Later this week, knitters across the globes will emerge from their nests and hives and go proudly into parks, malls and any other place where they can spread their yarn and knit in public.
While this may not be as controversial as breast-feeding in public, knitting in public has been known to cause more than just a discussion on which came first, purl one or knit two.
World Wide Knit in Public Day is June 18th and is part of World Wide Knit in Public Week because one day isn’t enough when yarn is your passion. The week will be filled with a variety of different knitting events: knitting in public is the main thing but there will also be yarn bombings – where a section of a town is covered with yarn graffiti. There will be free lessons to teach folks how to knit (or crochet) and there will be plenty of laughter and fun. (And food. Because knitters have made an art form out of eating and knitting.)
Though WWKIP is an organized event, each individual town or group organizes their own event(s). The magic comes with knowing there will be people all over the world knitting at the same time at least at some point during the 24 hours of the day.
World Wide Knit in Public started way back in 2005 as a way to take a solitary hobby and make it more connective. Knit groups abound around the country and they got a big boost thanks to bringing knitting out of the house and putting it on a park bench or museum steps.
Believe it or not, there are some who do have a problem with people knitting in public. I take my knitting everywhere I go, even before it was my job. I’ve been known to knit in restaurants like Panera Bread where people have noted that I am taking up room where people could be having their lunch before going back to work. I’ve stitched during concerts – where people thought I was being disrespectful to the artist because I wasn’t paying attention to them. That conversation soon ended when I pointed out that my quiet knitting could not possibly be more rude than their talking to me about it during said concert.
The vast majority of conversations are positive and there are lots of stories about how someone’s mother, aunt, great-grandmother or second cousin twice removed on their father’s side, knit and crocheted marvelous things and if only they had learned or could learn, the tradition would live on. Knitting in public is a true ice breaker and invites people to connect and talk with each other.
Even if you aren’t a knitter, finding where the KIP events are going on in your area and attending one can make for a fun time. Depending on how passionate the local knitting community is, there’s more to it than just sticks and string. Where I will be attending will have a petting zoo, yarn related games and is in the courtyard of a library where there will be children’s time.
It’s also a great time to get a lesson or two as many events will have free lessons included on the day. The more the merrier, you know. You want to be on the right side of things when knitters take over the world. The world will be happier. And in the end you get a hat.