Throw off your inhibitions and hold your head high….IT’S TIME FOR WORLDWIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY (or in the knit abbreviations language KIP for short!)
This year, KIP runs from 14th to 22 June, not really a day then, but instead a whole week. So if this concept is alien to you, there is plenty time to get ready, be brave and get your pins out in public!
For many of us, knitting on the bus, train, in the park, on holiday, in the pub, in traffic jams and in the queue at the post office is normal. (However, the last venue could well be exclusive to Aurelie!) I remember feeling slightly embarrassed the first time I whipped out my knitting in front of non-knitters, after all, it was not something I had witnessed myself…ever! Little did I realise how much interest I would create. While knitting in public I have been posed may questions ranging from “What are you doing?, “Where can I buy those lovely needles?!!” to “Do people knit socks?” and “Where can I learn to do that?”
I have also had lovely and interesting chats about happy (and not so happy) knitting memories .… The scary knitting teacher at school ( I can say, with complete honesty, I have taught folks in workshops who have been traumatised by this experience!!), the aunt who lovingly knitted colourful itchy sweaters for Christmas, Birthday……..any day! (And, of course you were forced to wear them when visiting her.) I have heard touching stories told with fondness of small children sitting by their mother or grandmother’s side quietly learning to knit…..
Recently I was making the trip to see Aurelie in her new home. I took a train to Aberdeen then caught a bus for the remainder of my journey. As usual I took out my knitting. Very soon I was joined by an elderly lady who had been visiting a relative in hospital. She was very interested in what I was doing. (Sock knitting on two circular needles) She had never seen socks knitted this way and wanted to learn. With knitting at the heart of the conversation I heard tales of school socks, her husbands talent in woodwork, (sadly recently passed away) her recent trip to Orkney where she had been born and raised. The fun she had there at a charity event. She laughed
and laughed and told me of the escapades she had with friends and family. I was genuinely sad to get off the bus at my destination. In this world of technology we more often than not sit side by side in buses, trains or even in the park….. never uttering a word to each other…. reading from i-pads and kindles, typing on laptops, texting endlessly to avoid conversation. How refreshing it is to take a project from your bag and suddenly those around you can’t help but look…and wonder…and look again, and before you know it….the chat begins!
Worldwide knit in public day began in 2005, the idea of Danielle Landes. Originally it was a way of getting knitters together. Knitting can be a solitary craft and Danielle wanted to encourage all knitters to get to know one another, share knowledge, friendship and to get out of the house and knit in the fresh air! (Not always that easy in Scotland!) In 2005 around 25 local events were organised around the world, by 2009 there were 751. With each passing year the numbers grow. The official KIP site provides a comprehensive list of all official events taking place around the world….Australia, China, Portugal, Bosnia, Norway, Canada, Denmark, Finland France Germany, Slovakia, Spain, many US states…the list goes on…. Here is Scotland is you fancy a wee trip you could join the Glasgow Underground’s Knitting Nutters at St Enoch Station on Saturday 21st June at 10:30, or perhaps the Strathearn Wool Studio picnic on Monday 16th June at 2 pm.
Here at the Woolly Alliance….we would like you to get involved too! Post a photo of yourself and your knitting (or just your knitting if you are camera shy) in the dedicated group thread, between 14th and 22nd June, 2014, either taking part in an organised KIP event or just knitting in public…anywhere! By posting your picture you will automatically be entered into our KIP lucky draw. The winner (chosen at random by an innocent hand) can choose one free pattern from either Aurelie’s or Janice’s Ravelry store. Have fun now!