Knit & Crochet in Public Week: Tinking in public

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 don’t like messing up. I like going forward, not backward. Usually the errors are pretty minor, and I can just ignore them. But unfortunately, I was working on my dad’s very-nearly-black sweater on an overnight flight, and between the darkness and my delirium I decreased waaaaaaay too many stitches out of the armholes. Instead of being good and fixing it, I shoved the offending thing in a bag and there it has sat since that flight a month ago.

But today was a lovely afternoon (finally!) and a perfect time to just grit my teeth and do some frogging. So, armed with some caffeinated courage and with the sun on my back, I ripped out.

It wasn’t much. A measly 22 rows. But I’m so opposed to ever undoing anything that though it was so close to done, I put it down for a month. That’s just sad! It only took a few minutes – it honestly took longer to put in the lifeline (which is actually a size 1 fixed circular needle – best lifeline ever!). But judging by the face on the guy at the next table who definitely was not staring at what I was doing with a mixture of confusion and amazement, it was the most daring feat of crafting in public I have ever accomplished.



I wound the crinkly yarn back onto the skeins, tossed the whole thing back in my bag, and settled in for some nice, relaxing comfort knitting. Another pair of kid socks in Felici – I’d brought these out to the desert with me over the weekend, and they’re so close to done. I’ll polish those off, then get back to finishing that sweater. After all, now that the hard part is done, I can look forward to spending the next few lovely evenings with my favorite java jockeys and the simple pleasure of knitting in public.


  1. Lisa / July 8, 2013

    I’m with Amy and Mary. Would you/could you do a tutorial on inserting a lifeline before frogging? The concept of a lifeline is pretty straight forward. What I would be looking for is how to pick up stitches in various patterns like stockinette, garter, ribbing, and seed stitch.

  2. Mary M. / June 19, 2013

    I’m with Amy…could you please do a tutorial on this whole frogging-with-lifeline thing?? Pretty please?? =) I’m a relatively inexperienced knitter and I’m trying to improve my skills, but I’m so terrified of taking the yarn off the needles and undoing stitches I’m more likely to just get new yarn and start over than rip out. A guide to (somewhat) fearless frogging would be fantastic!

  3. Jodi Bierschenk / June 19, 2013

    I love to knit in public. I knit at band concerts (I sit right up front because they turn the lights down), at basketball and football games, meetings, etc. I always have a socks in my purse because I never know when I’m going to sitting down and need something for my hands to do.

  4. Kari / June 17, 2013

    I KIP three times a weekday (though one of those times is really only in front of a couple coworkers, the other two are in front of a total of three buses/trains full). Two things that always get a comment: frogging and untangling. I think people are just really disturbed by yarn that isn’t in a ball or part of a stitch.

  5. Amy / June 17, 2013

    Lifeline? Lifeline? Why have I never heard of this before? Why didn’t I think of it? Genius! I frog and then have to carefully try to pick up stitches. And then they all end up backwards on the needle. Lifeline. Pah. Why don’t knitting books mention it? I feel abused by the industry now.

  6. Cynthia / June 17, 2013

    I love this blog. Sometimes when I make a mistake in a project that does stop me from knitting for a while. Just have to frog it and keep on moving. Love all your projects and love this blog.

  7. Rose Armentrout / June 17, 2013

    Just discovered this blog. As someone who has knit everywhere, including floating on an inner tube down the Shenandoah river, I love knowing I’m not the only one knitting ‘out there’.