My Fellow Brothers In Yarns

Reading a recent blog entry about knitting and thinking got me...cogitating. What makes this activity so engaging for me? What draws me to committing time and energy to this craft? What muse stirs as I stir the knitting soup?

To address this question, without judgement, rancor or disbelief, I wonder aloud...

I know I can attend a lecture, be at a meeting, sit and knit during a performance intermission, waiting for a bus, train,'s all good knitting time for me.

But heaven for me is knitting, sipping tea or Bourbon and Branch Water, listening to my radio, audio book or internet blogs on more subjects than had by the Holy Roman Empire.

What do you do while knitting?


Thunderhorse54's picture

I knit everywhere. Waiting at the doctor's office, visiting friends and relatives, and the craft shows I participate in. I love Sunday afternoons, when I take time for me. to knit and listen to audio books. Of course tea is part of the picture. I like all kinds of tea.

Thunderhorse54's picture

I knit everywhere. Waiting at the doctor's office, visiting friends and relatives, and the craft shows I participate in. I love Sunday afternoons, when I take time for me. to knit and listen to audio books. Of course tea is part of the picture. I like all kinds of tea.

TinkerJones's picture

I might grab a few minutes of my lunch break to knit a couple rows in the office lunchroom, but usually I just knit in front of the TV after work. Since I can't knit without watching my needles intently, it's not the best arrangement; and I tend to stop a lot. My projects seem to take forever to finish.
I like to knit while listening to an always boring webcast seminar in the conference room. I'm sure the bosses may feel that I'm not paying attention, but I think I can listen better while knitting than if I were just sitting there with my hands in my lap.
I really like Thunderhorse's audiobook idea, but I don't get much solitude at home. My podcast listening is all done while driving.
A couple weeks ago I decided to go to my LYS and knit with the women. I think I've never been more productive. Probably the peer pressure kept my fingers flying.. and some of those ladies lead very interesting lives! :-P

New York Built's picture

I agree with your assessment of attention paid at a meeting. I have found my thinking and commentary, when invited, during those times is quite good. Seems to support, in my case, the whole right brain, left brain neuroscience evidence.

Interesting lives, eh? And your's is dull? I doubt that...LOL. But we men can be such voyeurs, can't we?

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

chicquette's picture

Interesting question, Mark. I've often wondered the same thing. I knit while listening to audiobooks, or one of many and varied playlists on my iPod. Much of my knitting is pedestrian as I'm not accomplished, but do enjoy designing prayer shawls for the ministry of my church. I find knitting a great way to meditate, or offer prayers when knitting shawls. I used to watch TV and knit, but when the shows starting to become less and less interesting (THINK: the Kardashian network, or any housewife from any city), I moved to catching up on movies via DVDs. While caring for my wife as her life ended, I found my sleep pattern shifted dramatically. I got used to inconsistent sleep and decided to keep myself busy during the times I would sit by her side Or rather than lie in bed staring at the ceiling, I decided to keep a knitting project at hand and knit until I felt sleepy. I've knocked out quite a few cowls and prayer shawls in the wee small hours of the morning. She's been gone for 5 years now, but I find myself reliving some of our best times while knitting. It's been a long journey to move from sad memories to ones that bring joy. My daughter will look up every now and then when I'm knitting and see me smile, and she knows I'm probably in a happy time and space. Morning knitting requires coffee---hearty and stout. By afternoon it's tea time, followed by a splash of vodka in the evening. Vodka and knitting---some good stories when combined, but that's another post for another day.


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I knit almost everywhere, as well. I mainly enjoy listening to the radio or CDs when working on projects, but do some work while watching TV or video. Lately, I've been knitting before reporting for work...I have to go early in hopes of finding a decent parking spot so figure the quiet time with my needles is quality time. I have some people remark on my knitting while reading, chatting, playing bingo, etc. but I remind them that it is easy when doing simple projects. [If there are complicated steps, I prefer to pay closer attention.]

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

steve kadel's picture

I like the meditative part where I am chanting pattern, counts. I also love what two sticks and a long string can create. I love the symmetry and construction of it. I am enjoying making patterns my own, the use of color, shaping, structure. I also really like the feel of the right yarns sliding around my fingers and becoming a fabric

we put birds on things

Aaronknits's picture

I listen to more TV than I actually watch because I'm almost always knitting in the evenings. Home is where I knit the things that I actually need to pay attention to. I save the mindless projects for social gatherings.

New York Built's picture

Hey, I am just the opposite. I make myself mindless at social gatherings, becoming a project!

