Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Knits in Public

Hi, Anna-Liza here.

Lyda’s not really slow, she’s just waaaayyyyyyy too forgiving. Babe? It’s really, really good to forgive. It’s great.  I’m all about forgiveness (as you well know). BUT forgiveness is not the same thing as laying down to be a doormat. You can forgive someone and still not give them the opportunity to do it again. Just sayin’.

And dating is one of the processes available to find out if a person is actually worth being into.

Ahem. The subject of today’s post, boys and girls, is knitting in public. Now, there are a lot of myths out there about knitting in public, and the kind of people that do it. I, for one, have no patience for that sort of nonsense.

Knitting in public is a perfectly respectable pastime, an activity shared by many perfectly respectable people. Stephanie, Franklin, Marin, and Red all knit in public, as do I. Yes, the sweet demure woman writing this has frequently knitted in public, and plans to do so again. (Okay, so maybe it’s a stretch calling Marin and Red perfectly respectable, but really, they do clean up nice).

I have heard tales of people (usually referred to as “muggles”) being “freaked” by the sight of public knitting, one must keep in mind that freaking the muggles in this way is actually doing them a service. Their minds, once the freakout is over, are expanded by the experience and they may even become knitters, spinners, or some other form of fiber artist themselves. Even if this does not occur, they will become more and more accustomed to the sight, especially if they witness public knitting on several occasions. They will eventually become allies and even excellent partners for knitters. Some such people know as much about knitting as knitters themselves, at least to the extent that is possible without actually having the knitting experience.

That said, there are a few precautions you should take before you attempt your own public knitting.

It’s best to choose a project that does not require long periods of intense focus. Keep in mind that most knitting in public is an occasion for conversation and answering the questions of sweet, but ignorant, muggles. Even if you’re all by yourself, someone will just have to come up and talk to you, usually when you’re in the middle of counting.

I also find it best to choose something relatively small. Socks, hats, mittens, and scarves are all ideal projects. Tank tops and other smaller clothing items will also work. Shawls are not usually ideal public knitting projects, unless they are simple and, preferably, in their infancy. Speaking of which, simple baby items are also good.

If possible, choose your site with both comfort and convenience in mind. A comfortable seat, preferably with back support, and good lighting are very important. A safe, clean place to rest your knitting bag is helpful. Wait staff bringing drinks and food mean you don’t have to get up and put your knitting down to sustain yourself. Personally, I prefer a spot that is not too windy.

After this little lecture on the basics of knitting in public, you may decide that you, too, are ready to become a knitting ambassador. If this is true, I encourage you to find other knitters with whom to gather and celebrate Worldwide Knit in Public Day, this Saturday, June 9th. I have not yet planned exactly when or where I will do my public knitting on this under-recognized holiday, but since it’s a Saturday, there’s a very good chance I’ll be seen, fairly early in the morning, at Java Stop on 3rd and Main in Longmont, Colorado. They have all the necessary attributes plus a really delicious mocha. And toys for the kids. Mmmmm, mocha.


5 thoughts on “Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Knits in Public

  1. Glenna

    I can’t wait for KIP day! I’m in Toronto and am soooo looking forward to gathering en masse on public transport and yarn crawling to my heart’s content. And you are right about not picking a project with too much focus. I am readying a new pair of Jaywalkers just for the occasion!

    I too have knitted in church 😉 I figure God must also be a knitter and would understand. Heh.

  2. Lindsey

    your welcome to join us
    When: Saturday, June 9 at 1:00PM
    Where: skyline park
    16th & Arapahoe outside of Corner Bakery
    Denver CO 80205

  3. cpaley

    I usually don’t leave the house without a sock in progress in my purse! If only I could figure out a way to knit while driving…I’d get so much more done. I know — a chauffer! I’m sure my husband will get right on that.

  4. Red

    Posh: a yarn boutique will be having a tent outside. And Sylvia’s always good for some snacks! 4420 Tennyson Ave, Denver, CO probably noon-5 ish


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