Category Archives: knitting in public

Knitting in public

I’m a perfectionist, and generally a private person, but I’ve spent much of the last week reflecting on how much I like to knit in public. It feels both public and private at the same time – like I’m carving out my own space.
I like it so much that this sock met John Kerry and John Edwards when they were in Cleveland yesterday – yes, I took my knitting to a political rally. Foolishly, I did not hold my sock up against the Kerry/Edwards banner to take my progress shot, but I did get asked about my knitting. Several people wanted to know what I was making, and were mightily impressed by my small birch needles (which exhibit a gentle bowing from use, thank you very much). I have reached the stage where I’m able to impress non-knitters with my needle-wielding skills (why, yes, this is very difficult – I’m breaking a sweat here!).

But this is what I find impressive – a sock heel that fits. (The fact that I like the sock *so* much because it fits so well is distracting me from the fact that my Lush sweater sleeve looks frighteningly long as I decrease for the cap). And here is where I admit that I must not be as much of a perfectionist as I think I am, because I will kit merrily away on socks that I know have mistakes in them. Did my stitches mysteriously rearrange themselves on the needle? Do I need to fudge the decreases to make the gusset come out (relatively) even? Is the toe a little wonky? No problem! The stitches are small! It’s going inside a shoe! Socks give me the freedom to make mistakes, full speed ahead!

In fact, I love to knit so much, that I will knit in public with stranger yarn. This photo was taken June 18, while Knit One Purl Too’s knitting book critiquing staff (aka my husband) and I were killing time on the east side of Cleveland before his brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Barnes and Noble helpfully had yarn on display with their knitting books, and I thought I was just silly that the yarn and that nice pair of Clover bamboo needles were going unused. So I cast on and started a scarf – it will be a permanent UFO, I’m sure, because by the time I get back to that store, the new hobby fad will probably be modelmaking. But I love the idea of an unsuspecting Barnes and Noble emplyee coming upon my secret knitting in public.

Bonus link: a preview of fall projects from Interweave Knits

Stick to your knitting.

I wait too long between entries. I’m hesitant to post, because the only time I have to take photos is usually early morning (when it’s dark) or after dinner at night (when it’s dark). If that’s the biggest problem I have, then I’m a lucky girl – we’ll just forge ahead and see where this entry takes us.

Willa’s link reminded me that I never reported on knitting with Christine Lavin – we went to her recent show in Kent, and she was nice as pie to the knitters (actually, this was mostly just “nice as pie to me,” because the other knitters left to have dinner before the concert – I was the hardcore knitter who stuck it out!) and funny as all get-out onstage. Her fingers and wrists were bothering her, so she didn’t actually knit with us in order so save herself for later guitar playing. But I got to say “hi” and talk about knitting with her, which was almost as fun.

I’m almost done with the replacement hat for the one that got eaten; my hands knitting that very hat might actually be in the paper this week – a reporter from the Plain Dealer (who is also a socknitter) came out to do a story on the charity knitting group that I’m a small part of. hatprogress1117-sm.jpg Let me also say how much I’m enjoying the Lamb’s Pride Bulky Superwash – it glides through my fingers compared to the Ballybrae…

…which brings me to the top-down raglan update – I’m thisclose to dividing for the sleeves, and things seem to be going swimmingly, though I am finding it challenging to make sure I do indeed have the right number of stitches between each marker. sweaterprog1117-sm.jpg Even though it shouldn’t be this hard, I’m showing why I was not a math major in college. I put the raglan aside, though…

…because I simply must get cracking on my Christmas knitting. Alison’s keeping me honest. You’ll see in the sidebar that I’m supposed to be making three of those ribbed watch caps from Hip to Knit – I’ve made exactly zero, so far, and I think my sister-in-law would like a Bucket-O-Chic, not to mention my brother-in-law (do I hear knitalong?). As if that weren’t enough, my mother-in-law doesn’t know it, but I think she’s getting a mohair scarf so she won’t feel left out when my father-in-law gets his watch cap. I have the Zara for the watch caps, and I even have the mohair, but I’m not going to be joining anyone in a yarn diet anytime soon…

…because my husband is getting this lovely cardigan for Christmas – or more accurately, he’s getting a box of Lamb’s Pride worsted that will become that Lopi cardigan in a different colorway – my first Fair Isle. because he found the Lopi Light a little scratchy, I asked the KnitList for substitutions – they suggested Mission Falls 1824 Wool or Lamb’s Pride, or yarn from Beaverslide Dry Goods. The Beaverslide looks so tempting, but though I am a yarn adventurer, I think good old Lamb’s Pride will be the yarn of choice. I had originally intended for Alice Starmore’s Na Craga to be my first “husband sweater,” and he and I both agreed that Black Water Abbey Yarns Bluestack was lovely, but he’s dying for a cardigan – the “easy-on-and-off” factor wins out over the cabling goodness, for now.

Speaking of cabling goodness: I saw this cabled wide brim hat in person the other day, and it’s very good looking – and quick. Amy also has a nice essay here about her knitting philosophy and how she de-mystified cable knitting for herself by sheer force of will. Finally, all of Elisabeth’s chatting about the Bed and Breakfast sweater by Kathy Zimmerman in the latest Interweave Knits got me curious enough to look for myself, and all I have to say is Na Craga may just have to wait – that is one fine sweater, and sooner or later, stack of hats before me or no, it will be mine.