Obama also discusses what she says is the “low-grade depression” she experienced during the pandemic lockdowns and after George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police last May, along with her shift away from high-impact exercise and what she wants out of retirement.

The woman whose buffed biceps and exercise workouts went viral during her time as first lady said she taught herself to be a better lap swimmer during quarantine “because I’m finding in my old age that the high-impact stuff I used to do doesn’t work.” Michelle Obama is 57.