Tuesday, February 08, 2011

bus knitting misadventures

audrey in progress

My trusty bike has been suffering from an unfortunate spate of punctures recently. This is mostly due to me cycling round Manchester city centre a lot, where it seems drinkers actively seek out cycle lanes to smash their empty pint pots. So as Grandmaster Flash would probably point out, there is broken glass everywhere. With my bike out of action, I have been thrown back into the world of Bus Knitting.

I do enjoy my bus commute with my knitting on my lap. However, I've reached a stage in my Audrey in Unst cardie where it's becoming a little awkward to hoist around at the end of each row without stabbing adjacent commuters in the eye. I'm on the lace bit by the neck shaping, as you can see in the pic, and it's knitted in one piece so it's getting quite big. I've also had a couple of unfortunate bus knitting incidents recently. Once, when the driver braked suddenly, the ball of yarn on my knee flew forwards and rolled under about 5 rows of seats in front. Horrified, I wondered if it was possible to crawl forward and retrieve it. But fortunately, the jolt of setting off again sent it rolling back to my feet where I was able to swiftly scoop it up again and carry on nonchalantly, as if nothing had happened.

More alarmingly, I'm finding it harder and harder to put the knitting down in time to alight. My internal mantra of 'one more row..' gets louder as the bus approaches my destination, and my knitting gets faster and faster and more frenzied. The other day I'd cut it ridiculously fine. As the other passengers were getting off I was scrabbling around hastily to cram my knitting into my bag and leg it off the bus. I breathed a sigh of relief as I made it through the door and walked down the road towards work. After about 10 paces I noticed a teal-coloured woolly strand hanging out of my bag. It was attached to a ball of yarn. Which was still on my seat on the bus. Fortunately, I was able to retrace my steps before the bus departed, and a very amused passenger handed me the ball of yarn.


So I've downsized my bus knitting a bit, for health and safety reasons. This is a headband I made out of a teeny tiny bit of leftover Wollmeise from my Tempest cardie. I'm all about the woolly headbands right now. It's surprisingly warm because it covers your ears, it tames unruly hair, it fits under a bike helmet, and unlike a hat, nobody at work mithers you if you continue to wear it indoors. Pattern is Panta from this epic thread on craftster. I have one already that I made aaaages ago and I wear it all the time so I decided another was in order. I used 4 ply yarn though and I had to omit some of the central increases because of weirdass pooling, so the new one's a lot skinnier. Here is rubbishhound modelling the original back in 2006.

the original panta

I'm also making Mr Rubbishknitter a tie. He has been dropping hints lately and I am unable to resist such things. I was going to make it a Valentine's day surprise but I thought perhaps I should consult him. I'm glad I did, because my first attempt was deemed Too Pointy, and I was advised to go and look at a tie. So the second attempt is less pointy. To get the acceptably sloped version, I started at the bottom and increased 1 stitch either side each row. The stitch pattern is from My So Called Scarf, and I think it is quite suitable for a tie, cos it makes quite a heavy, woven-looking fabric that doesn't roll at the edges. And the rows are short enough that there's always plenty of time to squeeze another one in before I get to my stop. Everyone's a winner!





Anonymous said...

Lol at you leaving your yarn on the bus!

I once went dashing upstairs to check on something, and it was only when I came down again that I realised that the crashing noises I'd heard as I went weren't the cats, but the yarn that was wrapped around my cardigan button....

Kate said...

I miss bus knitting since I started using the tram. :-P Seriously, I do feel far more self-conscious knitting on the tram because there's people staring at me on the seats opposite, instead of just one person possibly beside me on the bus.

Glad you got your yarn back, though! Down here, I think everyone would have just stared pointedly out of the window rather than hand you back your yarn. :-/