Tag Archives: public knitting

Book report: CanLit Knit


The people (clockwise): Emma’s hands (she somehow didn’t quite make it in the shot), Allegra, Katie, Jeanne, me, and Carrie. We’re less red in person. (photo taken by Carrie’s boyfriend – thank you!)

The first CanLit Knit book/knitting club was yesterday and it was great. We basked in the sun on a rooftop patio, drank beer, knit, and talked books (and knitting, and Toronto, and, well, about lots of things.) I‘ll be writing about our book pick Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner later this week, so all I will say for now is that opinion was divided.

The knitting: Emma’s socks (red), Allegra’s blanket, Katie’s top, and my sock .(Jeanne’s yarn bombing is missing because she was worried about missing her train, and I didn’t think to get one until we were all leaving).

As for the knitting, everyone but Carrie brought some (she was balanced out by Emma who brought knitting, but hadn’t read the book). Allegra was knitting a baby blanket (this one, I think); Emma was knitting socks; Katie was knitting the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top, and we were all in love with her colour choices; Jeanne was knitting her first yarn-bombing, which was destined to become a bicycle seat cover for one of Mississauga’s public art bikes; and I was knitting the leftover socks (I’m almost ready to divide for the heel of sock number two).

I think it’s fair to say that fun was had by all,  and we’re planning to do it again in September. There’s no date yet, but I think we’re going to try another short story collection, possibly by Alice Munro (maybe Too Much Happiness, her most recent collection, but we haven’t made a definitive choice). If you couldn’t make it this time but really want to come in September, let either myself or Allegra know and we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop.

CanLit Knit


So, a few weeks ago, after I reviewed Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s All Wound Up and finished Colour Affection, a fellow Canadian lit enthusiast and knitter tweeted that we should have get together sometime to knit and talk about books. Now, this might be the kind of thing that one just says in an offhand way on Twitter, but it did get me to thinking. I mean, what isn’t to love about that idea? Especially, if, say, you were to get together to do this knitting and lit-chatting somewhere where you could also order a beer or some other beverage of choice. Truly, this seemed like a golden summer plan.

And so, CanLit Knit was born. Allegra and I have been emailing and we’ve worked out a time, place and book, and we’re inviting you to come join us.

The Details:
Where: The Pilot, 22 Cumberland St.
When: Sunday, July 22, at 2 p.m. (if it’s not raining, we’ll be on the patio)
The Book: Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner
The Knitting: Whatever you feel like! (Also, if you happen to be more into crocheting, that’s cool too.)

We’re hoping that this will give people enough time to plan ahead and find/read the book (it’s short stories, so if you can’t quite finish, come anyway), but not so much time that it gets forgotten. Honestly, I can’t friggin’ wait. Knitting in a bar always brings the most hilarious sideways glances, and the idea of a group of people knitting in a bar makes me very happy. Also, I’ve been wanting to read Better Living Through Plastic Explosives since it was shortlisted for the Giller (Canada’s biggest fiction award), and this seems like perfect timing.

So, are you interested? If so, please let me know (either in the comments or on Twitter or via e-mail). There isn’t a limit, but we would like to know if the group will be big enough to warrant a reservation. CanLit Knit. I can’t wait!

Seen Knitting


I love seeing people knit in public, especially on transit. I have been known to knit in bars and cafés, but I generally use my transit time for reading because I’m almost never able to get a seat. (That being said, I once brought my knitting with me because I knew I’d finish my book and found I loved knitting on the subway.)

(This is not me)

(This is not me)

Anyhow. The other day I was on a bus and and this woman (above) was knitting a lovely pink sock across the aisle from me, so I sneakily took her photo (do you know her?). I realized, while I was watching her, that I rarely get to just sit and observe someone else knitting – it’s kind of mesmerizing. L watches me knit all the time (even if we’re supposed to be watching a movie or something), but he’s an engineer, so perhaps he’s interested in it as a method of construction or something. Naively, I assumed that watching someone knit would be most interesting if you weren’t a knitter; how wrong I was.

For example, this woman was knitting in the continental style (that is, throwing the yarn with her left hand). This looked like magic to me, an English knitter, and I found myself unable to tear my eyes away as I tried to figure out just how it all worked. She made it all look so easy, but when I tried it at home later on, I found my own hands were too clumsy to make it work. Nonetheless, seeing someone at work on her own project inspired me to try something new, and I wonder if it has this affect on others – non-knitters included.

This thought makes me want to knit in public more often. I very much like the idea of taking a craft/skill that is often so identified with the private and domestic and bringing it out into the public. I get a lot of stares when I bring my knitting to the bar where L and his friends are watching soccer, but I am constantly surprised and pleased to find they are looks of curiosity, not disapproval. So, as the weather improves, I think I will make more of an effort to get outdoors with my knitting – because why not, right?

What do you think of this? Do you watch public knitters? Are you a public knitter who feels watched?

(Also, I would like to point out that I’m not the only one taking secret pictures of public knitters. My friend Gustavo tweeted this photo the other day – don’t you wish you could ask her what she’s making and for whom? It looks so lovely and soft!)