Friday, 13 June 2014

Do you do it in public?

Tomorrow is World Wide Knit (or Crochet) in Public (WWKiP) Day. I was not aware of this special day until a friend posted a comment about it on Facebook this week. She had mentioned to her husband that Saturday was World Wide Knit in Public Day and he jokingly wondered if that might be illegal similar to breastfeeding in public. Of course we all know neither knitting nor nursing in public is illegal, but it raises the question, is it considered proper?

I personally support breastfeeding in public. I did it and am not the least bothered by others who do it whether they choose to be discreet or not. On the other hand, I always preferred to feed in the quiet and privacy of my home. It was more relaxing and less distracting for baby plus I liked having everything I might need readily at hand.

I take a similar approach to crocheting in public. Most of my public crochet takes place while traveling. I took my yarn and hooks on a cycling trip to Majorca in 2011. I had to get special permission from airport security before going through customs to ensure my hooks were allowed on board. Since scissors and yarn needles were packed in checked luggage, I selected a simple project without a lot of colour changes. I carried nail clippers to cut the yarn and waited until we reached our destination to weave in ends. Since then I have bought a set of plastic crochet hooks so I don't have to worry about losing my metal hooks to overly zealous security guards.

I have also taken projects on long road trips. On one such trip I realized how dusty it is to work with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton yarn. My husband was not happy to find the dashboard completely coated in cotton fluff by the time we reached our destination. I must admit it was irritating to have fluff blowing in our faces and tickling our noses. At home yarn fluff dissipates over a larger area and is less noticeable. I now stick to cleaner acrylic yarns for road trips.

Another time, I dropped one of my plastic hooks in the car and it disappeared. I discovered our Santa Fe has gaps under the seats where they attach to the floor and the hook fell into one. Since it was out of site and beyond reach, I like to say our car "ate" my hook. Thank goodness it was only a cheap plastic one.

These days most of my crochet happens at home in private. I find crochet relaxing and enjoy listening to educational on-line talks while doing it. Since I have plenty of free time to crochet, I like leaving my hobby at home when I go out. My friend who mentioned WWKiP day to me is a knitter. We took our crochet and knitting to the cottage last year and I was amazed to watch her knitting while talking without even looking at her work. If I chat or get distracted, I invariably make mistakes and have to spend more time 'frogging'. I'm sure you crafters know why it's called frogging. When you make a mistake, you have to "rip-it, rip-it, rip-it" out. Don't you just love that analogy? It makes me smile every time.

I suppose one reason to do it in public is to raise awareness. In general, public opinion seems to suggest that knitting and crochet are hobbies pursued by old ladies with nothing better to do. For example, I crocheted a baby blanket for a coworker's niece who was born earlier this year. When her sister brought the baby into our office to visit, she was taken aback when she saw me. She loved the blanket but was expecting the person who made it to look more like a granny. I was flattered and, at the same time, wondering how to get the message out that crocheting can be fun for anybody at any age. 

This week I've been busy making crochet dishcloths and flower scrubbies. I decided to use up my yarn scraps of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton and a pack of plastic dish scrubbers in assorted colours. My favourite free dishcloth pattern can be found here and my favourite flower scrubbie is based on a free pattern by Denise Rothberg found here
I prefer to complete three rows of the pattern and leave rounded petals instead of adding points with a fourth row. So far this week, I have completed six sets in a variety of colours. I like to have these on hand for gifts as they are practical plus provide a fun pop of colour to any kitchen decor.
To celebrate WWKiP Day, I think I will crochet at our local Starbucks in Byron. I love cappuccino and I love crochet. They pair perfectly just like a hook and yarn. I wonder if my husband will agree to be seen with me and my crochet in public?

Truthfully though, I prefer to do it in private. What about you? Do you ever do it in public? 

I'll be watching for fellow yarn crafters. Let's hope I see some tomorrow. Have a happy World Wide Knit (and Crochet) in Public Day.