I am blessed with lots of time for knitting and I do not mind knitting in public. One of the problems with knitting in public is that I make a lot of mistakes and lose track of where I am in the pattern and spend a lot of time ripping back.
My response is often to take a deep breath and rip out the mistake and re-knit it. Yesterday, however, as I ripped out the same leaf in the Cedar leaf shawlette, for the fifth time (after having successfully completed 10 leaves) I realized this might not be the ideal project for knitting in public. Another reason might have been because I had made mistakes so often that my deep breathing was becoming strangled breathing and my mumbling was starting to be a little louder and therefore becoming a distraction to everyone around me.
Today I have chosen a different project, hopefully to break the mistake train I am on and also to get a handle on this long languishing project, and because hopefully it will prove to be more conducive to knitting in public.
As you may imagine a project with that many adjustments was also not the ideal project. So I will list the characteristics of an appropriate public knitting project for me (feel free to make a list of your own which will definitely differ from my list):
1. Lots of stockinette or stocking stitch or even better garter stitch
2. If not stockinette or stocking stitch then a stitch that you can glance at and see what is next.
3. Not white (white or light colors tend to get very dirty even when you don't drag them through the mud)
4. Small enough to carry with you without dragging on the ground
5. Not too many colors
6. Lots of stockinette or stocking stitch or even better garter stitch
7. No pattern repeat longer than four rows
8. Lots of stockinette or stocking stitch or even better garter stitch
Knitting in public, for me at least, is not the time to start a lace pattern, or a complex knit, purl, cable pattern, or a multi-color pattern. It is a time where the knitting is less important than what is going on around you and a time to keep your hands busy, but not distract the non-knitters in the room. And to remember if you do make a mistake and have to rip it out, it is just more knitting, not a punishment.