Knitting in Public June 07 2017

We all know there are projects that are great for taking along to knit group or out to the pub with friends and there are projects that aren't so great for group activities. Some of us might very well be able to work black lace weight yarn in a complicated lace chart pattern in near pub darkness but I think for most of us we prefer a project that doesn't require as much concentration and has less risk of mistakes. With World Wide Knit in Public Day coming up this Saturday 9 June, I thought it'd be nice to talk about projects that are great for taking along to public outings.

Everyone has their own take on what they consider an easy or difficult project, so it's not about difficulty level, it's about concentration level I think. For me the perfect project for group knitting activities has three requirements:

1. It should fit in my hand bag

2. I shouldn't have to look at the pattern

3. No more than two colors are needed for a two hour knitting session

Now, rule one about my hand bag - I have several different size hand bags, so I'm not specific about which hand bag it should be able to fit in, but it does need to fit in one. I don't want to have to take and extra bag out with me. Now, I love a pretty project bags and I have several scattered around the house with various projects in them and I will throw one of those in my hand bag and head out to knit group but I also love a ziplock style plastic bag for a project on the go as well. It's water proof, I can squish all the air out of the bag and I can see what I've brought with me. Practicality is my friend.

Rule two doesn't mean I I will only take projects that require long rows of garter stitch, it just means I need to be far enough into a pattern that I don't have to look at it every few minutes to see what I'm doing. So a simple lace repeat that I've already been working on or a repeating colorwork pattern is fine, I just don't want to to have to concentrate on looking at the pattern, I want to chat with my friends.

The third rule relates to the first and it's about storage space. I'm happy to have two balls of yarn with me because I'm working on something with stripes or I know I'm about to have to change colors but I don't want to want to carry five balls of yarn around with me. That not only probably won't fit in my hand bag it could easily become a tangled mess and I really hate untangling yarn. 

With my rules in mind, here are a few patterns I think would work really well as public knitting projects. The Before and After Bias Scarf by Churchmouse Yarns is a super simple and elegant knit which can be made in any number of yarns. Our Tuesday morning knit group has made at least five between everyone. Pictured above is one of Fiona's versions using Midwinter Yarns Lithuanian Linen

I quite like to take socks out with me for knitting in public. I only ever really knit what I would call a vanilla sock, so I find it easy to just knit around and around while enjoying everyone's company. I mostly knit socks for my Dad, who really just wants a plain sock so I've been using Rachel Coopey's pattern Dave as my starting point for those. A good solid vanilla sock great for showing off pretty yarn and great for knitting in public. I made a pair of Helen Stewart's Vintage Fairylight Socks over Christmas, this was a great pattern and totally knitable in public. Hermoine's Everyday Socks are also a fan favorite at our knit group, free pattern, a bit of interest, great for showing off hand dyed yarn and easy to knit while chatting. 



A garter stitch shawl of some description is also always a good choice. So very many options in this category really. I love the pattern Joji Locatelli just released Ebba's Garden Shawl, it ticks all the right boxes for me. Stephen West's Garter Goodness is a great choice, though this one does get a bit big at some point and doesn't tick all the boxes anymore. 

What do you like to knit when you're out with friends? What will you be knitting this Saturday out in Public?

If you're in Bath this weekend we'd love for you to join us at the Boston Tea Party from 10-12 as we join forces with the Bath Knitting & Crochet Guild this year. After the morning event we invite you to come down to Walcot Street and continue knitting with us. For other WWKIPD events in your area you can check out their website here.

Happy Knitting everyone!

-Carmen