Waifs down a mossy path: Dries Van Noten’s clothes for next spring.

Commuter Queue Management

Dear Ann,

This post is for my brother and sister commute-knitters. Commute-knitting is perilous, especially if you are prone to startitis. Here are Kay’s Rules of Commute-Knitting (clip n’ save).

1. ABC: Always Be Casting (On). You must always have something to knit that can be worked on in Adverse Conditions, because, even if you embark at a spot where you can get a seat, the subway is full of distractions. You must keep an eye out for your fellow passengers, especially your fellow passengers who are heavily pregnant and standing in front of you clutching a pole and rubbing the small of their back while you knit. (You don’t want to be That Guy.) You must also keep an ear out for the garbled announcement of your stop, or you will end up on High Street, which is only one stop past your stop, but in a borough where you don’t work. So the knitting has to be easy. You have to be able to stop whenever, for whatever reason, and not mess it up very much. Circular needles are the way to go, so you don’t drop a needle. My top commute-knitting pattern picks: either a Honey Cowl, or the body of a lopapeysa. When the Honey Cowl is finished, or the yoke of the lopapeysa is reached, see Rule #1 and cast on another Honey Cowl or lopapeysa. Right now my train knitting is Jon, a lopapeysa in Size Large (writing that here in case I forget before I get the yoke on it), for my nephew Jon or if it doesn’t fit him, other male family member TBA. Lopapeysas are the Honey Cowl of pullovers; everybody wants one.


2. Knit By Night. By lamplight, propped in front of Unchallenging TV, you can work on projects that require shaping and/or a chart. The light may not be the best, you may be tired, but if you don’t put down your Honey Cowl or lopapeysa straightaway at night, you will never get anywhere on spicier projects. Your bedroom will be strewn with lopapeysa body parts and unblocked Honey Cowls.  Right now,  my Evening Knitting is Adara, a gorgeous Brooklyn Tweed sweater that is my side of a knit-for-crochet swap from last winter. I’m on the first sleeve. Racing toward Rhinebeck, when I will see my swap partner. I’m loving Adara, which I’m doing in Purl Soho Worsted Twist.


And here, a bonus photo of an antique Whitby in black Rowan Denim. Years ago, Belinda gave this to 8 year old Carrie. It was an Artwork production sweater that had a big body and short sleeves and therefore couldn’t be sold. We just found out it fits someone else in the extended family.


Black denim is dead; long live black denim!



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