I've been knitting seriously and shamelessly since the mid 1990s. And with that, comes knitting in public. I knit in public all the time - most often when commuting around the city on the TTC.
I used to knit on the TTC every weekday when I still had a day job at rush hour, and on the New York subway when I lived there. Sometimes, the vehicles were a bit crowded, but working on a sock project doesn't need much room.
|picture courtesy Brent Gilliard, on a Creative Commons license|
Streetcars - also known as trams - are, IMHO, the best public transport vehicle for knitting. They have them in various cities around the world, and I've personally ridden them in Toronto, Boston, Stockholm, Helsinki, Portland, OR, and Manchester - all while I'm knitting.
Streetcars are great for knitting because you're most often above ground - natural light! And if what you're knitting doesn't require much attention, there's always something good to look at. Streetcars are significantly steadier and smoother than buses, being on rails. I tend to motion sickness, so this is a huge advantage to me. It's also useful if you're trying to balance a chart on your lap.
The other knitters in the conversation are newer knitters, and have taken up transit-knitting only recently. They were telling me that they feel that knitting on the TTC draws attention - that they get stared at.
I've had the odd odd exchange with an interested fellow passenger, it's true, but I think that I've been knitting on public transport for so long that not only do I not notice whether people are paying attention to me (usually because I'm paying attention my knitting), but I'm not even sure I remember how people reacted to me when I wasn't knitting. I can't remember the last time I was on/in any kind of vehicle without knitting...
I'm riding trains a few times this week - Tuesday heading to Kitchener Waterloo to speak to my friends at the Guild today, and Saturday off to Spun in Burlington. You know I'll be knitting up a storm the entire way.
Do you get stared at when you knit in public? Do you notice?