Knitting needles on the move

During the pre-Christmas crafting rush I spent a lot of time knitting and crocheting on public transport and have come up with a few tips.

  1. Choose your method of transport carefully.
    Bus journeys stop and start frequently and are usually too jumpy for fiddly knitting. The big exception is any bus route near Marble Arch during evening rush hour, as these move so slowly there is no chance of sudden movements disrupting your knitting.
    When travelling by train I prefer Southern or First Great Western trains to get the balance between speed and table access – Virgin high-speed trains are too fast and tilt too much for me, but the slower London Midland trains didn’t have tables to learn my pattern on.
  2. Carry your projects in a bag or a case that you can work from.
    It sounds obvious, but there were a few times I looked up at my stop and panicked that I had left some yarn in my seat as I rushed off. I now keep my projects in a little polka-dot suitcase that can open and close quickly, keeping everything accessible but safe (also the lid acts as a little bookstand)
  3. If you have multiple projects, take a variety with you on the go. I had a tricky cable pattern for long journeys and staffroom knitting, and simple stocking stitch in the round for quick knitting on the tube. This way, what ever the journey, there is always something you can do. (I have once managed some simple crochet while standing up on the tube for one stop, but it is a skill that needs practice!)
  4. Try and get a seat by your self for plenty of elbow room. If this fails then smile and be nice to the person next to you in preparation for the many times your yarn will roll off your lap and need to be returned by them. Also be prepared for stares and questions – A woman got on a train and sat opposite me as she had seen me knitting through the window and wanted to see what I was doing, as it reminded her of watching her Grandma (the knitting only I hope!)
  5. My top-tip is for cabling. Having only recently learned how to cable I was finding it tricky constantly changing needles, and was scared I would drop it. Then I discovered I could hold my needle in my watch strap – secure and easy to access!

As much as I enjoyed the challenge of knitting on buses, trains and underground tubes I am relieved that I can take a break from the pressure of knitting around the clock. I will post a summary of all my holiday crafting later on when I have sorted all my photos.

After reading lots of blog resolutions and a random chat with a colleague, I have come up with my 2012 crafting plan (or one of them). After some number-crunching on excel I will let you know the plan…

p.s. It wouldn’t be a post-Christmas blog post without a picture of my classic Christmas chocolate log 🙂

mmm... chocolate

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