A Call to Knit in Public

Inspired by the Yarn Harlot’s recent post “Inexplicable Knitter Behaviour“, I wanted to get silly with knitting out in the open yesterday. I carried my knitting and camera around with me all day and tried to capture some moments.

The Harlot says,

“Just like a bunch of knitters partying in a yarn shop, or travelling to a knitting event, taking over a coffee shop or filling a bookstore, it was inexplicable knitter behaviour. Next to the stereotypes, it’s probably the biggest thing that knitters face. They can’t define us, so they can’t understand us, so they ignore us, or stare.”

Anyone who has taken their knitting outside the safe confines of home has probably experienced some attention from non-knitters. At my knitting group, which meets at Starbucks, we often have people openly staring at us while they wait for their lattes. Sometimes they approach and admit that they too are knitters and wish they could sit and knit with us. Others just go ahead and stare, never saying a word.

Sometimes I’m brave enough to knit out in public alone. This was a big step for me: how would I handle those penetrating stares? What might people think or say to me? Mostly I keep my eyes on my knitting to discourage unwanted remarks, but every once in awhile I get a knowing smile from someone, a sort of code between us saying “I’m one too.”

Yesterday’s mission: to knit in public and take pictures while doing it. I started out trying to take pictures of myself knitting in my new craft room (oh yeah, we bought a house 2 weeks ago!). This is an interesting challenge when you are alone except for Mario, the plumber who is working on the bathtub downstairs. I got out a stepstool, fiddled with the automatic timer, and tried to get some shots in before Mario came to work on the upstairs bathroom. Here is what I managed to get:


Look at that scarf grow!




New Project Alert: I started a Kittyville hat (from the 1st SnB book) for a friend of mine who’s turning 2 in a couple of weeks. More on that later…

After working at the new house for a little bit, I decided to take a break and go to Borders to pick up the Harlot’s new book and knit a bit. Sadly, they didn’t have her book. Don’t they know there are crazed knitters out there who feel compelled to buy these books the day they are released? I was so thrown off by this snag that I returned to the car, completely forgetting that I had wanted to sit and knit in public! Ah, I guess a parking lot is technically public…



Two knitting sessions, and no truly inexplicable knitting behavior. Shoot. But then I remembered: the Sweetie and I were planning on going to see the movie 21 that night. And this hat is stockinette on circular needles, so it’s perfect for knitting in the dark!


Don’t take my popcorn!

The movie theater was packed, so I’m sure plenty of people noticed the annoyingly bright flash go off, and in turn saw me knitting. Mission accomplished.

5 thoughts on “A Call to Knit in Public

  1. Your craftroom pics are so funny – not the pictures themselves as the thought of you dashing into place, trying to pose as if you had just been relaxing forever!

    I knit on the train everyday and I definitely get my share of odd looks…

  2. Funny! Haven’t tried knitting in public yet, usually have 2 or 3 kiddies in tow so a bit hard to manage.

    And WTG on the new house!!! Much jealous of your craftroom!! Will you *have* to fill it with yarn and stuff now?

  3. Yes, we got a new house that happened to have a small, light-filled room, perfect for my creative pursuits. I’m sure I won’t have any trouble filling it with projects and materials; the trick will be to set it up to be well organized from the start!

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