I am continually amazed at the talent of people like Stephanie Pearl McPhee, who can knit while walking about, traveling on buses or sitting in movie theatres. She manages to knit beautiful, complicated things while doing this. I am in awe. How is this possible? If I tried to knit while walking outside I would long ago have disappeared under a bus, or been sued by some passing stranger that I had managed to impale on a needle. And how do you prevent the balls from rolling away down the street?
I would like to be able to knit while doing other things. Life would be so much more productive. I suppose I could knit in a movie theater, but it would have to be the plainest of garments, and the movie could not be exciting at all, to avoid the risk of very tightly knitted rows that matched the tense moments, or dropped stitches coinciding with the scary parts. Is it even possible to cast on in the dark? The mind boggles.
And I’m not sure I could even manage knitting on the bus. It’s so bumpy! And as I have had my fair share of bus mishaps when I wasn’t knitting, I’m afraid to add needles into the mix. I have fallen down the stairs on a double-decker, got jammed in the exit doors, and have got off at the wrong stop on numerous occasions. If I attempted to knit on that mode of transportation, I would almost certainly put my remaining good eye out.
This question of knitting in locations other than my living room is one I have pondered ever since reading about how knitting in public is becoming more and more common. I was very interested to read this report of knitting among the audience at scientific meetings. Kudos to those who do that! That is another risky venue. Would the speaker understand that a person can listen and knit, or would they be offended that their presentation was not sufficiently astounding to merit abandonment of the craftwork? I don’t think I could knit during a meeting at my work without risk.
Knitting on the plane would be ideal. It would be an excellent way to pass the time on a long journey. But I’m afraid of the security arrangements. I have had the teeny, tiny nail file that comes with nail clippers ripped off and confiscated by airport security before—how would they react to a knitting needle in my hand luggage? I’m afraid of being arrested.
Today I went to my son’s football practice. There was a lot of sitting around as the team went through it’s paces. I noticed another parent who had come prepared and was cozily knitting away as she sat in her deck chair waiting for her son to have his turn. “Aha”, I thought, “I have finally found a public location where I could manage to knit”. “I should have brought my knitting” I said to my son. “I could knit at a football game. There’s plenty of light, I don’t have to move about, and it will pass the time”. “No!” he cried, squashing all my newly found hope. “That would be too embarrassing!”.
So, I can’t knit while walking due to my own clumsiness, public transportation is out due to security concerns, and I cannot knit anytime I am accompanied by my son. Nevertheless I feel that I should step out of my comfort zone and risk a public display of knitting. I think I’ll start small and work my way up. Now, if I could just think of a suitable place to start!