I knit publicly. I try to always have a little project* socked** away in my bag, so that if I unexpectedly happen into a block of unused time, I can fill it up by knitting, instead of fidgeting restlessly, reading anything in view, and fidgeting some more. This has proved to be a handy habit - one day, I was in a car accident - a minor fender bump, not my fault - but I still got to spend about an hour & a half, sitting in my car, watching the rain. And knitting! The police office who arrived to take my statement was very impressed with my industriousness. And prehaps my sanguine attitude - I really was quite content. I could've maybe had a purring cat & a cup of tea to complete the scene.
I also knit on the train. I've had a couple conversations with people who were knitters themselves (albeit private, closet knitters), and were commenting on either my technique or my projects. (I switched from knitting the way that pretty much everybody else here does - English style, with your yarn in your right - to Continental style, where the yarn acts like it's going to be crocheted, & curls lovingly about the fingers of your left hand. I look forward to someday holidaying in some far off & exotic locale, where all the knitters knit that way, to see how they do it. I taught myself, & I just recently realized that I was purling odd, so now I'm, alittle curous to see some working lace Continentally.)
(Should I warn you that today's post is about knitting? No? You've already guessed? Okay.)
I switched knitting styles to avoid getting carpal tunnel syndrome, because it's more efficient, & because the English style originated because when knitting moved up from the crofter's cottage to the lady's manor, it was considered that the motion of the hands wasn't very ladylike. So they changed it. To save my knuckles the wear & tear and to express my offence to 'them', I no longer knit that way.
S knits when she's a work, & she was telling me that people are always astonished, because "nobody does that anymore". I'd never had that response, although I had noticed that knitters are apparently regarded as exotic & possibly dangerous creatures, judging by the Transit Seat-Share Index***.
So when I was taking the train from the zoo to the spa, I was quite surprised to hear a man's voice over my shoulder: "Excuse me - are you knitting? You're knitting! I didn't think that people did that over here!" Turns out he's from Goa, INdia, & his grandmother knit jumpers up for them all the time. We had a brief discusssion about how knitting here is different, it's more of a luxury craft than a survival**** mechanism, and then I had to cut the conversation short as my top arrived. That's okay though, because he was shifitng the conversation from knitting to the fact that he met a Mexican (in Mexico), who knew where Goa was because of its 'like crazy weed, man'. In my experience with transit tales, a segue to drug stories inevitably ends in a cheezy pickup attempt. So do hat complimetns, actually.
At any rate, I'm off to put on my threatening cap, & continue to harrass people x about situation y, as per my mandte. (Don't worry, it's an office thing.)
*-Something small, that uses one color, that can have it's stitches dropped & pickedup again easily.
**-Not usually a sock, though.
***- You know - you get on a bus/train, and who do you want to sit next to? Nervous Asian women reading books are preferrable, because they're quiet & small. Big fat people eating potato chips are to be avoided, because they take up space & have greasy crumbs. (I know it sounds rude, but it's true. Sorry.) Goths usually are pretty cool. Avoid teenagers wth cell-phones, because like, Emily, seriously, Aaron was so into you at the mall, but you know, really...
**** - As much as I love knitting, & I think I would go bonkers if I didn' have it in my life, if I dropped my needles, my family wou;dn't go hungry or cold. ALthough there would be less yarn to help insulate the basement... really, it's my duty, I must struggle onwards! For the good of my family, I'm doing it.