The comments I receive when I mention knitting while walking are all over the map, ranging from “I could never,” “I’ve been meaning to try that,” to “I also love walking and knitting.”
If you are squarely in the “I could never” category, well, I actually bet you could. If you wanted to.
As for the rest of you, I’ve prepared my favorite tips to set you forth on the joyous path of walking and knitting AT THE SAME TIME.
I mostly walk and knit out of desperation. After a busy work day, I am lucky for a single free hour before I just need to collapse back into bed again before doing it all again the next day. Taking my socks on a walk has helped me avoid the hard choice between using my free hour for minimal exercise or luxurious knitting.
I do a bit of both.
(I have not tried, nor do I plan to, knitting while jogging. That wouldn’t end well for me. However, I have heard from some of you that knitting on a stationary bike works just fine. Big kudos there. Definitely a hot tip to remember for upcoming inclement winter weather and requisite indoor exercise.)
Honestly, sometimes I bring my knitting with me on walks so I don’t focus on the fact that I am walking By Myself. I love taking walks with friends. Walking is definitely one of my favorite girlfriend catch-up activities, but often Real Life prevails. Sometimes an opportunity for a quick walk presents itself, and I just have to usurp the chance. Even if it’s just me out walking through the world. (Although I think knitting while walking with my knitting girlfriends would be the Absolute Best…adding that to the top of my to-do list Right Now!)
If you find yourself as time crunched as I am, needing to burn a few extra calories now and again and could use some extra motivation to get off that (AMAZINGLY COMFORTABLE) sofa, or you are just interested in trying something new, I have prepared these TEN tips for you. Walking and knitting at the same time is possible.
Just imagine–you could fill up an entire sock drawer JUST from walking and knitting this year if you wanted to, on top of all your “regular” knitting!
Ten Tips for Knitting and Walking at the Same Time
- Try it.
- Try it again. (Try knitting and walking at the same time at least three time before you quit.)
- Only attempt during pleasant weather. This will not work when your hands or cold, and trying this with mittens (even fingerless gloves) is not recommended. Take advantage of warm weather, and make walking while knitting a New Habit in your life.
- Make sure you have the right materials to comfortably carry your project: a small pouch with a wrist strap for socks and other small projects or a light weight tote to carry over your shoulder if you have a shawl or something like that.
- Plan. Make sure your project is in a good spot for knitting while walking. No big mistakes that need to be resolved. No transitions in stitch patterns. No significant counting. Avoid projects that will require you to stop and look at your pattern all the time.
- Keep it simple. Start with stockinette in the round (or garter if working back and forth rows) all the way. I tried walking while knitting ribbing a couple times before I threw in the towel. It made me feel seasick and a snail could have overcome me because I kept stopping to look. I have seen other knitters walk while knitting AND purling, so it’s not impossible. Start simple, all the same.
- Pick the right project. To date, I only knit and walk with socks, but my dear knitting friend works on shawls (and even sweater sleeves) All. The. Time. If you are knitting a shawl or other non-sock project, again, stick with those simple, long rows of knit-knit-knit to get started before you throw anything fancy into the mix.
- Attempt with light-weight projects only. Pick a project that doesn’t weigh a ton (like that worsted weight sweater you’ve been meaning to finish).
- Be proud. There’s no need to feel subconscious or generally fret that other people will see you and think you are weird. Most people who comment on my knitting while I walk have positive things to say. In the end, do what makes you happy and don’t worry about what other people think. Also: make your time triple count! If you are trying this alone, knit, walk, AND use headphones with your phone to catch up on phone calls or podcasts.
- Practice. Did Michael Phelps win all those gold medals without blood, sweat, and tears? No! He practiced. All great athletes do. Knitting and walking is your new sport. Practice. Practice. Practice.
P.S. Never hurts to wear sunglasses for eye protection. Just in case you trip. Those needles can be sharp!