Kate Knitting in Public
If you’re planning to participate in WWKIP day this coming weekend – and especially if you’re going to be part of the Toronto-based attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for most knitters in one place – you need to be prepared. You want to have your tools with you, but you also want to pack light so you’re mobile.
Here are the tools I recommend you carry if you’re going to leave the house with your knitting:
- a handful of safety pins or removable stitch markers – these are great for catching dropped stitches or using as extra markers, or to keep track of your progress – I tend to just stick them in my knitting before I leave the house
- a crochet hook – for picking up any pesky dropped stitches
- a photocopy of your pattern or chart, in a plastic bag or sheet protector & a waterproof knitting bag – waterbottles do spill
As to other tools – consider your project and where it’s at:
- will you need scissors? Only if you will need to change yarn, or be seaming or weaving in ends.Â Many knitters find nail clippers good for out-of-home knitting, or you may be able to break the yarn – test an end!
- will you need a tape measure? Will you need to measure anything? Did you know a US dollar bill is exactly 6 inches wide?Â Know the length of your needle and use that to measure!
- using DPNs? Take a spare, or change to magic loop for the day.
The objective is to take only the absolute essentials, so be ruthless about paring down your kit for the day.
Ideal outdoor knitting projects:
- something small – do you really want to be dragging that blanket around town? lace! socks! kids’ garments!
- something for which you don’t need to consult the pattern very often, but bring the pattern anyway (ok, make that easy lace)
- something in cotton, silk or smooth wool – if it’s summer where you are, you’ll want it to be cool to handle (no mohair or alpaca)
- something you want to show off
My all-time favorite knit-in-public project is a plain old stocking stitch sock – I get the cast-on and ribbing done at home, and then I’m off to the races just plain knittin’ for a while.
Non knit-specific but still very useful things to have on hand:
- sunscreen & hat
- water bottle
- wet wipes to clean your hands before you start knitting – because ice cream stains are hard to get out of wool
- a big smile – you may well be photographed
And just as for travel knitting, it’s not a bad idea to thread a lifeline before you do leave the house.