Knitting On The Go

person holding brown woven handbag

With life returning to something like normal, a lot of people are starting to make their way back into the office. And that means many of us will once again be spending long stretches of time in trains, buses or trams.

pensive woman looking at window of train
“Oh, if only I’d brought my knitting with me!”
Photo by Whicdhemein One on

A few years ago, I spent a brief stint as a commuter myself. An average day saw me sitting on the bus for up to two and a half hours, and I was always trying to find ways to make that time pass a little more quickly. It was impossible to concentrate on a book – in fact, when I revisit anything I read at this time, it’s like I’m dipping into a completely new story! For a while, I tried doing my makeup on the morning run, but Dublin’s roads are really a little too winding and bumpy to manage convincingly unwobbly eyeliner.

In hindsight, I can’t believe I didn’t think to pack my knitting. I always do now! Dublin isn’t really a driver’s city, so I never got my licence and I still spend quite a lot of time on public transport. Although I’m not commuting as much as I used to, I’m still happy to have my latest project handy when my work takes me further from home than I can easily walk.

So, based on my own experience, here are my top tips for knitting on the move!

  1. Make it portable. Circular needles pack away much easier than straights, and your neighbour will thank you for not poking them in the side repeatedly for the whole journey. Small projects are also best for travelling – so socks or a hat, not that bulky-weight throw for your 3-seater couch.
  2. Make it easy. Checking charts or complicated patterns on a moving bus is no picnic, so something plain is better.
  3. Choose something you can stop. Breaking off in the middle of a long row so you can scramble for the door can lead to sliding-off-the-needle dramas, so I usually work on a small project or one knitted in the round. Then I can stop anytime.
  4. Invest in good storage for your tools – a zip-up wallet or bag means you can bring all your favourite gadgets along without losing them between the seats or dropping them on the floor.
  5. Be prepared to have at least one person ask what you’re doing… It happens every time!
man in brown robe carrying bag smiling
“I’ve pared my travel knitting projects down to the bare essentials this morning.”
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

And finally…

This one should really go without saying, but just in case – if you’re the one doing the driving, you probably should park your needles until you arrive at your destination!

Published by knitwithhelen

I'm a knitting teacher based in Dublin, Ireland. Check out my site to book classes, browse the online yarn store and see what's currently on my needles!

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