kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
Sunday evening, I was on the Central Line, heading home from work. I took out my knitting and started working on the will-they-ever-end box pleats for Celtic Leaves.

Three seats away, a blonde woman leaned toward me. "Excuse me," she said.

I looked up and smiled at her.

"What are you knitting?"

"It'll be a shawl," I replied.

Across from her, two women who'd been talking to one another listened in. One of them said, "That's going to be a big shawl!"

I chuckled. "These will be box pleats, so the piece will only end up being about half this wide."

"You knit differently than I do," said the other lady.

The blonde lady two seats away nodded. "Me, too," she said. "I've never seen anybody knit like that."

The first lady across the way said, "Oh, that's the Continental style. I was taught to knit that way, believe it or not."

"How's it different?" wondered the blonde lady.

"I handle the yarn in my left hand," I explained. "It's just the way I learned to knit."

"Is it faster?" she asked.

The second lady across the way said, "That's what I've heard."

I didn't notice the lady to my right nodding. "I knit in the old fashioned English way," she said, "and everybody I know who knits like you do knits much faster than I do!"

"There we go!" said the blonde lady. "If only we'd all brought our knitting, we could have a Central Line knitting party right now!"

Everybody had a giggle, and I got back to my knitting. I paused to answer a question from the lady to my right about how the box pleats were going to be made. I explained to her that the purl-side stitches would fold back to create the pleat texture. She made 'impressed' noises.

At my stop, I folded up the knitting and headed down to the Jubilee Line. All the ladies gave me a pleasant goodbye on my way out of the carriage. :-)

And they say Londoners don't talk on the Tube.

Today at work, I was finishing up about three transactions at once and helping a lady find the right person to check her in for an appointment. I paused to ask a gentleman who was standing at the counter if he was doing all right; he'd been standing there a while. He allowed that he was fine, no problem, just waiting for someone to bring him a product. I reassured him that I just like to check on people and was getting ready to head back and take care of something else, when the woman with him said, "Hey! I know you!"

She didn't look familiar to me, but I turned to her and smiled anyway.

"You go to knit nights at I Knit London!"

"Yes, I do," I replied.

"You made that amazing shawl, didn't you?"

"I did," I said. It's hard not to sound prideful when I admit I made this gorgeous thing keeping my shoulders warm in the dry air conditioning. "And I'm almost always at I Knit London on Wednesdays; I teach beginning classes there."

"Do you ever teach lace?" she wondered. She reached out to touch the shawl and I handed her an end to examine.

"I do; it's just a question of when things get onto the shop calendar. If I don't our other teacher, A, has taught lace there before and may very well again."

"I would love to take a lace class from you," she said. She turned to her husband. "See? I told you I knew her!"

I told her I hoped I'd see her at IKL soon, and went back to doing my job.

We are everywhere. :) I've had students and former students come into my workplace before, and others who've recognised me from festivals and knit nights. I also recognise and compliment handknits when I see them on my customers. I say, "Did you knit that?" and get a knowing smile in return. "I thought you might notice," some of them say. I admit I've been wearing the Screaming Green Alien Shawl at work a lot, because it doesn't cover up essential bits of my work identification, and it keeps my shoulders and arms warm. It also makes me feel good about myself, in the same way that wearing handknit socks makes me feel good about myself. I feel more confident when I'm wearing signs of my own competence, if that makes any sense.

At home tonight, I'm wearing a shawl made for me by dear friend SN, whom I haven't seen since I left Atlanta six years ago. It's made out of Aran-weight Wensleydale, in two contrasting shades of grey, a comfortable and homey wrap-for-warmth that makes me feel happy and loved. I'm also wearing a pair of socks [personal profile] otherdeb sent me. They feel good, too. They're all green and lacy. And y'all know how I love green and lacy.

Although there's not much to see yet, there are three photographs of Celtic Leaves, currently barely in progress, below the cut tag.

Celtic Leaves, Box Pleat Photos )

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kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
kniteracy

April 2011

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