Sunday, 19 May, 2024

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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Ride the Rails

The first time Edmonton knitters rode the rails for World Wide Knit in Public Day, I was far away in Winnipeg for the Canadian Fencing Federation AGM, which would have made it 2009. Ever since, I’ve been hoping that it would happen again, but it hasn’t (there was some dispute today about when the Ride the Rails happened. I know I was away for it, but many people say it was only three years ago, in 2010. Maybe it happened two years in a row, and I couldn’t go in 2010 for whatever reason. I don’t remember. But I distinctly remember it happening first when I was in Winnipeg). Well, this year, I decided that I would organize it. It wasn’t associated with any LYS, and it was really only advertised through Ravelry, and there were some difficulties with getting on the right train, but it was a lot of fun.

Taking over an LRT car (or at least part of it).
Taking over an LRT car (or at least part of it).

I was glad we hadn’t planned anything outdoors, because it was yet another cool, overcast, blustery, drizzly day in Edmonton, but the train was dry and warm (until the air conditioning came on the last trip, and then it got cold!). Six of us started out from Clareview station at 11 am, and we grew to 11 knitters sitting and knitting north and south on the Light Rail Transit line in Edmonton. It was my first time on the LRT, and yes, I know we moved here almost a decade ago.

Reactions to us varied. There was the young woman who took our picture, stopping dead in her tracks and then saying, “Oh, cool!” as she got on the train. There was the other young woman who sat with us and took a card about Ravelry. There were the young men who did everything they could to avoid eye contact. The driver of the train thought it was lovely to see us all knitting. We were all ready to leave her a little yarn bomb at the end, but her shift ended just before we returned to Clareview for the last time, and we missed her.

And all of us made pretty good progress on our projects as we went north and south through the city. I finished my sweater…

Sweater neckband finished!
Sweater neckband finished!

…just as we pulled into the north station again after the first trip. That gave me time to try it on and get more opinions on whether or not it could be salvaged. A borrowed shawl pin later…

It's a sweater!
It’s a sweater!

R. noted that if we hadn’t been trying to figure out if the asymmetrical closure would work, she wouldn’t have known it wasn’t intentional. And with the help of a passenger who was not knitting in public (just sitting nearby) and her large-screen cellphone, I was able to look at it myself and decide that, yes, this will work. It just needs a couple of snaps, ends woven in, a light blocking, and a penannular pin (though from the look of Etsy, I’m going to have to save my pennies for a nice one), and I’ll have a sweater, just in time for it to get hot (I hope. If I finish the sweater, it’s bound to get hot, right?).

I knit in public all the time. But sometimes it’s nice to get away from your regular haunts, and knit in public where you normally don’t. Not only do you get to see things that you haven’t before, but other people get to see that too.

Out for a field trip!
Out for a field trip!

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