Generally I knit on my own, on the train and plugged into my iPod. Uncommunicative and knitting furiously to achieve as much as possible before I reach my stop.
In many ways, this suits me. I love having something productive to do enroute to /from work and knitting is sometimes a bit like having the crossword or sudoku to do - it gets your brain going. I rarely get my knitting out at home as I get overtaken by the other things that I need to do and I cannot combine knitting with tv, reading books or surfing the net. I guess that I am an audio book candidate!
However, over the course of the past year I have discovered that it is very enjoyable to sit and knit with friendly people, in a nice place. Now this might sound blooming obvious to all of you but it was a bit of a revelation to me. It is especially enjoyable if I know that I should be somewhere else, doing Other Things or after an excruiating day in the office - it is a great way to wind down before going home.
I have found that knitting with others has a different sort of rhythm to it. I do get less done but the networking factor, seeing what others around me are working on and being able to sound someone out on something that I am puzzling over, more than compensates for this.
Plus I am getting to go to some places I have not been to before, where I am meeting new people with big personalities who happen to knit - see? It's a good thing!
Last week, for instance, I met a really lovely Canadian lady (hello Granny Purple!) who was over in London to visit family. We chatted, she made a suggestion (I was at the point where I could no longer see the wood for the trees) and this week, I was able to catch up with her again to see how her holiday was going and let her know that her suggestion worked - a completely random meeting of knitters, a suggestion and a result!
It certainly beat my usual routine of coming straight home from the office, usually after working late, to the reality of daily life, home admin, organising matches and packing (none of which are done - the bead close ups will have to wait until next week, apologies).
Instead, all pieces of my shaped lace tee are knitted, I have networked internationally, I have caught up with the London SnB group, visited IKnit and, as a result of this, I am now the proud owner of a set of pink Denise Interchangeable Needles and Glamour Knits.
Did I manage to slip that sentence in without anyone noticing?! Okay - while knitting with circulars / plastic needles is not my first choice, I am hoping that I will be allowed to take them through security so that I can knit in Departures and during my flight: fingers crossed. I will let you know whether my knitting is confiscated!
Clearly travel calls for a simple knit that will not cause disaster if the security people look askance at me. So the wrap stays at home. Instead, I cast on the Ribbed Shrug from Glamour Knits this morning with some of my summer sale yarn from John Lewis (Debbie Bliss Cashermerino Superchunky), the straights will go into my hold luggage for use at destination (as I'm not the best with circulars) and the Denises will go into my cabin bag - if the worst comes to the worst, they can confiscate the points and leave me with my plastic cord to use as a stitch holder (maybe, if they are kind). I'll try to take an SAE envelope with me, just in case. Hmm, 8mm plastic tips - surely they would not be considered dangerous?
I think that I am hoping that they will be so absorbed by my sports kit that they won't notice my knitting.
As you will be able to tell from the above - a photo heavy post and purchases review will be with you in due course. However, I can tell you already - those Denises, ain't ever replacing my affinity for Lantern Moons. Oh no!