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Public Knitting, or, Making Friends In Unexpected Places

The other day, I was at the beach with little C, working on a knit shawl while she built sandcastles next to me. It was a beautiful day, sunny, the sparkly ocean just feet away. Then, along came a random dude, shirtless and swigging from a 40oz beer.


I try to avoid talking to random dudes at the beach, because I’ve had some strange interactions, but this one wouldn’t be deterred. He stared, and walked by, and stared some more, and finally said, “Hey! What are you making?”


I replied back, “A shawl,” and buried my head in my stitches again.


He looked puzzled. “A shul?” He asked. “Are you Jewish?”


I stared at him in confusion for a moment until I realized what he was asking, and then I started to laugh. “No,” I said. “A shawl. S-H-A-W-L.”


“Ohhhhhh!” he replied. “I thought that sounded really traditional!”

I told him I guess I could make a chuppah for someone’s wedding, but no one had asked me to do it yet. He started chuckling, said he liked my attitude, and gave me a fist bump as he walked away down the beach.


It was possibly the most Ventura moment I’d experienced in ages.

This little conversation reminded me that knitting in public is still sometimes an unusual thing for people to see, and most of the time, people are just curious. I try to remember that it’s a chance to share something I love with people who might not have much exposure to it – a growing opportunity for both of us.


I know it’s not World Wide Knit In Public Day anymore, and we’re quite a way away from the next one, but why wait for an official day? I hope you all have some time to go out and get in some public knitting this weekend. You never know what entertaining interactions you might have.


Julie Price

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Reading this reminded me of my time spent in Ventura. I’m an English lady now living in France and left Oxnard about 10 years ago. I bought my first ‘magic loop’ in a yarn shop in Ventura (packaged up in a bag with an instruction leaflet). It’s only now 10 years later I’ve found out how to use it! Turns out I love knitting socks. Ventura always in my heart!

Lauren Rad

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

Oh, that is so lovely! Was it Anacapa Fine Yarns, by any chance? I miss that store so much.

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