Knitting in Public

Alternate title: how I got a business card from a judo instructor who’s at least 50.

Knitting (or crocheting) in a public place where people are able to see what you doing eventually gets you comments, questions, stories, or etc.

Sometimes it’s “Nice, you’re crocheting!” and the person speaking looks at you proudly, because he or she knew what you were doing. Nevermind that you are knitting. ‘Cause then you have to smile politely and explain how you are knitting, not crocheting – or smile and nod – depending on your preference.*

Other times it’s a person who can completely appreciate the work you are doing and has some positive comment or praise for your work. Other times still you’ll have a highly amusing exchange with some random stranger who may or may not actually recognize what you are doing.

Today to get my looking-for-a-job self out of the house for a little longer I took knitting to $tarbucks. I’m working on a shawl with gorgeous hand-dyed (not by anyone I know! bought at LYS) multicolored merino yarn that I positively love. It’s soft and looks neat… and it’s to the point where someone is likely to notice and ask.

So today I got to hear a story about how an old guy beats up people for a living, but first he told me about a person he knew (maybe his son?) who decided to learn to knit by going to upstate New York and learning how to raise sheep, shear sheep, clean the wool from the sheep, spin it, dye it, AND then knit it. He said the first thing this person knit was a sweater for his mother – but he didn’t take into account the natural properties of 100% wool and so the sweater weighs like 25 pounds any time it gets wet.

Then somehow we moved on to how he beats up people for a living – meaning he teaches judo.  ((He handed me his business card.) Old guy with gray hair mind you – 50s at least?) I’m amused, and chuckling at all of this and agreeing that it is important to learn about the fibers you are knitting when you learn to knit – and that not everyone bothers to. We discussed the differences between crochet and knit too. Like my mom taught me how to crochet as a kid but my friend taught me how to knit (basics) as an adult and I find I like knitting much better than crocheting – and my mom couldn’t handle the double needles of knitting.

So, he continues his story (just while waiting for his drink) that he even has 5 police officers that he gets to beat up, including a 25 year old who was all puffed chest cause he didn’t need this training but he’s here cause “his chief said” he had to be.

Well this guy told me he only used 2 fingers to beat up the 25 year old so he wouldn’t hurt him that much – and the 25 year old (can I call him a kid?) only cried for an hour afterwards. (I think this was actually about when I got the business card.) To which I replied, then you did knock him down a peg or two, at least one peg anyways.

I could tell the guy loves his job. Loves. His. Job.

Before I left $tarbucks I had comments from one other nice lady who “had to come over and see what I was working on.” I asked her to let me finish the last few stitches on the row and held up the shawl for her to see (it’s easily 2-3 feet wide at the top at this point). She praised it – I think she really liked the yarn. I forgot to tell  her what kind of yarn though. (Sorry nice lady.) Instead I asked if she was familiar with the LYS – which she was (and get’s in trouble there) – and I happily pointed out the sale going on today/tomorrow. She said maybe she’d check out the sale since she hasn’t inventoried in awhile! (Oh dear I’m thinking, my stash isn’t that big, I don’t have to inventory it yet!)

So, in the end, knitting in public got me some laughs and nice comments from strangers — and no strange comments about how crocheting or knitting is better. Or, even better, no (sorta) snide comments about how what I’m knitting looks like a diaper. (Seriously, you are comparing something HANDMADE to a diaper?)

*By the way, one way to know the difference between crocheting and knitting? Crocheting uses 1 needle that has a hook on the end. Knitting uses 2 needles with rounded points. Both crocheting and knitting use many different sizes of needles – from wider than your thumb to so small you are afraid you’ll break the needle.

Knitting Projects: what next?

It’s that time again. Time for me to make note of what projects I’ve got going so I can figure out what to do next.

I finished the fingerless gloves for self made from blue lace merino. They are nice, they’d be nicer if I remembered to make note of the pattern I used when I did the first glove. >_<


1. green socks, on heel for sock 1, for self
2. pink scarf gift, zombie like, low to medium priority
3. *green shawl, been on back burner for awhile, for self
4. pink shawl, gift, medium priority
5. basket weave blanket, low priority
6. blanket squares, low low priority
7. green hat, for self, medium to high priority since I don't have a hat I LIKE for myself
8. *blue sweater, for self, medium priority
9. I think I have enough blue lace merino left for a smaller, snugger, pair of fingerless gloves


1. put patches on my green scarf
2. felted "bed" for cats to augment bed/perch thing beside my desk
3. more socks
4. shawl for self with awesome variegated fall like yarn

*hard to work on with distractions

Should probably work on hat or socks. Hmmm.


