Having spent a year knitting my Heaven And Space Shawl on commutes around the world, I thought I’d share a few tips I have learnt!
This shawl has gone on holidays, retreats, trains, through airport security, smuggled into meetings and even to the pub.
It’s kept me calm, sane and occupied at key times when I needed to blank out my mind or just dodge boredom. I’m dreadful at sitting still.
If you also want to carry your knitting around with you, here are my five top tips.
Have a protective bag for your knitting project. It doesn’t need to have loads of bells and whistles (in fact, it probably shouldn’t) but you do want to protect your make from the grim items rattling around in the bottom of your tote. Because we all have grim items rattling around in the bottom of our totes.
I made my own project pouch, that you can see here.
Circular needles are made of two needles attached to either end of a flexible cable. They allow you to tuck your elbows close into your body as you knit and you shan’t have the ends of your needles tap, tap, tapping at your fellow commuters’ newspapers.
It’s also convenient to tuck circular needles away in your bag.
I hardly ever knit with traditional needles any more. Do invest in decent circular needles. Cheap versions have sticky cables and ridges where the needle and cable meet.
NON STICKY WOOL
Ideally, you’ll want wool that has a nice sheen and gloss to it, that slithers easily out of your project pouch as you start a new row of knitting. My latest knitting project has sticky, hairy tweed wool and it’s definitely less easy to commute knit.
PHOTOCOPY YOUR INSTRUCTIONS
Or photograph them on your mobile phone. You don’t want to mislay your one copy of your instruction booklet in a train station.
BE PREPARED TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS
People shall be mesmerised by your knitting and they’ll want to talk to you about it. Remember that you are the ambassador of knitting (!), so it’s a good idea to be polite, friendly and answer those questions. After all, you can’t help being fascinating!
I’ve seen people crochet, embroider, knit, sew … all sorts of stuff on commutes. What’s the weirdest commuter crafting you’ve witnessed?