The perils of crocheting in public

I have a habit of taking my crochet with me wherever I go. I don’t take it all with me, but I do take what I like to think of as a small, curated selection. I like to use the word “curated” because it sounds more dignified than “putting the latest thing I am working on in a plastic bag so it doesn’t get all jumbled in my purse,” and because the truth is, it is curated. Before I put anything in the plastic bag du jour, I have to think about where I am going and what limitations I will face, because crocheting in public requires you to consider your surroundings.

At home I can spread out and do as I please. When I am in public, I am–as the word “public” suggests–sharing space with others. I might be in a waiting room or an airport or I might be sitting at a table, but wherever I decide to set up camp, I have to think of the people around me.

When I am in a waiting room, I can often spread out a bit and can sometimes take over a nearby chair in addition to whatever seat I have for myself. When I am in an airport, as the boarding time nears, space is often at an increasingly greater premium, so I need something that contracts as I work on it. When I take a project to lunch, I generally have to work on smaller projects. Sometime those projects sometimes attract comment, and sometimes I use the opportunity to solicit input.

Such was the case with Olivette–the mini meta crochet pig.

I drove to Mountainair, New Mexico, on Friday, and because of the time of day, I stopped at a restaurant for lunch. There was a little girl whose mother worked at the restaurant, and the little girl seemed to know her way around the place. I asked her mother if I could get some input on my mini meta crochet pig design (without using the words “mini” or “meta”) and the girl’s mother said yes.

When I showed the little girl a photo of Olivette, she seemed quite taken with her. Unable to tell if she actually liked Olivette, or if she was simply thrilled to have someone to talk to, I asked her what, if anything she would change, and when I put it to her that way, she advised me that blue and red pajamas would be better than red and white, so with that in mind, I got to work on a second Olivette, and I got this far before the sun set on my weekend:

The other project I am currently working on that is sufficiently portable to be something I can take when I am crocheting in public is a third crochet Viking helmet, but instead of a newborn size, I am working on the extra large adult size.

I like to start the larger Viking helmets by working on the horns because they require a lot of counting, and the exquisite shape of the horn is the result of the careful staggering of hdc and sc stitches for all 34 rounds of the largest horn:

Another crochet Viking horn that is the product of crocheting in public

Unfortunately, because there is so much back and forth in terms of which stitch to make, it can be hard to visually keep track of where you are, and I find that using strands of yarn to mark the first stitch of each round saves me a lot of frogging and potential aggravation:

How I use yarn strands to mark my progress when crocheting in spirals

With a nearly done crochet pig, and one of two crochet horns for a Viking helmet made, I will continue the march toward the new year, one stitch at a time.