from here to there

My daily commute is a whopping 1-mile walk. If I do the Gmap Pedometer (play with it, it’s fun!), it comes out to 1.03 miles, guesstimating from door to door. I walk with a coworker friend, who lives nearby, and we chit chat for the 15–20 minutes it takes. Needless to say, it would be impossible to get anything else done during this time.

My boyfriend’s commute, however, is significantly longer—approximately 1.5 hours door to door, requiring walking to the train station that’s about 1.5 miles away and then sitting on regional rail for another 50 minutes. He complains bitterly, but I can’t help feeling jealous sometimes. I know it would wear on me, but forced knitting time? I could go for some of that. (Occasionally I take the bus, but it’s generally so crowded I have to stand, and the trip is only about 8 minutes long anyway.)

Last night, I took the train out to meet the boy at his office, then to go out with some of his coworkers for dinner and to see the band of one of his coworkers play at a bar. I happily packed myself a little bag with the second sleeve of theSunrise Circle Jacket. (Yes, I finished the first sleeve and front already. I’m cranking away!)

septa composite

A very nice woman sat next to me, and I couldn’t take a picture until she had gotten off the train—I didn’t want to have to answer any questions! I knit down the hem and just a few rows past it while on the train. I didn’t get as much done as I’d thought I would, since 50 minutes of train time doesn’t actually equate to 50 minutes of knitting time, but it was satisfying nonetheless.

I’ve seen people knitting on the subway in NYC, and it’s pretty amazing how they manage to keep their elbows in tight, keep the work right in their laps, and quickly shove the work in a purse when it’s the moment to get off. I have such a resistance to stopping in the middle of a row that I will decide how soon before my stop I need to stop knitting. But if I had something commuting-dedicated, perhaps I would be more lax about that.

Do you knit on your commute to work? What kinds of projects do you work on (if you have “commuting projects”). Do you wish you commuted to work? What would you knit if you did?

8 Responses to from here to there

  1. Rachel says:

    I have a relatively short commute — 12 minutes or so on a bus — but I knit anyway. And I play a sort of game of chicken with myself where I try guess at what point I have to stop in order not to get off the bus mid-row. If I finish right at the last moment, I win; if I have too much time leftover or don’t finish the row, I lose.

    I am lame. :)

  2. Meg says:

    I commuter-knitted on my 35 minute ferry commute until early this year when I moved house. Now my commute is about 20 minutes in a standing-room-only train. Occasionally I’ll work on a sock if I get a seat on the way home, and for this reason there is always sock knitting in my handbag. Even though my new commute is much quicker, I do kind of miss my enforced knitting time – I think I got a lot more done in the ferry days!

  3. Annie says:

    Total subway knitter here, in fact you perfectly describe what I do! I usually do hats and socks on the train. I open my purse just enough to pull out the project, keep my elbows in (circs a must) and have it timed so that when when I feel the train start to slow down, I can pop the project back into my purse, snap everything shut and stand up like nothing happened. :-)

  4. maryse says:

    oh boy — what i wouldn’t do for a 1 mile commute. my commute if i take public transportation is 2 hours door to door. and i have done plenty of knitting or reading or both during the 45 minute train ride (the rest of that time i’m driving to the station, walking, or have to stand on the T).

    it gets old pretty fast.

  5. Janey says:

    Tsk, tsk – about resisting mid-row stoppage of your knitting.
    Didn’t my grandmother teach you anything?

    The reason for stopping mid-row is … what if there was a fire?
    When you scope up your knitting to flee the building, having all of the needles engaged will ensure that you do not lose any of them.
    And that would be a devastating thing to have happen. With no chance of their recovery.

    My grandmother did not appear to be a fear-monger, but the lessons she taught are remembered long after her being around.


  6. Betty in Texas says:

    when using dpn’s I purposely stop in the middle of a row so I neither “lose” the needles nor track of where I am. but I have tried knitting on a bus commute (decades ago) and it was too bumpy, alas. Now I try knitting in the car whenever I can get SOMEONE ELSE to do the driving…that is do-able, but not popular ;-)

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