I Knit in Public

Hi, Readers. My name is Jennifer, and I knit in public.

Yes, it’s true. I carry my knitting with me in my purse, so that I’m always prepared. Traffic jam? No sweat. Delay at the doctor’s office? Take your time, Doc. Waiting for my partner to join me at a restaurant? No awkward phone-browsing for me — my needles are clicking away, and I’m happy as a clam. In fact, I think that I’ve knit in most of the places that Dr. Seuss’s Sam-I-Am suggests for the consumption of green eggs and ham (though not with a goat, or a fox). I sort of assumed that everyone knit in public; why wouldn’t you?


Would you, could you, on a boat?

But apparently it’s somewhat unusual. I’ve gotten odd looks from bartenders, and the tooth-grinding “Oh, I wish *I* had time to knit” from my waiting-room companions. I’ve even gotten seats to myself on crowded buses, because no one wants to sit next to the lady with the pointy sticks on a moving vehicle (ok, so that’s kind of a perk). Imagine my surprise when I learned that Saturday, June 18th was World Wide Knit in Public Day! Wait, there’s one specific day a year when I’m supposed to knit in public? What about the other 364? I can understand that there are some times/places where knitting might be inappropriate (church, funerals, workshops), but generally I don’t see anything wrong with a little multitasking (Let’s talk about phone use in public, if we’re going to discuss manners here).

For me, every day is Knit in Public Day. Throw a portable project into your bag the next time you’re heading out the door, and see how much better it can make you feel. No high blood pressure while you wait (and wait) on Route 1 in the summertime. Reduced anxiety as the click of your needles drowns out the whine of the dentist’s drill. And zero resentment when your dinner date is running a few minutes behind (Ok, I should confess that I’m almost always the late one in that situation). We already know that knitting is good for your health, so why not do it more often? Besides, if I only knitted at home, I would NEVER get anything finished. Like the dishes.

Where do you knit?


Written by Jennifer Woodman

5 Comments on “I Knit in Public

  1. Yes! I knit in public, too, and have often wondered why other people don’t. And why I have to explain. Not only does it reduce the stress of waiting in lines, offices, traffic, for school to let out, for the game to start, for the game to finish, for everyone to go to the bathroom, etc etc, but it lets me finish my projects SO much earlier!
    So yes! Don’t be ashamed of knitting! It is a time-honored craft, creative, beautiful and useful, and last, but not least – it creates envy in anyone who watches!!!

  2. I do knit in church, each week. In fact last week we were in London at St Martin’s Cathedral and decided to stay for a Vivaldi concert and…rats I had no knitting…always happens when you think you will not have time for knitting and leave it home…that is when you suddenly have time to knit. So we borrowed the ticket sellers computer, found a knit shop, hiked across to a residential part of London we never would have found ourselves in, found a terrific down home knit shop, got some wool (and yet again more needles) and walked back to the Cathedral in time for the concert. Great concert and no I was not the only one knitting my way through the gorgeous music. Thanks Jen for making me feel right at home where ever I am knitting…hot tubs, about to have a hot tub after a highland hike, and that is a hard place to knit. bg

  3. We have many knitters in my church, but I realize there are folks who find this impolite to god or the minister. It is great to knit in public, and I always hope that other people will be reminded and encouraged to join in. Projects get finished so much faster!

    • It has been a great discussion in our circles, as I am married to the minister and he and his ministerial circle have all okayed this…similar to Ghandi who “knit” everywhere. It holds one’s attention to what is being said.

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