Sunday, 21 July, 2024

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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Knitting in public

It's that time of year again!
It’s that time of year again!
I suppose because I do it so often now, knitting (or crocheting or spinning or Tapestry working) in public isn’t such a huge deal for me anymore. A coffee shop on Tuesdays, a public library on Wednesdays, a greenhouse/garden centre first Saturday of non-summer months, and various other get-togethers over the last several years have robbed me of any self-consciousness about what I’m doing. I keep a spindle in my purse, and if I have a project that fits in a travel bag, I sometimes have knitting too. I’ve spun and knit in lines, in waiting rooms, at physio, and in a bunch of other places. I get looks, and sometimes questions, and sometimes good discussions with other fibre crafters, but I’ve never had anyone tell me I should be ashamed of doing ‘that’ in public. And why should I be? Why should we be? And yet, why are so many of us just that?

Today marks the beginning of World Wide Knit in Public Day Week. Five years ago, the Edmonton knitters descended upon our light rail transit system for several hours. I was in Winnipeg for a meeting, and I missed it. Each year since, I hoped that we would do it again, but things never materialized, and then suddenly WWKIP Day was past. Don’t get me wrong, the Stitch and Pitch four years ago was awesome, and we’ve done some other equally great things, but I really wanted to ride the rails. So this year, I decided to organize it.

Next Saturday, we take over an LRT car and KIP to our hearts’ content for several hours. If you’re in the area, join us! If you’re not, find a WWKIP Day celebration near you sometime this week. Free your fibre arts from the confines of the home! Clearly, the ‘shame’ of fibre arts is a relatively modern invention. Our ancestors would never have been clothed, or made rope or anything out of fibre, if we hadn’t been allowed, or encouraged, to spin, knit, weave, or braid anywhere but beside the fireplace. We all create beautiful, unique, and interesting things out of yarn and fibre. This week is a time to celebrate that, to shine a little light through the window into that spot next to the fireplace, and say that, these things we do? They’re awesome, and they should be shared.

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