I am now am in a similar league with these Shetland Knitting Peat Carriers of olden days, but I must qualify : I am not merely strolling along a paved road at a leisurely pace while watching my knitting . . . no, I am actually really hiking, along trail and ridge road, through weedy and rocky sections, and up and along the mountainside , while watching the scenery and my feet, and while I happen to be knitting without looking at what I’m knitting, for the most part. There is a difference . . . (I say with a playful expression of mock pretentiousness) .
What began this new thing of mine is the awareness I am experiencing about a kind of physical atrophy which happens when one sits around too much knitting, and for too long. I mean, as if blogging about knitting , and reading about knitting (while knitting) isn’t enough… to actually only knit while knitting is just too too much ( sitting ) LOL. I figure I absolutely must learn to double task this whole knitting jones or I’m going to get incredibly lazy. I have been known on many occasions to knit in the wilderness while backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas, enjoying stunning scenery at great elevations with glaciers all around ~ but that is *destination-in-order-to-knit* hiking, not knitting *while* hiking. This new thing is entirely different.
I am going to absolutely plunge into this today, and go out again in a couple of hours, to fetch the mail, and with my knitting ofcourse. I will borrow Emma’s treat pouch for the yarn, thinking it may just be the ideal yarn ball holder. Otherwise I will just be bunching the more weighty body of what I am knitting, under my elbow. No doubt I will refine and share my successes. My first knit-while-walking excursion this morning was a bit slower pace than my usual exercising pace, but I think over time I can improve on the pace. For instance, I took one of my 30 minute routes and it did in fact take 40 minutes, but that is also including stopping and letting Emma sniff or drink in a puddle, and once (I admit) I dropped the ball of yarn and kept walking , for about 30 feet… and had to rewind it while picking a few weeds out. My knitting was also a great deal slower, but that’s to be expected. I also want to mention the crazy coincidence in the fact that I needed to knit 4 rounds before changing color in my project, and I forgot to bring the other color yarn, but, I managed to fit exactly 4 rounds (rows), walking in from the end of 40 minutes with about 7 stitches left before switching color ! Talk about perfect gauge ! Of course, I am implying gauge of numbers of stitches knitted over distanced walked, and not inches measured. 😉 I can’t wait to go out again. It is my dream that one day I will walk and knit in the footprints of those hardy creel-laden women of the British Isles who walked the same path before me.
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Edited in 2 hours later: Well, I managed to walk for one and a quarter hours, all while knitting. I am observing some things while knitting & walking: In total of two walks today that I was knitting/walking for over 2 hours. That is easily well over an hour I wouldn’t have normally hiked, and the same with knitting. A win-win? I think maybe my walking posture is only slightly compromised (though probably no different than walking with hands in pockets), while my knitting posture is greatly improved as I was standing up straight instead of spine curved , neck hunched over knitting while sitting in a chair. I was aware of nature around me, even noticed a red-tailed hawk fly over (same area as last year I noticed a pair nesting) , and I even sweat ! It goes without saying that every walk won’t have knitting involved and visa versa, nor should I try. But I have found that knitting is a great distraction for walking for the sake of exercise ~ pure dogged daily walking (excuse the pun, but I do have to get Emma out for a run-around most days, if not myself.) Notice the Peat Carriers making use of the knitting , perhaps for distraction from the work of hauling creels of peat fuel home to burn. All in all, my mind was too busy watching where I was going, as well as scenery , as well as knitting… like full to max with work to do that the workout aspect of hiking uphill was hardly noticed … and I never dropped a stitch !
Such a clever girl you are. That is pretty amazing. I’d probably twist an ankle or something.
Debbie, I”m sure I’ll be just clever enough to drop plenty of stitches ! 😉
Good for you! I have done the ‘walk then knit’ option but I don’t think I would manage to ‘walk and knit’. I suspect that the Shetland ladies would use a knitting stick which keeps everything stable and speeds up the work – another skill which would take a time to accomplish. The ladies didn’t knit for distraction on the way home tho’ – they knitted to make money and it was time wasted if they ‘only walked and carried peat’. What a hard life they had.
I think you have set a challenge!
Liz, you are so right, I somehow knew that the Shetland women were oppressed from the need of income, and that is why time is wasted to only work. THose women are to me, a guiding light of heart !
That said, I don’t know how often I’ll really knit-and-walk, but I hope more than once in a while.
I have to take my knitting walking. Been meaning to try this for a couple of years now. It’s raining now. Knitting in the rain? Gotta try it.
But knitting in the rain one must hold an umbrella? I do ! I love to walk in the rain with an umbrella. mmmm…. nice. Lets go for a knit-walk somewhere around the park close to your home?
I was wrong – it wasn’t a stick they used – it was a belt that they put the needle into which kept that whole side stable – at least I think I am correct – it is a completely different way of knitting but definitely speeds up the process – I would love to learn it.
I think that belt is called a makkin ? They did use knitting sticks also, stuffed int their belts, didn’t they? (If I continue to experiment with KnitWalking, I’ll have to do a little research and lay down some links here). I am thinking since I primarily use circular needles, that a simple pouch would suffice.
I would only knit straight-forward stockingette projects while walking, never anything with a complex pattern. 🙂
I am in awe of you – what a wonderful post. Come over here and we can knit and carry the peat home. My favourite image of knitting and working is here http://www.barvasandbrue.com/story-of-peat.htm Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
You have inspired me. I always knit on the walk across the campus where I work from my car to my office, hoping to inspire a reputation for eccentricity among my students, but I’ve never taken my knitting on the hiking trails around my home. Love to knit, love to hike, and scarcely have time for either…maybe this is the moment to try combining them??
Next you need to try 1) knitting while grocery-shopping (be prepared you will be bombarded with passerby’s constant interruption/questions) and 2) knitting and driving at the same time–and not get an accident or cause one…or get a citation LOL
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