How to Knit or Crochet in Public
Although only one day per year is official Knit In Public Day (the second Saturday of June), we here at KnitPal think that every day is worthy of being a Knit or Crochet in Public Day!
But, if you’re new to the craft (or just have never done it in public before), you may wonder how, when, and where to do it — and that’s why we’re here. Not only can you make new friends when knitting or crocheting in public, you also get people — both adults and kids — who are interested in crochet or knitting and just don’t know where to start. In this way, you can also help build the crochet and knitting community. The more knitters and crocheters, the better!
What You’ll Need to Knit and Crochet in Public
You actually need very little when knitting or crocheting in public — yarn, knitting needles or a crochet hook, scissors, wool needle and a few stitch markers, and a project bag will in most cases do the trick.
When it comes to which knitting needles to use, it’s usually easier to knit with circulars in public because they’re not only easier to stow in your bag, but the chances are slim that your knitting will slip off the needles while they’re in your bag.
Circulars are also shorter than straight needles, so you won’t end up elbowing the person next to you on the bus while you’re knitting!
For circular knitting needles, we suggest the KnitPal stainless steel set, Knit Picks wooden needles, Clover bamboo needles, or these Love2Knit plastic needles — who says your tools can’t be (almost) as beautiful as your yarn!
The great thing about crochet hooks is that they are a lot more compact than knitting needles and is therefore perfect for working with in public!
When deciding on a crochet hook, it’s always a good idea to rather get crochet hooks with ergonomic handles. While not too long ago these handles were almost a newfangled fad, the great comfort of working with them has been proved over and over.
There are many different sets with different handles available and you can pick and choose and see which handle suits you better. For example, this Clover Amour set’s handles aren’t too long and are straight, while this set has curved handles and is even comfier to use for many.
This crochet hook set has longer handles that means another type of grip entirely. Or, if you prefer, you can get this ergonomic handle and use it with the crochet hooks you already have. You can also make use of these grips. Of course, you can also start by only getting a hook in the size you need and seeing which brand works best for you.
If you know you’re going to work in low light, you can also opt for some of these light-up crochet hooks! They also work very well for working with dark colors or black.
Scissors can be a tricky one, as you don’t want to be carrying around a huge pair of scissors in case you need to cut yarn. We’ve found that an embroidery scissors or foldable scissors works very well. Yarn cutters are also a good way to be able to carry around a small blade with which to cut yarn — especially if they’re as beautiful as these pendants!
Wool Needles and Stitch Markers
Both these Knitter’s Pride Wool Needles and Hekisn Blunt Needles with a small holder are great choices. Your small notions pouch or tin should also contain a few stitch markers. Why not spoil yourself with a set of handmade ones?
Project bags galore!
Now your project bag is where you can really show off your personality when it comes to knitting in public! When you have a look on sites like Etsy, you’ll see that there are project bags being handmade that will suit every taste and personality.
Here are just a few of our favorite project bags that are suitable for knitting projects:
- This quirky bag with a pattern of sheep knitting
- This window yarn bag
- This canvas project bag — beauty in simplicity
- This statement tote bag
- This canvas “stitchcraft” crochet project bag
- This lovely drawstring project bag with double handles
- This personalized crochet project bag
When and Where to Knit or Crochet in Public
When you speak to avid knitters and crocheters, you’ll probably find that they all have their favorite places to knit or crochet while they are out and about.
From restaurants to PTA meetings, football showdowns to the theater and the movies; there seems to be very few places where knitting and crochet isn’t being done!
However, all public crocheters and knitters seem to agree on one thing: don’t take projects that are too big and heavy (like blankets) and do take patterns that you have either already memorized or are very easy to follow.
This is also why it helps to have two projects going at the same time; one is the “home” project and one is the easy “take everywhere” project that you can just knit or crochet without really having to think about the pattern.
While it may be difficult to carry on a conversation while knitting or crocheting when you’re just starting out, you’ll soon find that you can happily crochet or knit away while also following and taking part in a conversation.
Some crocheters and knitters also say that they knit or crochet in public to assuage their anxiety; whether it’s social anxiety or just waiting at the dentist. It’s sometimes amazing just how relaxing a bit of knitting or crochet can be. It can even relax people who are just watching the rhythmic click-click of the needles and weaving of yarn. (Not to mention that it does look a bit like magic to outsiders!)
Far from making you more anxious, you may even find that you gain more self confidence when you knit or crochet in public.
When Not to Knit or Crochet in Public
There are, however, times when you shouldn’t crochet or knit in public. Most people seem to agree that knitting or crocheting at a funeral is a no-no, as is knitting or crocheting at a job interview. Unless, we guess, it’s for a job as a crochet or knitting designer or something similar!
Usually, though, people find it more interesting that someone is knitting or crocheting that they take offense or even feel that the person is bored in company (especially since they still take part in the conversation).
However, there are some other times when you shouldn’t be crocheting or knitting, for example when you’re eating ribs. Or are busy bungee jumping or abseiling!
Overall, we do think that the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to crocheting and knitting in public!
Where is your favorite place to knit or crochet in public? Or perhaps you are part of a knitting and crochet group that meet up in a public place? We’d love to know!