This past weekend I was at a restaurant with my boyfriend and another friend, and I pulled out my latest project to work on while we sat. Having my knitting out sparked a deeper conversation with our waitress, beyond what we'd be ordering. She mentioned that she crochets, and that her son had recently learned to knit at his elementary school. She's very impressed with his new-found skill and the projects he's been finishing. We talked for a few minutes about this, asking each other the appropriate questions (How long did this take you? Where does your son go to school?).
Later in the evening there was a fourth member of our party, and he asked me, point-blank, "Are you just knitting right now?" He seemed amazed that I was able to spend time with friends and just happen to be knitting a garment at the same time. My boyfriend made a remark about how knitting always sparks conversation, no matter where we go. He is not a knitter—though I have taught him the basic knit and purl stitches!—but even he took a moment to appreciate how knitting brings people together.
This is something I've always appreciated about knitting, that people from all walks of life can come together because thanks to a common hobby. Until Joey's comment, I hadn't thought about how it can bring knitters and non-knitters closer! What otherwise might have been a fairly shallow and typical encounter with our waitress turned into something else completely. We were both engaged in the conversation and learned things about each other as people, without ever exchanging names. I learned that she is a mother, and that my community has a new Waldorf school that uses very different and progressive methods for teaching her son and his classmates. She basically learned that I am a nut about knitting and am at it constantly. Our interaction made us so much more comfortable with one another as strangers!
The moral of my story here, I think, is not to be shy about knitting in public, because you never know who might just come up and talk to you about it, and what you might learn about them.
What project were you working on, Hannah?
So glad you asked! Knitters (and non-knitters, if you're there), meet my partially-finished version of the Zigzag Mesh Pullover:
I decided to stick with the Spud & Chloë Fine that is called for in the pattern, mostly because this beautiful denim blue totally sucked me in. I like working with it, too; it's very bouncy and lightweight. The pattern itself is one of those that is much simpler than you might assume from looking at the sample. The mesh of the zigzag pattern is made by wrapping the yarn around an extra time while knitting, and then purling those stitches in the next row.
The zigzag itself is made by simply shifting where these extra long stitches are done in the patterning. While I have to keep myself counting when I work on the rows with the wrapped stitches, it's easy and universal throughout, only shifting one stitch at the beginning of every other row. This makes the pattern fun and interesting without it becoming all-consuming and keeping one from watching 30 Rock or having a conversation with friends.
I'm excited to have this pullover to wear through the schizophrenic Colorado spring, if I can finish it in time to get a few wears in before the sweltering heat of summer sets in.
Do you have any stories about meeting someone thanks to knitting, crocheting, or other project you were working on that sparked interest in a stranger? Do you have any exciting projects from knit.wear Spring you're working on you want to share? I hope that spring, wherever you might be, is treating you well and not confusing the heck out of you!
Knit on, friends!