Those who know me will attest that I am often seen toting a knitting project. Anytime I’m going to be sitting and listening but probably not taking a lot of notes, I bring my knitting. I knit in critique group. Once, I knitted a hat during a piano concert.
This past Christmastime, I took out my knitting during a theatrical presentation, a feat I admit will probably never be repeated. This was a one-man performance of A Christmas Carol, and it was in the well-lit church hall, not in a dim theater.
I have knitted in business meetings, at luncheons, and at both the Florida Writers Association and Florida Christan Writers Conference awards banquets. In fact, at last year’s FCWC, I was in the front row. If keynoter Steven James had a problem with the crazy knitter, he didn’t mention it to me.
All this knitting in odd places was inspired by Perri Klass’s column “Knitting Fantasies” in the Winter 2003 issue of Knitter’s Magazine, about places she’d like to knit but wouldn’t.
Am I the only person who has ever thought about how well knitting would go with religious services? Has anyone ever tried it?
I’ve tried it. In fact, I’ve been knitting in church for years.
Knitting at writers’ conferences has its drawbacks. It means I have to plan ahead what project to bring. It needs to be small enough to fit in a reasonable size tote bag, but large enough that I don’t finish before the conference ends. It also needs to be simple enough that I can work on it without thinking too hard, or I’ll miss what’s being said.
At the Florida Writers Association conference last fall, one of the speakers who was leading a day-long workshop said something like, “Whatever you need to do to keep your hands busy and stay focused is fine with me.” Which I was glad to hear, because of course I had the beginnings of a sweater in my bag.
It’s not just that I like to keep my hands busy. Something about the tactile experience really does help me better focus on what’s being said. And if I’ve done a good job of choosing an appropriate project, I won’t loose my place if I put it down to take notes.