Friday, May 1, 2009

Knitting Knitting Everywhere

I get some funny looks and curious stares when I knit in public. (The other day it was at the patio furniture display at Sam's Club while I waited for my new tires to be installed. That's what they get for not having a waiting room!) But I don't let this deter me in the least.

Neither did Elizabeth Zimmermann. Her daughter, Meg, shares this story in The Opinionated Knitter (pp78-79):
Elizabeth and her husband rode BMW motorcycles for many decades - until they were well into their eighties. They even motored to the East coast once, where Elizabeth gave a few workshops without any props (no room on the cycle). She called it her, Have Mouth, Will Travel tour.

Elizabeth's last book, Knitting Around, is subtitled, Knitting Without a License, and as we were taping the accompanying video for PBS, my husband decided to stage a little story. We called the one and only policeman in our nearby town and asked if he would like to be in our video. He took it quite seriously and ordered a new cop-cap; shined up his cop-car, etc.

We shot footage of Elizabeth in her usual motorcycle mode: sitting and happily knitting behind Gaffer, with a long strand of the wool flying out behind her. The siren went off.

The cycle pulled to the side of the road as the squad car came up behind them.

The policeman got out and walked slowly toward them (in his shiny new boots) and said, "What do you think you're doing?"

Elizabeth: "Why, just Knitting Around, Officer."

Cop: "Do you have a license for that?"

Elizabeth gasped and put her hand to her mouth. Freeze frame.
She sounds like such a hoot!

She really did knit on the back of the bike. For years she did it in secret since her husband would not have approved. He wanted her to concentrate on motorcycling for all that leaning into the curves, etc. So she used a small circular needle to work on small projects that she could keep in her pocket until they were well under way.

He only found out when he looked up at a semi they were slowly passing one day and saw the driver laughing and pointing out EZ with her knitting to his passenger. BUSTED!

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