I was standing on the train this morning reading Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. A lady was standing near me, and I noticed her handmade knit hat and wondered about making one like it for myself. As I returned my gaze downward towards the book, I noticed that at the lady's feet was a satchel stuffed so full of yarn that it couldn't be zipped shut. Another knitter! Right next to me! She has yarn in her bag, I have yarn in my bag (though mine was closed), I'm reading a knitting book...what do I do?! This was the first time I've run into another knitter (or at least another knitter who didn't mind it being publicly known), so I was unsure of the protocol.
When I glanced again at the knit hat, the lady caught my eye, gestured to the book and asked "Do you read her blog, too?" YES! Yes, I do! We chatted very briefly because I the train inconveniently arrived at my stop. I wanted to show her the knitting project I had in my bag but there wasn't time. I considered riding the train until she got off at her stop and then riding back to the one I needed, but I needed to get to work. She let me know about two casual knitting groups that meet on Mondays and Thursdays and suggested I come. I don't know if I will or not because the locations aren't very convenient, but I was very excited at the encounter. I'm used to getting odd looks from my own age group for being a knitter and also getting odd looks from older generations for having bright pink streaks in my hair (in fact, I had just been receiving disapproving stares from another lady on the train), so I usually work under the assumption that I'm not going to fit in. A moment of acceptance and camaraderie with a stranger on a train was a lovely feeling.