The perils of knitting in public

Well. As you may know, this Saturday saw me brave the outdoors and adventure to a local(ish) knitting group. This might not sound very perilous at all, but bear with me.

Stage #1: Choosing something to knit

I planned to get a few rows done on the bus and then be sitting in a library with strangers whom I would hopefully not elbow in the face, so needed a small easily managed project. Neither of my scarves fit the bill, as one of them is getting rather bulky indeed and the other is so complicated for my skill level that I’m employing the old “2 rows forward, one row back” technique and not getting very far at all. And that’s when I’m actually concentrating!

The solution, cast on something new. Woe is me, having to start something fresh and exciting, but I’ll get over it. Strappy Stella Gloves it is.

Stage #2: Am I definitely even going?

There was a bit of a panic at the last minute when I realised that boyfriend had stolen, yes STOLEN, £20 from the coffee table before leaving for his ridiculous 15 mile walk, and I had absolutely no bus fare. Thankfully some strategic shaking of his discarded jeans turned up enough coins to make it, and the adventure was on!

Stage #3: Stop staring at me, you’ll make me do it wrong!

In an effort to familiarise myself with the pattern and ease myself into the day, knitting on the bus commenced. I have done this before, but this time the bus seemed more packed with elderly women glaring at me suspiciously than usual. It was most offputting and I had paranoia about missing my stop, so soon gave up and packed everything away.

Stage #4: Where the hell is Marton Shops?

I was supposedly meeting my Ravelry friend at a convenient halfway point and traveling to the library together. You know how it is though, getting the bus to a new place. Will you press the bell in time? Will you get confused and disembark in the completely wrong town in a panic? Will you play it too safe and end up 5 miles further on the route than you intended before being pulled up by an observant and pitiless ticket inspector? Happily, none of these occured and our bright green coat + bright red knitting bag identification technique meant we recognised each other straight away despite our only contact previously being online. Phew.

Stage #5: I hope nobody can see my hands shaking

Sitting down in that group of ladies with their speedy confident knitting and rather rowdy banter, and taking out my pathetic few rows of inexpertly knitting multicoloured nonsense, was one of my more terrifying life experiences. My hands haven’t shaken that much since my first 1v1 frigate duel in EVE Online, and I’m not even joking.

Everyone was very nice, and didn’t make fun of me for being such a recent starter. It was obvious I was new from the simplicity and speed of my knitting, but I thought all was going well for a while. Then disaster! I’d somehow moved my twisted stitches over one and the pattern was out of line, so had to be tinked back. More disaster! After this I somehow ended up with one too few stitches despite not dropping one, presumably there was some accidental K2tog action while I tried to combine knitting with eating cookies.

I could not for the life of me figure out where the problem was, so made an executive decision: I’d just knit it wrong and hope nobody noticed and then fix it at home! The problem was only visible at one end of the piece so some strategic hand positions while showing it to anyone meant nobody was any wiser . . . I hope.

Sadly no photos exist of this part of the day. Maybe next time.

Stage #6: Where is my house again?

Getting home was going to take 2 buses and quite a lot of Saturday afternoon (living in the middle of nowhere is pretty, but has its disadvantages), but luckily one of the ladies just happened to be driving to my town straight after the group finished up. What she didn’t tell me was that she had little idea of how to get there, and what I didn’t tell her was that I only had the vaguest sense of how to get to my street by road, but we got there eventually! I’ve lived here for 3 weeks, give me a break.

Stage #7: Disaster management

I’d managed to make it through the morning without anyone noticing my MASSIVE KNITTING FAIL, but it still needed to be redone. On the first attempt I managed to do something completely different wrong instead, and ended up with this.

Untwisted twists

This just wouldn’t do, so the last couple of rows were frogged once more. Through some clueless but happy trial and error, I managed to get everything facing the right way except for one single stitch. No matter which way I shoved the needle through, this just would not work, so I gave up and left it until the day I finally get a clue. Can you spot the errant stitch?


Conclusion: I probably shouldn’t be allowed out in public, everything is a huge drama. It was fun though, despite my terror, and has definitely spurred me on to find a group a bit closer to home if possible.

And I guess I should learn to knit things right first time, too.

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4 Responses

  1. kathy b says:

    You are honest and funny. Keep Working on KIP … will become second nature to you

    and lots of fun

    • Michelle says:

      Heh, maybe. If I don’t start getting braver over time, maybe I can just smuggle a hipflask in next time 😉

  2. Camille says:

    Great post. I didn’t start knitting in public until I had been knitting for several years. Now I really enjoy it.

  3. Suzann says:

    Good story! Lol. I knit in public a lot, with two active kids its easier that way. The two biggest comments I get are: 1) “You know how to crochet?!” That always baffles me. Crocheting is with a hook, knitting is with needles. I thought everyone knew that. And if I didn’t know how to do it, would i be doing it? 2) “Make me a …” Strangers haven’t said this but plenty of friends have, like my ability automatically entitles them to a pair of mittens, and matching scarf and hat (with a knitted flower on it).

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