Subway Yarncrafting

Since having begun knitting and crocheting this summer, I have found that it is a wonderful way to pass the time on my hour-long subway commute. I become so mesmerized by my own work that I rarely look up until I'm dangerously close to missing my stop. However, occasionally I do look up and find others fixed in a gaze at my hands. Often people will complement my work, other times people will ask questions about what I'm doing.

My favorite however was the man who could not believe that a man was knitting. He said "I wish I had a camera because my friends would never believe that I saw a man knitting." I asked where his friends lived and remarked that they must not be New Yorkers. After seeing men urinate on subway trains, a little knitting or crocheting hardly seems like such a shocker.


MMario's picture

He and his friends must live in someplace pretty isolated.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

QueerJoe's picture

I keep hoping to run into another male knitter in the airports, on the buses or on the trains I take to get around the country, and in the last 20 years, I have never seen one guy knitting in public (except for groups where I knew there would be some). So, I guess the man's astonishment isn't that odd.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Should we ever cross paths in public, Joe, I hope I recognize you and say "Hi". [If I don't "squeeee" like a pre-schooler over meeting you instead.] Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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

azathoth's picture

New Yorkers or not, a man knitting on a train is always something of note. Most riders have seen enough smelly food eating, drunks wavering, genitals on display, etc..but the man knitting on the train, that's a rare find. So, it's still novel and you shouldn't be surprised that people pay you mind. I've stopped knitting on the train in part to my shortened commute, but also fielding too many questions took away my focus. I say carry on and represent.

beknitted's picture

Sadly, I think that at this day and age people are shocked to see anyone doing anything that's not electronically enhanced so that all you have to do is turn it on and sit there and nod. It does indicate how limited people's lives have become that seeing men doing something that men have done throughout history should be looked upon as "strange" but I'm glad I'm that strange because I knit on the commuter trains and airplanes whenever I know I'll be on one. I have been commuting from upstate to NYC for going on 6 years and have never thought about people being weirded out by my knitting, but I suppose that's 'cuz I have been knitting since 8 years old. Ohhh! Maybe that's why I always have a seat to myself! The funniest reaction I had from people on the train, though, was when I was needle felting and a woman, who'd been watching me for most of the 1.5 hour trip, ask me why I kept stabbing that little doll... I nearly poked myself (again) with the needle I laughed so hard!
Well, if I see you on the sub, I'll definitely chat you up!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I didn't knit on the subway when visiting New York - short hops for the most part - but I did work on a pair of socks when my friend, her family, and I went up to the country convent near Brewster. No comments as to my knitting then, but I did get lots of them on my AMTRAK trip from Denver to NYC and back. I did sit and enjoy knitting in the parks as I roamed the neighborhood around the city convent, however. Only a few comments but cherished because they were so positive. However, I knit in public all the time and enjoy it. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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

murfpapa's picture

I do knit in public frequently. At the airports this year when I went to Sacramento, Tampa with stopovers in Chicago and Georgia (I think it was Savannah but don't remember for sure). One lady inquired what I was making (a Huggable Hedgehog) and raved at how cute it was. She commented that she forgot to bring anything to work on and wished she had. I had a spare ball and some 29" plastic circulars but she declined the offer. On the flight a lady saw me knitting and pulled out her needlepoint. We had a nice talk about our crafts. I've knitted in the hospital lobby between my MRI and the doctor, a span of 5 hours between the two), on the El in Chicago, at camp, on the expressway when the traffic is at a standstill, my regular doctor's office.... 'taint nuthin' to be ashamed of and I've never had any negative comments. And Joe, if you ever see me in an airport, be sure to say hi.

scottly's picture

Knitting is a wonderful way to pass the time while traveling or waiting for something to happen. I can't wait to get called for jury duty again - as long as I don't get put on a panel I can knit for eight striaght hours.

I've never seen another guy knitting in public but I do it all the time.