As a knitter, when I’m out in public I’m constantly looking at people’s sweaters, hats, scarves, cowls, etc. and wondering, “Did someone knit that?” I look for telltale signs. Is there a tag? Do I recognize that yarn? Every once in a while I am confident the item is hand knit. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Very rarely, I can confirm something is hand knit because I recognize the pattern. I’m not considering the knits I see at fiber festivals or yarn stores. I expect to see people wearing their knits there. I’m taking about being out in random places in public.
The first time this ever happened to me was a few years ago. I was in a waiting room – doctor, dentist, I can’t remember. It was winter, and a woman walked in wearing Calorimetry. I recognized it right away because that pattern was very popular for a while. Everyone (except me) was making it, so I saw many versions of it. I was going to say something to her once she sat down, but she never did. She went up to the receptionist, picked something up, and walked out.
Last week it happened again. I was on a Brown Line train, and there was a woman wearing Rockefeller. I have knit that pattern, so I was particularly excited to see someone else’s version in person. I debated whether to say something to her, but we were both wearing headphones, and by the time I noticed it the train was nearing my stop and I was going to have to get off the train. Of course, then the train inched its way to my stop, so in the end I probably did have time to talk to the woman wearing it.
Later on I kicked myself for not saying anything to her. I’m always happy to talk about my knits, but on the train people are often in their own little bubbles. We both had on headphones. It’s not typical to see people randomly strike up conversation on the CTA. Perhaps next time I will.