Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Knitting in Public

Four months ago, I started knitting a pair of red socks. Today, I’m wearing them!

Top view of feet wearing hand knit red wool socks on a white background.

I pushed to finish the socks this week, taking them with me almost everywhere. It helped me get more knitting done, and an added benefit was seeing the reactions from others. I knit socks on four double-point needles; all of the little points sticking out in every direction seem to draw more attention than typical knitting on two straight needles.

As I was knitting at a few of my daughter’s basketball games, I was inevitably asked what I was knitting. The reply of “socks” seemed to take people aback, as if they needed a minute to process that socks are something that people still make.

Close up top view of feet wearing hand knit red wool socks on a white background.

There was the grandmother who reminisced about her mother teaching her to knit when she was very young. (She didn’t continue knitting as she grew up.) There was the mother from the opposing team who perked up when she saw me and announced that she brought knitting too. (She was making a multi-colored pastel scarf with a bulky yarn.) There were all of the curious faces of younger siblings, peeking over at me to try to figure out what I was doing. And there were even a few basketball players watching the knitting instead of the game, although thankfully from the bench rather than from the court!

Anyone who thinks that knitting equates to loneliness has clearly never knit in public.

Vogue Knitting magazine opened to mitt pattern page and a skein of blue Moda Dea Bamboo Wool on a white background.

As far as the fingerless mitts that I mentioned last week, it took some time for my youngest to pick just the right blue yarn from my stash. Her choice is Moda Dea Bamboo Wool (which is so discontinued that even Moda Dea no longer exists) in the colorway 3845 Blue Velvet. It’s a blend of 55% rayon from bamboo and 45% wool, which should give the mitts both warmth and durability.

After she chose the yarn, I found a pattern in the Fall 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting that I think will work well: Meander Mitts by RenĂ© E. Wells (no affiliations to either site). Next up will be measuring my youngest's hands to see if the pattern can be easily scaled down from an adult size to a child size. I don’t expect it to be a problem, but you never know.

Do you have any fun stories of knitting — or making other types of projects — in public?

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