I’ve never been one to shy away from public crafting. In fact, if my hands aren’t busy all the time, I basically just fuss and fidget and drive myself nuts. So, it’s no surprise that many of the folks at the fine coffee and food establishments I frequent are well enough acquainted with me to ask much more specific questions than “Is that called yarning?”
In fact, one barista was surprised when the sweater I’d been working on for some time wasn’t with me for a few weeks, when she knew it wasn’t finished. Well, there’s a good reason for that, I explained, as I was busy crocheting a doily. I messed up!
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