Knit or perish

Yesterday I had a leisurely afternoon in the city and went by the Purple Purl for a spot of knitting and a latte, and ended up knitting in the midst of a stop in the City Chase event. (Essentially a city-wide scavenger hunt/Amazing Race style event which benefits Right To Play charities. Note to self: find someone fit and crazy and sign up for this next time.) Teams of two were busting it to get to at least 10 stops out of a list of many more, where they had to do a task before checking off the destination as complete. Apparently there were things like “taste the ice cream and identify the flavour” at the ice cream shop, or “one person poses and the other one draws” at the art college.


At the Purple Purl, it was “knit 3 rows of a scarf, each player must knit minimum 10 stitches.” This was pretty hysterical. I don’t want to wager a guess at what the shop looked like at the height of the day, but by middle of the afternoon teams were still flooding in. I ended up coaching a couple of them just to pitch in. Whoa, man. That was a trip. I’ve taught people to knit before, but never in 5 minutes or less. It was fascinating. Some of the folks had knitted before, but many of them were completely new to it. And to get the destination checked off, they had to knit enough to execute 3 rows.


Most of the teams, by that time of day, had done 9 or 10 stops and were on the way to winding down. There was one who was on destination number 18 – some of these teams were there to play. They had never knitted before, but they picked it up. I watched them go through all the beginner learning adjustments – shifting the stitches closer to the neeedle tip as you start to move them from left needle to the right, holding both needles with the left hand to make it easier to wrap with the right, watching to make sure the wrap was complete before moving the stitch off – all compressed into a couple of minutes.

I’m going to remember this the next time I hear someone who says they don’t have the time or ability to learn how to knit. These folks had neither, and did it when the crunch was on. Kudos to the folks at the Purple Purl for coaching all these competitive beginners all day long.

I think I’ll definitely get some knitting in this Sunday afternoon – I hope you do too!


  1. This must have been so much fun for everyone, what a good cause and it makes me want to run down to the city for next year.

  2. That’s awesome! I’d love to do something like that!

  3. I read your tweet about this — what an awesome challenge! It sounds like a great fun event overall. Maybe some of the folks you all coached will come back to try a bit more, too. 🙂

  4. That sounds like a lot of fun. I wish they had something like that around here! Good on those people for trying to knit. 🙂

  5. What fun! Sounds like a great day. 🙂

  6. It just proves there’s no excuse not to learn to knit 😀

  7. pbiljana · ·

    Wow, what a great idea, I would like to participate in something like that. I think those people will come back and try to learn to knit. Once I showed how to knit to one of my friends, and after 5 min of doing it her first comment was “Now I totally understand why people like to knit, it’s so calming”, probably they felt the same way.

  8. Dana Berry · ·

    That sounds like a great way to teach someone, you know they wont give up after the first few stitches!

  9. LOL! Sounds like fun. I bet it was fun to watch as well as participate.

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