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, practicing law, wrangling my kid, and now working as a designer:
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’ve worked on a sock while waiting to pay for my groceries, and I’ve stood in line at the county fair while stitching along on a shawl.
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.
9. The playground. Life with an elementary schooler means I’ve spent a lot of time at park play dates. Thankfully, a sock project fits nicely in my bag along with some snacks and a bottle of sunscreen. No need to spend the afternoon frustrated that I’m not being more productive.
10. My car. Now, let’s be very clear: I don’t knit while driving. I do, however, knit whenever I’m in the car and I’m not driving. That could be when I’m parked at school waiting for my kid to get out. It could be when I’m the passenger on a long road trip. It could be when I’m sitting in my car warming up after a morning spent in a building with the AC cranked too high (just me?).
Bonus: My high school reunion. This isn’t exactly a place where I find myself on a regular basis, but my 20th high school reunion happened earlier this year, and yep, I brought my knitting. I knew I’d be sitting and chatting for several hours, and I figured my hands would feel better with some yarn in them. I was right.
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.