Knitting in Public: All The Odd Places I’ve Stitched

I started knitting in my first semester of law school, and I’ve been knitting (and knitting in public) ever since. One of the comments I get from a lot of people is something along the lines of, “How do you find time to knit? I’m too busy working!”

Well, my friends, here is a super-important, secret tip: knitting is highly portable and virtually silent. You can take it all over the place! And you don’t have to wait for World Wide Knit In Public Day to do it, either.

Here are some of the places I’ve knit while studying or practicing law:

1. Public transit. It turns out that sitting on the subway or the bus is a great time to get some stitching in. You can’t really do work in those environments if your work is sensitive or confidential, and it’s not usually enough time to settle in for a good study session. It is, however, enough time to knit a few rows.

2. The library. Know what your brain needs while you’re studying hard? A break every now and then. Stretch your legs, drink some water, knit a few rows, and get back to it. You’ll feel better having little rest periods built in to your study routine.

3. The lunchroom. Eating lunch alone at your desk every day isn’t great for your mental health, and dining out every day generally isn’t great for your physical health. Back when I still worked in an office, I liked to strike a happy balance by eating some of my lunches in the lunchroom, where I had plenty of company and usually had time to stitch a bit before getting back to work. 

4. After-work meetings. The great thing about extracurriculars is that you’re all volunteers. So long as you’re engaged in the meeting, people tend not to mind if you’re knitting in public while planning your next charitable event with your committee.

5. My desk. See my point above about knitting being virtually silent. It’s a helpful tool when I’m in a long Zoom meeting. I need to stay focused but tend to get fidgety, and if left to my own devices, I end up shredding paper or scrolling around on my phone. Knitting at my desk during calls and meetings lets me keep my hands moving and my mind focused on what really matters – the conversation.

6. Traveling. When I was a very junior lawyer, I had a scare when I pulled out a binder to do some document review during a flight, and the man across the aisle recognized my client’s name on the cover. From then on, I refused to do work on planes or in other close spaces with other people. It’s just too risky. Knitting, though, divulges no secrets and betrays no confidences. Most US-based flights will let you bring your knitting on board with no problem.

7. Standing in line. This one might be a slightly more advanced maneuver, but if you’ve got a ball of yarn and a small project in your shoulder bag, it turns out you can knit while standing. I worked on a sock while waiting to pay for my groceries last week.

8. The beach. Look, you probably don’t want to take a super fluffy, single-ply, bulky-weight wool to the beach. Anything else, though, is fair game. I love stitching near the ocean, enjoying the breeze, and listening to the birds. Knitting in public in unusual places will sometimes lead to interesting encounters, too.

A lot of people have this idea of knitting as something you can only do while sitting quietly at home on a cold evening. The reality couldn’t be further from that, and in fact, lots of knitters find time for their craft in the small gaps throughout their days. I love to stitch in short bursts and at odd times, and five minutes of work here and there can really add up.

If you’ve taken your knitting to unusual places, I’d love to hear about it! Please, drop a comment below or send me an e-mail. I love hearing from you.

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  1. Alexis Eileen

    I take my knitting anywhere that’s feasible ( depending on the type of project and level of completeness, of course ). I have net in cars on road trips, backstage at music festivals, on stage at music festivals, laying in a hammock on a hot summer day, doctors offices, airplanes, conventions and many more I am sure I’m forgetting!

    1. Lauren Rad

      Onstage at music festivals! I’m dying to hear that story.

    2. Maria Escobar

      I used to work in Mexico and crossed the bridge daily I would crochet while waiting in line which was a great way of relaxing for about 45 minutes.

      1. Lauren Rad

        That’s a great way to make a somewhat tedious process go by more quickly!

  2. Cheryl

    I saw a woman knitting at Disneyland once, and I so desperately wished I’d brought mine!
    Like you, beach knitting is one of my favorites, or knitting at coffeeshops.
    Once I took my knitting to a friends house, and until then I think she kind of scoffed at it, but when she saw the beautiful cabled sweater I was making, she became a fan. She showed it off to everyone who walked by (she had family over) and her brother in law, who is very handsome & into fitness, got really excited because he is a crocheter! None of us expected to hear that from him ☺️

    1. Lauren Rad

      Oh, what a delightful story! I love when unexpected people turn out to be fellow fiber artists. It just goes to show that you really can’t judge books by their covers.

