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Homework and Fieldwork

I don’t mind doing it in public. I quite enjoy the curiosity and sometimes admiration that doing my thing elicits and I am not ashamed. In short, I am not a secret knitter. 

Admittedly, most of my knitting is done on the comfort of my own sofa, usually in front of the TV and computer, while thinking about other stuff. I have never been good at single-tasking and once I get into the rhythm of the pattern, I can happily do a number of other things that don’t involve using my hands too much at the same time. It is a bit like driving – once you have mastered the basics, you simply think about where you are going, the rest of your body is on autopilot. And if you know where you are going, you don’t even need to think about that, just keep half an eye open for the unexpected while your thoughts meander around in complete detachment elsewhere. Occasionally, this results in a pile-up.

Of course, knitting can be extremely portable. One skein projects like socks, mitts, hats and lace-weight scarves and even shawls, can all be stuffed into a modest handbag and carted around to be whipped out when a few spare moments allow, or knitting needles are required to reinforce the concept of personal space and discourage infringement therefore. On the train, bus or car, (as a passenger, of course, driving whilst knitting is inadvisable even for an adept multi-tasker), or in my case, quite literally in the field. I usually take a craft or two along when I am trading in my tent at Medieval events. It whiles away the odd hour when the punters are busy watching the entertainments, stuffing themselves with hog roasts or spending their money elsewhere. Yes, there is usually plenty of time to knit, braid, weave or whatever. My DH disapproves of this. He says it sends out a message of apathy to potential customers and is bad for business; but, it is my business and I have done my fair share of making eye contact, smiling, chatting and generally engaging amiably with the punters, only for us both to part, warmed but otherwise empty-handed. So now, if I feel like knitting in a quiet moment, I jolly well knit!

30 April 2010

5 Comments to “Homework and Fieldwork”

  1. ‘Course, at the Ren fairs you’re knitting with authentic-style wooden straights, right ? 😉

    • Don’t do Ren fairs, that’s Americans. I do Medieval ones and the odd Tudor one 😉
      Technically, I would probably need to be using bone needles. I do have bamboo straights which would pass, though I must admit that I like the KnitPros too much to leave behind and you usually can’t see enough needle to notice (and they are wood 😉

  2. I can’t see it gives out a message of apathy at all. If you were in a business meeting or similar then maybe it would but not at a Medieval event. Better than sitting there surfing on your laptop – that would be completely out of context.

    • It reduces the opportunity to engage. If you sit there looking attentive and expectant, people are more likely to talk to you and therefore more likely to buy, is the theory 🙂

  3. I think that as long as you look up and make eye contact and smile with a browsing punter at some stage, you are ok. Makes the whole interchange more relaxed?


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