It occurs to me I need a new list of how many things I have in progress….and what I have planned as well. Being sick and the end of the semester have really screwed up my knitting mojo.

Mental tally of knitting WIPs

1. Almost ready to do the toe on sock #2 of socks in paton yarn.
2. Just barely started green socks in cascade yarn.
3. my green scarf still needs finished. (How to cover my fuck up?)
4. weed shawl hasn’t seen the light of day in months.
5. pink shawl (gift) started.
6. blanket in 9×9 squares of knit/purl started.

Knitting Goals for 2011

Idea came from here..mostly?

1. finish more than I’ve started.
2. a pair of socks on DPNS
3. learn more about fiber
4. something else. I’m kinda running out of ideas
5. learn something else
6. get better

Yea, maybe I should just keep track of what I learn instead….

Knitting: 2010

I started seriously knitting in 2010, making the decision to learn more and progress in my skill… basically, see if I could turn it into a hobby. Turns out I like yarn. I like buying yarn. I like going to the LYS and petting the yarn and eyeing the pretty colors…. err. For project brainstorming. Yea.

I definitely learned a thing or two. My knitting looks better. I finished a few (smaller) projects. I don’t unintentionally twist my knitting anymore. I know a thing or so (not sure I can call it two things) about increases and decreases in knitting. I’ve learned a little about differences in fibers. Merino is purrty! I knit a scarf in the round. I’ve used circular knitting needles to knit flat. Little things mostly.

Going to learn socks and double pointed needles next. I have a book about natural fibers to start learning more about fibers. I have to get better about different weights of yarns. That’ll come with practice. Most importantly I have to take care of my shoulders-elbows-wrists and not knit too much at once. Pain is bad. (Oh, neck too.)

Also, hooray ravelry. I’ve already spent many afternoons looking at patterns and I doubt that’ll stop any time soon.

Knitting: December

Navy blue scarf has been finished. 13 oz of simply soft caron…. and it’s supposed to be in the 50s-60s this week (last Christmas we got snow/ice).

I’m still fighting bad muscle memory to not twist my knitted stitches. Maybe I’ve won this time. Swatched some double stranded cotton for another coaster on steroids to help with this.

Second sock needs done…. but the needles I need are the needles the fingerless gloves are on….and I need to stop frakking those up. Third time’s the charm?

Just saw my LYS is going to have an end of year sale… so I need to think about what I’d like to knit next.

Knitting WIP: November

In progress

1. The big blue navy scarf knitted on the round is nearing completion. less than 2 oz of yarn to go.
2. The sock knit flat still isn’t done.
3. The hat still isn’t done.

To do

1. Reattempt my scarf in the green merino
2. Make another pair of fingerless gloves in merino by adapting the pattern I’ve already used one to better fit my hands
3. Learn double pointed needles.


I’ve now seen needlefelting thanks to etsy mostly. Interesting. Looks like fun. Looks like lots of fun. You could create all kinds of cute fuzzy things. But. I’m not starting it! I’m not gonna have another hobby besides knitting (and everything else). I’d have to give up sleep and that’s impossible.

Besides, it’d probably turn into making cat toys and my cats do. no. need. more. toys.

Knitting: Projects and To Do updated

Finish the second fingerless glove
– Finished!

Keep slogging away on navy blue scarf – Been working on it.

Count stitches on navy blue scarf – record on ravelry – Still need to do this!

More stockinette stitch practice to confirm that I figured out how/why the stitches look (as I was told) twisted
– I think I now understand how to identity twisted stitches. I think it was my purl stitch. Things seem better now.

Start my scarf in green. I think it’s just going to be ribbed have to decide k2-p2, k3-p3, k5-p3, etc – It’s gonna be knit 3 – purl 2. I think.

Work on mom’s red scarf, smaller version of navy blue scarf – still on back burner

What fun and exciting new project to work on next? Hat or socks? SOCKS!

Knitting: Projects and To Do

Finish the second fingerless glove

Keep slogging away on navy blue scarf

Count stitches on navy blue scarf – record on ravelry

More stockinette stitch practice to confirm that I figured out how/why the stitches look (as I was told) twisted

Start my scarf in green. I think it’s just going to be ribbed have to decide k2-p2, k3-p3, k5-p3, etc

Work on mom’s red scarf, smaller version of navy blue scarf

What fun and exciting new project to work on next? Hat or socks?

Knitted aphgan part 1

The first square that is the attempt to make an aphgan/blanket is complete. 11 more squares to go? I’m knitting double strand synthetic yarn and I have very little experience with knitting.

I’m not doing gauges or anything fancy, just attempting to keep squares same/similar in size and square like… will that change as I go? I don’t know.