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Knitting in Public at My High School Reunion

June 10 was World Wide Knit in Public Day. It was also, coincidentally, my 20th high school reunion.

You know what I had to do.

A blonde white woman in a blue ruffled shirt (that's me!) cracks up with laughter while trying to knit a sock.
Because when you’re with the best company around, it can be hard to control the laughter—and really, why would you want to?

And it’s funny: the two actually meshed better than I had expected they would. There’s something about old friends, a relaxed atmosphere, and growing into your own skin.

Old Friends Make Everything More Comfortable

One of the blessings of the internet age is that it’s so much easier to keep up with old friends. Most of us live far apart, but thanks to Instagram and texting, we’ve managed to stay in touch with each other pretty well.

So it wasn’t a huge surprise to my friends when I finished my tacos and immediately reached into my purse for some knitting. They’ve seen the journey unfold over the last 15 years. They know the story behind the yarn.

It felt normal and natural to knit while chatting with my friends, even if we were in an unusual situation.

Four women in their late 30s stand with their arms around each other, grinning from ear to ear.
Some precious friends who’ve filled my life with so much love, joy, and laughter since we were small girls.

Knitting in a Casual Environment is Soothing

Our hometown has a booming brewery culture, so we held our reunion in an outdoor area at one of the larger breweries here in town. It had lots of picnic tables, fairy lights, and fresh air.

I think that relaxed atmosphere helped a lot, both for the reunion itself and for knitting while I was there. If we’d been at a formal dinner in a ballroom where I had to wear a fancy dress and carry a tiny purse, I probably wouldn’t have had space to carry my knitting, let alone an opportunity to knit.

Getting Older Brings More Confidence

Back in high school, I don’t think I would have sat around knitting at a gathering of all my classmates. I would have been too afraid of standing out, seeming weird, and drawing unwanted attention (I did enough of that by accident).

The older I get, though, the less I care. It’s okay to be a total weirdo if that’s who you are and you draw joy from it (I am, and I do).

But let’s not talk about what aging has done to my knees.

A blonde white woman in a blue ruffled shirt (that's me!) scowls at her knitting with an exasperated expression.
I made a mistake on my sock, and while I was tinking back, my friend Breanne snapped this photo. Everyone at the table cracked up laughing when they saw it and declared this a “classic Lauren face.”

Tips for Making Your Next World Wide Knit in Public Day Successful

I’ve done a few WWKIP Days now, and with those experiences has come a bit of wisdom. Here are some tips for you in case you’d like to participate next year.

  1. Choose a simple project. Knitting in public can often come with distractions, and a really complicated project often isn’t compatible with stopping and starting frequently. Choose something that you can put down and pick up at again at a moment’s notice. This year, I took a sock with me that was mostly stockinette.
  2. Pick somewhere comfortable to sit. In the past, I’ve done blankets at the park and the beach, along with comfy chairs at a LYS. This year, though, I was sitting on a kind of rough bench at a picnic table. There wasn’t a back to lean against, and it was pretty hard after a while. I’d recommend something else next time.
  3. Have good company. Even if you’re the only knitter, everything is better with a friend or two. Just like with yarn crawls, WWKIP Day can be a real blast when you invite some friends along.
  4. Be prepared for curious questions. Even though my close friends were used to me knitting, there were others who hadn’t seen me in years or who had never been around a knitter before, and they were curious. That happens when you knit in public. I’ve had complete strangers stop and have a conversation because they wanted to know more about my knitting.

And of course, remember: every day is an opportunity to knit in public if you want it to be!

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