I’ve knit in public quite a bit over the years – when I lived in Massachusetts, I knit about 2 pairs of socks a month just on my 2-3 hour daily train commute!
Now most of my public crafting seems to be in dark places – bars, coffee shops and especially the movies. I can’t seem to go to the movies without my project – if I don’t, I spend most the film fidgeting, which doesn’t seem to please my other half. It gets so annoying that I’ll realize that I’m nearing the heel turn in a pair of socks that I’ll have to cast on for something new before we head out to the movies!
(Note: I have done a short row heel while watching a movie in the theater. I don’t recommend it, unless you like ripping it out and redoing it when you get home.)
So my craft in public projects tend to be small (so they fit in my bag!) and easy stockinette patterns – things I don’t need to look at when working – which is why I don’t crochet in public very often – I still need to look down at my project when I’m crocheting. My first choice is generally socks – I use the Two at Once, Toe Up, Magic Loop Socks Pattern all the time now (that way I don’t drop my DPNs!).
Crafting started as something fun to do once in a while, like during a rainy day or on the odd vacation weekend. I have a few memories of making massive collages of tiny horses cut out of magazines, or sorting through a giant jar of buttons.
That was all before I picked up a pair of knitting needles late in high school. From that moment on I needed to craft. It became a lifestyle. I knit in class, on the bus, during movies, on car rides to the store and especially in parks on nice days.
Ever since I committed to learning crochet, I’ve found myself trading in my needles for hooks more often than not. So for me, this year’s Knit & Crochet in Public week has been all about returning to my first (and sadly unfinished!) crochet project.
Say “Hello!” to my pile of 140+ crocheted circles; all waiting patiently to become the Hexagon How-To Blanket by Lucy of Attic24!
To begin, I’d like to share an exchange that occurred in a waiting room last year:
Young boy: HEY! What are you doing?
Me: Oh, hey there. You mean this? I’m crocheting a scarf.
Young boy: CROW-saying?
Me: Right, close! I’m crocheting. See, you use this hook to make loops with the yarn.
Young boy: (yells across room) MOM, LOOK AT WHAT THIS GIRL IS SEWING.
Young boy’s mother: Honey, that’s not sewing. She’s knitting.
Public crafting—like anything you do that’s not “staring blankly at the ground”—opens you (and your work) up to an immediate and directed dialogue with strangers; as most of you have experienced, this is both good and bad!
In honor of “Knit & Crochet in Public Week” (which kicked off last Saturday), I’d like to present the best stranger comments I’ve heard over the last couple of weeks (from parks to cafes), all in relation to the same in-progress Brava blanket pictured above
Now that summer is nearly here, my car will be perpetually filled with camping gear, fishing rods, and of course my hat and sunglasses. But the other thing that I must not venture without is my knitting!
While I do love a good difficult cardigan, though, it’s really not the best thing to bring with me on adventures. I have found that there are three types of projects that pack small, travel well, and provide the relaxation and instant gratification that I like in a project.
Socks and other small fingering weight accessories like fingerless mitts are great traveling companions. The small stitches mean that there is still a fair bit of time involved to make them – great for car rides or waiting for the fish to wake up. When worked on circular needles, you don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping a needle under the plane seat or down that cliff!
Brava! What better name could this luscious yarn be called but Brava! It’s a standing ovation in the acrylic yarn world. Now we have added 8 new colors to the Brava Worsted Weight yarn line! I personally love the pastels!
Having an organized stash where your yarns all have planned projects assigned can be both a blessing and a curse: you feel good because there is a definite plan for all that yarn, but it can dampen those moments when inspiration strikes and you just have to cast on right away! Kelley’s solution? A spontaneity stash!
Yes, this means that Kelley’s yarn stash is now divided into sub-categories but it makes for fun knitting when you come across that must-make project. Hear all about how Kelley plans out her spontaneity stash and what yarns make the cut.
Next, Kelley talks about what is on her needles and her plans for summer knitting. Always craving a good sweater, Kelley finally embraces summer and gives in to lighter weight projects. And to make all of this summer planning a bit easier, Kelley shares her list of favorite audiobook recommendations.
And for those of you who are looking to add a new book or two (or three!) to your summer reading list, Kelley has compiled a list of her favorites for you to peruse.
3 easy ways to listen…
Over the past oh, three or four years – I’ve tried learning to crochet at least a handful of times. During these past (and failed) attempts, I think I let my familiarity with knitting get the best of me. I can knit with lots of distractions, I can usually fix mistakes I make, I can fairly easily read my stitches – yet ultimately, I now realize these small things were holding me back. Instead of seeing crochet as a new learning adventure, I often became frustrated that I felt as if I was just stitching away without knowing what I was doing.
Then on my last attempt something clicked – vague memories of my initial knitting attempts came into view: projects gone awry, struggles with gauge, dropped stitches, the list goes on. And so now after having readjusted my learning process (and having reasonable expectations), I can (very!) happily report back that I am officially hooked on crochet. Pun intended.
Which is why I now deserve to get myself a rainbow fiesta of crochet hooks, plus 40% off isn’t too bad either!
Amour Crochet Hook Set
If you are looking for some summer knitting projects, may I suggest Joyce Fassbender’s collection of lacy confections in Sunset Over the Cascades. I am thrilled with the variety of styles and yarns the Joyce used in her designs.
I work for a yarn company, but I can’t stand most wool. While it would be a stretch to dub me a Barbie (my preferred outfit is sweatpants and I don’t even own a brush), I am known around the office for my fastidious skin. Even the thought of wool makes it itch.
Thankfully, we carry a wool yarn that is kind enough even for my royal skin, and it was recently kitted into a stunning cowl. My co worker Jenny penned a clever little haiku in honor of the grand event:
Double crochet cowl,
you are even soft enough
for Princess Heidi
And here is the kit (not on me .. I gave up modeling a long time ago):