Knit & Crochet in Public Week: Finding the right project

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 go to the movies without my project – if I do, 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 knitting , which is why I don’t crochet in public very often as 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!).


Felici is one of my favorite yarns for socks – I love the striping and the softness!  This is a pair I did 2 years ago actually – I’m not terribly concerned about the stripes matching, obviously.

More recently, I’ve decided that hats were the best thing to work on in public – you just knit round & round and keep going until they are long enough. And if you use 16″ circulars, you don’t have to worry about shifting the needles around (as you would for Magic Loop, my preferred method for socks).  My very favorite hat pattern is the Sockhead Hat – it’s easy, it’s slouchy, it’s free and I can use up the ton of the sock yarn I have laying around.  I have made about a half dozen over the past year – and that’s just working on them while at the movies or hanging out in our favorite pub.


This one I started a few weeks back, using Capretta Black and Stroll Blue Topaz, deciding to stripe them since I only had one skein of each.  And I love stripes! This one is a little tougher to work on in the dark since I have to remember switch yarns, but I choose to do 1 row stripes – so when I get to my stitch marker, I know I need to pick up the other yarn.

So those are some of my favorite projects for crafting on the go – what do you like working when knitting in public?



  1. samantha / June 17, 2013

    i knit in meetings. at work. all the time. i don’t fall sleep. i can still participate in the conversation but i don’t get all worked up like i do when i don’t have the knitting to calm/distract me. i also knit during kids sporting events. i have a big “purse” style bag so anything that fits. current things worked on in public: rustic shawl, 1/2 gloves, baby bib (had to be careful with that one present)

    • samantha / June 17, 2013

      oh and i try to keep a ball of inexpensive yarn. in my bag so if kids are interested i can give them some and teach them to finger crochet.

  2. Kari / June 17, 2013

    I usually have socks in my purse because I tend to work on socks and sweaters and sweaters in my size get a bit cumbersome quickly. Right now I’m working on lace kneehighs. So yep, I was sitting there dangling almost two feet of sock just Friday!

    Sometimes I’ll bring baby stuff, hats, mitts/gloves…anything I can fit in my purse.

  3. Bekswhoknits / June 17, 2013

    Totally!! I have made 4 sock head hats – two were knit at Southbound Festival and the car trip there and back.
    When I think about all the live music my knitting has seen I would love if yarn could talk.

    I usually have a pair of toe up, two at a time socks in my bag just in case. They last got worked on at the pub on Sunday. I was waiting for my partner to finish up in the fishing shop, so I parked myself at the pub with some socks. At least with knitting you can still watch the football, as opposed to mucking about on ones mobile.
    I’m knitting a pair of vanilla latte socks at the moment and I have the pattern down. I have turned a heel standing up, waiting in line (in the rain) to get into the cricket (it’s a first in-best seats situation)

    TL:DR – I love knitting toe up 2 at a time socks in public

  4. Bonnie / June 17, 2013

    I always expect to be knitting in public. I have found that I get antsy without something to knit on (My car broke last week at a winery and I had nothing to knit.Well, it could have been worse.). Socks are a perfect project for me since they are small and easy. I stick with the dpn’s though.

  5. Yuriko / June 17, 2013

    I tend to knit things in stockinette.. such as a hat or a scarf. Hats are easier since they are in the round rather than knit one side and purl the other.

    Love the Sockhead hat…!

  6. Wyetha / June 14, 2013

    Ha! I thought it was just me. I crochet all the time commuting on the bus and train, since I feel like I spend most of my time waiting. I call them my commuter scarves. If traffic is bad, I can just about finish a hat.

  7. Audree Weldon / June 14, 2013

    I always have a knitting project while waiting in doctors’ offices. While at the oncologist I work on Chemo hats to donate to celebrate my successful treatments. One doctor always comments on my project and tells me about the one his mother-in-law is working on. The latest being a scarf for his daughter that has a lion head on one end and the tail on the other. I would love to have the pattern for that one!
    Knitting has helped me lower my blood pressure I am certain and really does help to past the time in the waiting room.

  8. Lisa / June 13, 2013

    I’ll knit anything in public as long as it fits in my small project sized knitting bag. I’ve knit a sweater that I just got started on in public before. I’ve even done lace but I do mess up more when doing lace in public. When I lived in a smaller town I got way more comments from strangers than I do here in the city. I always enjoyed the comments I got.

  9. Pat / June 13, 2013

    I knit in public all the time. I knit whatever I am working on at baseball games, meetings, community activities, movies, etc. I sometimes start another project that is simpler than the main project I am knitting, to have something appropriate to the event I will be knitting at. I knit in public and for charity so much that our pastor is not afraid to use my knitting as an example in his sermons.

  10. Judy / June 13, 2013

    I knit in public fairly often. Last Saturday I knit on the light rail going into the city for a meeting. The project was a fairly simple pair of socks out of Stroll Sport yarn (tranquil with three mardi gras stripes). They are being knit for an Afghans for Afghans project outfitting students at a new girls school that will open this fall. I have knit sweaters for the project too but socks make better knit in public projects.

  11. annabel / June 13, 2013

    2-at-a-time socks from the toe-up are my go-to projects for out-of-the-house knitting. I’ve averaged at least a pair a month since learning socks a couple of years ago. My best comment ever was a few years ago when I was sitting in Logan airport and a woman and her seven year old daughter came up and sat down beside me. The little girl pulled out slippers she was working on and her mother leaned over her and said “she wanted to sit next to you when she saw you were knitting.” later on the plane they borrowed my scissors.