Aaron...didn't I see you win the Tabor Toss at last year's Highland Games at Altamont? Or were we just gobsmacked by the kilts? If I could remember, then I guess I wasn't there.


Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

Aaronknits's picture

For as long as I've lived here, I've never been to the Scottish games in Altamont. I keep meaning to.

I do it to pass time here in Afghanistan, but also so that I don't kill people. Just kidding. It is a great way to pass time, but it also helps keep me connected with people back home since I'm usually knitting for them. Plus I enjoy the peace and serenity. After a long career in the military, I look forward to "settling down".

Tom Hart's picture

My personality likes to have more going on than is sometimes helpful. So when I knit (at home) I’ll likely have something going on in the background, like a DVD or music or some such. But one night I turned it all off and just knitted for a while. It was actually kind of excellent. Just the stitch I was doing. That was the only thing that required my attention at that moment.

Knitting and listening/watching a DVD or listening to music, in my experience, is kind of a form of multi-tasking. When I turned off whatever I was watching/listening to and just knitted, it was a bit of a revelation.

That’s not to say that I now knit in silence. I don’t. Remotely.

All I’m saying is that sometimes, it’s nice.

AKQGuy's picture

I am one that can knit anywhere, anytime. I will even take simple projects that require only touch to the movie theater. I worked a ribbed hat at the last die hard movie with my partner a couple weeks ago. But honestly my favorite knitting time is in the morning with my pot of tea and a good audiobook. I so far cannot knit and read at the same time (I only have two hands after all) so it's how I get my reading time in so I don't become completely introverted and withdrawn from the outside world. I also tend to knit while watching the news and listening to NPR. But still, my favorite time to knit or spin is in the morning with my pit of tea and a good book of any genre. Right now I have the Mars Trilogy playing and before that a Jack Reacher book I got for the guy on his frequent car trips for work.

Kerry's picture

These days I mostly knit in silence, what a relief from the noisy world, but if the pattern is not too complex I enjoy listening to music.

raydio's picture

I love being able to make "idle" time result in some form of tangible product. I love creativity that has a practical result. If the world goes to crash, I'll have a useful skill and may be allowed to join in with other survivors.


My best time for knitting is early sat am when NOTHING is on TV. I just do it in quiet. Try to fend off my dog wanting to play. (He is also known for destroying yarn! Just to get my attention!) I normally have a nice china black tea or darjeeling top choice(no bags please) In summer its out on the porch.
Somehow the focusing on the stitch itself is enough to calm me down, and prepare me for the day. Other times I knit in front of the tv do favorite shows. (Downton Abbey!)
Never really knitted in public before with strangers until my sock class. I've even heard my instructor would knit while waiting for the light to change (don't think I will go that far, very close to txting )

SAPBrown's picture

Hi all new here, I knit as I sit infront of the idiot-box (TV). It is good to have something to show for the time. I knit to unwind after work, it clears my head of the daily task they do not pay me to think about after I "punch out". I think of knitting as magic, take the catalyst (sticks) the consumable (yarn), wave you hands in a set motion over it a few million times and someting new is formed. There is power in creation. Power at least in this part of life, I can control.

New York Built's picture

Welcome Stephen! Sit down and knit with us a while. Feel free to comment, show your creations, ideas or explore the far reaches of the unknown. Unlike work, deliverables are not contractual and will be honestly appreciated. What could be better than that?


Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

SAPBrown's picture

Thanks for the warm weclome,
I hope to contribute and learn as well...

mrossnyc's picture

I learned to knit so that I had something to do while watching TV, films, etc. Over the years I realized that I could knit and watch subtitled films. So now I've taken to reading my Kindle while knitting. Granted, the knitting is slower, but it minimizes the dilemma of deciding whether to keep reading that can't-put-down book or make progress on my knitting.

New York Built's picture

Michael! You have a strong skill set there, my man. Subtitles! While knitting!?! Subtitiles send my traveling stitches carreening of the cliff!

You humble me, sir.

I do hope you are using your mutant superpowers for the benefit of mankind. Unfortunately, my callosial interhemispheric communication system need a major upgrade to do that.

Bad wetware is so hard to replace, too.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

mrossnyc's picture

The subtitles were an accidental discovery and I'm still trying to figure out how to use my mutant superpowers. Hopefully all will become clear sooner rather than later.

docs1's picture

Every time I knit, crochet, felt, spin it's time I did something for me, even if I am waiting, in a meeting, etc, it is a way of standing up for myself and not letting the rest of the world impose on me. It creates space around me.

New York Built's picture

I once lived on the campus of a large medical center in the Hudson Valley where knitting was a major activity there for staff wishing to rest, ruminate and create a space exactly as you describe.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.