Last Saturday, June 14, was World Wide Knit in Public day.
I first heard of it this year, when I read about an event at Lettuce Knit in Toronto, organized by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, better know to blog readers as the Yarn Harlot. She and her friend, Rachel H., came up with a plan, and invited Franklin – artist, photographer and blogger at The Panopticon – to come to Toronto to take photos for his 1000 Knitters project.
At first, the very thought of a Knit in Public day made me giggle. I’ve been knitting pretty much forever (well, my forever) and have often carted my projects along with me everywhere from buses and subways to social gatherings. It never seemed like much of an event to me, it was just something that I did.
I was a little late coming to the on-line knitting scene. I missed out on the birth of knitting blogs. I had overlooked the existence of knitting podcasts. Not that I wasn’t on the internet, I was just distracted by all things quilting. When I did catch on, I discovered that a whole new world of knitting jargon had been born. And that knitting in public had been deemed not just a thing, but a thing that was acronym-worthy. KIP. Which always makes me think of kip, a British slang word for nap. As in “I’ve been knitting all afternoon, and now I could use a nice kip.”
So, when I heard about World Wide Knit in Public day, I wondered. Has this thing become so big that it needs its own day now? What’s the big deal? But then I learned that the point of WWKIP day is not to promote KIPping (yawn), but to bring knitters together to share in the love of a craft. Knitting is often done alone (although there are many Stitch ‘n’ Bitch groups and Knit Nights popping up all over). This is a day to encourage groups to organize events and gatherings and meet each other, knit together, and eat cupcakes. Who can argue with that?
In the end, I did attend the event at Lettuce Knit. I was happy to meet a couple of friends that I know from Ravelry, and to meet some other knitters and enjoy the homey atmosphere of Lettuce Knit, and the Kensington area of the city. I was honoured to be able to watch Franklin at work taking photographs. I even bought some yarn, and won some in a draw. All in all a very nice day, for which I give special thanks to Stephanie, Rachel H. and the owner of Lettuce Knit.
Lettuce Knit, World Wide Knit in Public Day, June 14, 2008.