Today was World Wide Knit in Public (WWKIP) day today–so did you KIP? I did!
I planned my knitting assault on the public carefully. For the morning, I was staking out the local Starbucks; the afternoon was reserved for our usual unofficial meet up at Knotty Girls, and once the LYS closed, three of us put in an hour at Barnes & Noble. I arrived fully stocked: long and short pairs of bamboo knitting needles in sizes 6-10 and several balls of inexpensive yarn.
But I knew the key to a successful WWKIP day was an irresistible hook. I had to be seen knitting something that made people overcome the natural disinclination to approach a stranger out of the blue and potentially disturb her…something so beautiful they just had to ask about it.
Think this will work?
Despite stocking up on teaching supplies, I honestly had no real expectation that I would end up showing anyone how to knit. However, while I enjoyed my pumpkin bread and fruit juice at Starbucks (I don’t drink coffee), a woman approached me, complimenting me on the scarf. She also added that she’d always wanted to learn how to knit. I think I stunned her when I immediately offered to teach her.
Turns out she was actually the manager, and we only ended up with a quick 15 minutes snatched from her lunch break. She picked a purple, pink, and white variegated ball of Peaches and Cream to knit up a quick spa cloth. The long tail cast on turned out to be a bit too complicated for so quick a lesson, so we switched to the single cast on instead. Then we shifted to the knit stitch and threw in a yarn over. By the end of the lesson, we only had two rows (a total of 9 stitches) completed, and one of the rows had a twisted stitch. But that was so insignificant next to the delight on the face of my “student.” As she went back to work with her new needles and yarn, she proudly waved those stitches and announced to her coworkers, “I did this!”
After lunch, I joined the usual crowd at Knotty Girl for our usual stitchin’ and gabbin’. Our conversation, as always, was completely stream of consciousness–if it came to mind, someone said it. Knotty Girls’ Gloria was back from her trip from Hawaii, so she stopped by briefly, full of stories about her trip (I’m looking forward to seeing what Ann got out of Knitters’ Connection this weekend, especially the Ravelry presentation by Jess and Casey). And as always, we admired and complimented each other’s projects. One of my favorite parts of our get togethers is seeing what everyone else has been inspired by.
With Ann out of town and Gloria still recovering from jet lag, Suzanne was holding down the fort at Knotty Girls. When she closed up, she, Gavi and I headed to the nearby Barnes & Noble to close out our WWKIP day. We scored the comfy seats by the cafe–few men can resist the smile of a pretty expectant mom like Gavi–and set up with our projects and teaching supplies.
No lessons were taught during this stop–we mostly got curious glances and smiles. One woman did stop to talk, but she already knew how to knit; when her children were young, she shared, she’d knit for them all the time. She was quite intrigued when Suzanne explained about WWKIP, which got us thinking because it looked like she might have been a manager at Barnes & Noble. Next year, we agreed, we’d contact them in advance to see if we could set up something a little more formal. I’d already been thinking about doing the same at Starbucks. In fact, the manager I’d given the lesson to mussed that maybe we could set up a knitting group there; she’s new and is looking for a way to try to draw in more people. I’ve already told her I’ll come in during the day this coming week to continue our lessons–just because it’s no longer officially World Wide Knit in Public day doesn’t mean we can’t keep spreading the knitting love.