Worldwide Knit in Public Day: 14-22 June 2014
Knitting is an incredibly popular hobby, but it’s often carried out at home, behind closed doors. Every June, thousands of knitters around the world hit the streets of their local towns to knit in public. We asked KiP veteran, Elizabeth, to tell us more.
P.S. You can find out about LoveKnitting’s WWKIP plans here.
World Wide Knit in Public Day is slightly misnamed now, as local events take place on any of nine days in June. In 2014, WWKiP Day events run from 14-22 June, so there’s plenty of time to find one, join one or start one.
What is WWKiP DAY?
Knitting is usually a solitary, private hobby. In 2005, Danielle Landes decided to encourage knitters to come out in public and meet other knitters.
She started the WWKiP website to help knitters meet and organise. That year, there were 25 events. By 2009, there were over 700 events around the world, and the fun keeps growing.
What is a knitting in public event like?
Each event is organised by one or more volunteers, and they decide on the tone, location and all the other details. Some are low-key, some are wild. I’ve been to a knitting picnic in the park and a knitter’s pub crawl. I’ve also attended events organised in conjuction with local businesses, markets or fairs, who give knitters space to knit and often refreshments.
This year, events include a knit with alpacas picnic in the UK, a yarn bombing event in Sarajevo and a knit-in in a cafe in Dubai. Events are running across the USA, from Florida to Alaska, and in dozens of other countries.
How to find a WWKiP Day event
This year, there are hundreds of events to choose from. You’ll find many events listed on the WWKiP Day website.
Not all organisers choose to register their event on the site though, so it’s a good idea to check Ravelry and ask around at your other local knitting haunts.
Who knows – simply by asking, you may inspire your local knitting group or library to start a KiP event.
Do I have to go to an event to join in?
No, you don’t. To join in, all you have to do is knit in public. You could sit on your porch, take some friends to a bar and knit there, go for a picnic in the park, knit on the bus on the way to work… the options are endless.
Non-knitters have some fairly bizarre assumptions about knitters. At the very least, you can expect to be asked what you’re making, told that you must have a lot of free time on your hands, and told that knitting is too complicated for the person texting while chatting and drinking a coffee to manage.
If you’re lucky, you’ll meet some new knitters, and maybe a beginner will want to have a go – it’s a good idea to bring a spare pair of needles or three, and some yarn if you can to accommodate this.
If you’re part of a knitting group, business cards are a good idea as you might attract some new members. Expect to be self-sufficient, so bring your own knitting (obviously), cash (for drinks, snacks or yarn), and sun cream, a folding chair or blanket, an umbrella or whatever it takes to keep you comfortable, if your event is outside.
Bring your crochet
While WWKIP Day is focused on knitting, you’re welcome to crochet, sew or spin at most events. It’s all about having fun and raising the visibility of the fibre arts.
Some venues may not be suitable for spinning wheels, due to limited space, so if you’re in any doubt, ask the organiser.
Last updated: June 12th, 2014.