      1. Laura

        I regularly knit at church business meetings or while sitting at the check-in desk for the children’s ministry–not during worship service though. I have knitted at a parade, and often when on a walk with my children I can be found to be knitting or crocheting with my project bag dangling off my arm. I’ve even been known to knit in a movie theater if my project has an easy pattern.

        1. Lauren Rad

          I’ve done the movie knitting, too! That’s a situation where a stockinette sock is just what the doctor ordered.

  3. Epiphany LaPlante

    On jury duty, the back of a Harley, in church, 12 step meetings, group therapy, The Ferry, the beach, hospitals, walking…

    I’m sure there are some I’ve left out. 😊

    1. Lauren Rad

      I like your style! Was that the back of a moving Harley? I’m dying to know how you accounted for the wind factor!

  4. Kimberly Ciardi

    My vacation goals were 1. Nap, 2. Knit, 3. Eat ice cream. I knit at the beach watching kids swim, at the boat dock, along the parade route, during the sing-a-long, at the movies, at the drive in, and during Downton Abby/Poldark marathons. It was an awesome vacation!
    One of my favorite places to knit is in the passenger seat while teaching my kid to drive, lol! I think it’s calming for me and the driver! I can pay attention to what he’s doing even if he thinks I’m just counting stitches. And I’m less likely to grab the sides of the seat.

    1. Lauren Rad

      I love that coping strategy for teaching teens to drive! That sounds like the perfect way to help yourself relax just a bit.

  5. Kim

    A deposition…it kept me calm. The ER…it kept me calm.

    1. Lauren Rad

      I wish I had worked up the guts to knit during a deposition while I was still practicing! I bet it unnerved opposing counsel, even if they didn’t want to admit it.

  6. Mallorie

    My last baby was born by emergency C-section and I spent a few days in the ICU recovering. After a couple of days, I was doing better and ready to transfer to the normal maternity ward, but had to wait for the doctors to okay everything. My baby was in the NICU still, under medical sedation for a few days, and I had time on my hands. I asked my husband to bring my knitting and I resumed knitting a sock with a purple and gray self striping yarn. My nurse came in and thought it was some kind of magic that the sock was striped even though I never switched the yarn. She left and came back with three more ICU nurses and asked me to knit for them, so they could see the magic in action. It was so funny and cute, none of them had ever seen such a thing and were amazed. After several days of being bedridden, nurses caring for my every need, it felt very good to do something familiar and comforting to me, and have others think it was special. (Just so everyone knows, my baby is two now and we are both perfectly healthy 😊)

    1. Lauren Rad

      That is such a lovely story! It’s always fun when the things we knitters take for granted end up feeling magical to other people. So glad you and your little one are both doing well now.

  7. Katie

    I take knitting or crocheting everywhere. I keep a small crochet project in my purse. I take a crochet blanket to crowded places and hope there’s a place to sit. I have a designated project to take to church. I never watch anything on TV without a yarn project in my hands. I like to knit/crochet while listening to audiobooks.

    1. Lauren Rad

      I always have some knitting in my purse, too! You just never know when you’re going to need it, and I’d rather be prepared.

    2. Sharon

      My sister and I crocheted and weaved in a nice restaurant, Saturday night, waiting for our food. The wait staff was fascinated.
      We each always have a project of some sort with us.

      1. Lauren Rad

        That’s delightful! I bet it was nice for staff to get to have some entertaining customers, too.

  8. Elizabeth Johnson

    I loved all of the places other people knit or crochet. I have been doing either for about 59 years and in all those places and situations. I love that it allows people to start conversations about their projects. I have what my husband calls my nest in the living room with my latest project for watching TV.

    1. Lauren Rad

      Isn’t it so fun seeing that we’re not alone with the knitting in odd place? I have a nest in a corner of the living room, too!

  9. Penelope Kraemer

    I always took my knitting to our local hockey games, using an age old afghan pattern I could knit while watching the game, much to the amusement of my neighbours.

    1. Lauren Rad

      I love that! People always get confused by people knitting at sporting events, but I can follow both just fine.

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