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The Knitterly Lifestyle:

July 16, 2011

Yes, I am a knitter. I admit to full participation in the knitterly lifestyle. I do not sit in a rocking chair measuring my life according to the meters of yarn infused with the transformative power of love and creation. I do, however, knit in full view. My knitting travels everywhere with me: I knit on planes; I knit while on conference calls; I knit during meetings; I keep a vanilla sock in my desk drawer (never hurts to have a backup)…you know, a round here and there just to take the edge off. And, you know what? I’m not the only one knitting like this. I met at least two other knitters at a workplace literacy and essential skills summer institute, hosted by the Centre for Literacy and Dawson College, I recently attended in Montreal.

I carried my knitting onto the plane in hopes of blunting the stab of boredom that the five hours of travel time would surely inflict upon me. The trip between home and Montreal is not a short flight (apparently we can fly direct to Denver, but not to Montreal…go figure). What is a knitter to do? Well, she takes her knitting out of her purse and begins stitching.


Ophelia on the plane. Progress will be had!

Stitching through the miles of air travel, in my case, can be considered a social service. Boredom and I don’t mix well. I think the airlines have realised the value of not separating knitters from their knitting. Without our sticks and string we run the risk of making pests of ourselves; inquiring after all the passengers; rifling through any unattended carry on luggage to quell the ill effects of the curiosity and boredom mix; and – understandably so – transforming into curious children who have nothing to keep them occupied. For these reasons my knitting is never far away from me. Society is more peaceful that way.

My knitting and I travelled the skies and, upon checking into the hotel room, I promptly unpacked my pretties. Mixed among the necessities (clothes and toiletries) were a few balls of lusciously delicious sock yarns, a full sweater worth of bamboo (for Ophelia … aka: Coraline Tunic by White Lies Designs), odds and ends of notions, and extra needles. Yes, I travel well prepared for any contingency (it would be tragic to have run out of yarn or become intertwined with a knitting emergency!). I wondered if I packed enough yarn for five days away from the comfort of my stash, took a deep breath, and decided that my supply would do nicely. Besides, if I did run out of yarn, Montreal has some fabulous local yarn stores (LYS).

Day one of the institute provided me with information overload and a good supply of contacts (complete with a deck of business cards). I respectfully left my knitting in my hotel room until I scoped out the lay of the land. As it turned out, Diana Twiss of Decoda Literacy Solutions, was stitching along with the presentations. On day two, I apologized to my knitting and packed Ophelia in my purse. There was plenty of knitting time during some very informative sessions. Diana and I stitched merrily along. She was working on fingerless gloves. She spun the yarn herself. They were beautiful.

Diana Twiss was kind enough to pose with Ophelia:

Diana Twiss & Ophelia

Ophelia with Diana Twiss

So, I attended a conference that was teaching me the lingo in the land of workplace essential skill and literacy. I made some interesting professional connections and accomplished some knitting. What more could I ask for?

The return trip home from this conference required me to spend another 5 hours on a plane that left Montreal and flew me home via Toronto, Thunderbay, Edmonton, and then Saskatoon. It was a wonderful time to sit and knit. By the time I arrived home, I had the back of Ophelia complete. I am now working on her second sleeve.

So, my knitterly friends, it is beautiful to combine knitting with your professional pursuits. I discover each and every day that I am not the only in need of keeping my hands busy with a creative activity like knitting. In fact, I will argue that knitting during any meeting creates a situation where you are actually more present than your mates who are consistently checking thier email on notebooks, iPhones, and Blackberries. I will argue that knitting keeps my creative brain occupied so my professional brain can concentrate on the topics at hand. It truly does keep my brain from wondering.

There you have it! Knitting and work are indeed beautiful companions whose relationship is positive and productive.

Flutterby & Montreal
Flutterby enjoying the view of downtown Montreal.

Do you knit while you work?

Does knitting enable you to become focused during activies like conference calls?

Do you have a favourite work/knitting combo story? Do tell in the comment section!

And, I wish you all a Happy Stitching experience…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2011 3:21 pm

    Like you I knit on planes and in meetings. And yes, it does help me concentrate. No where near as distracting as varioius electronic options, which often involve engaging the same part of my brain the meeting needs.

    BTW, you can fly direct from Saskatoon to Ottawa (with Jazz). I did that last year. Only one flight a day but your return flight looks pretty nuts.

    • July 16, 2011 3:24 pm

      Yes, the return flight was nuts. It was the shuttle (stop at every town between Montreal and Saskatoon) or take a flight to Calgary and sit there for 4 or 5 hours waiting for a flight to Saskatoon. It is unfortunate that our airports are secondary and we don’t get the convenience of flights that major airports do.

      Good to know about Saskatoon to Ottawa. Maybe I’ll hop a plane and we’ll do coffee 😉

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