Relatively speaking

I suppose it says something about me as a knitter that not only do I have different categories of projects in mind for different situations (transit knitting, TV knitting, will-fit-in-handbag knitting), but that those categories include one for movie-theatre knitting. And not only that but the relative ease/difficulty level that passes for those situations is actually pretty dynamic. I used to keep stockinette socks for movie theatre knitting until I realized that I needed something just a titch more interesting even for sitting in the dark, so now I knit ribbed socks in the movies.

In the fall, though, as I was heading out to the movies I realized I didn’t really have a pair of ribbed socks on the go and didn’t have time to start a pair right then, so I grabbed the easiest thing I had already on the needles which happened to be my Pi Shawl.



It made sense at the time because for most of it, you’re just knitting plain knit stitches all the way around and around and around, broken up every 6th round with a [k2tog, yo] repeat all the way around. And eventually there are increase rounds according to Elizabeth Zimmerman’s instructions, so those take a bit of concentration too, but the stockinette sections are pretty great. So far I haven’t dropped a stitch on it, even in the dark purple Malabrigo sock. I’m finding that I don’t mind having another one of these large shawls continuously on the go for several months if it keeps in the rotation as movie knitting. This shawl has seen Thor 2, Catching Fire (twice), The Hobbit, and American Hustle, and I’ll probably take it to see Gravity this weekend. (Well, I’ll see Gravity anyway. The shawl will continue contentedly being a shawl, just in a movie theatre.) I like that knitting becomes a little social record of events in that way.

Do you have exciting knitting plans for the weekend? I hope you get some good project time in, and stay warm! Brr, the chill continues around here.


Pattern: Pi Shawl (July shawl), directions in Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, in ‘eggplant’








  1. Your needles might get squeaky in “Gravity”, since you will sweat – it’s such an exciting movie!

  2. I can’t knit and watch movies. I would have something unrecognizable when I got done. I have not been able to knit and not look at my work. Maybe some day!!

  3. As I knit and crochet for a living, I like the break during a movie at the theatre. Besides, how am I going to eat popcorn!


  4. I love how you say your shawl has seen movies. One of my shawls reminds me that it has been on a Caribbean catamaran cruise, mostly because it was featured in my blog pictures.

    Sunny and crisp here! I’m teaching knitting and going to a knitalong gathering this weekend. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me.

  5. MidKnit Owl · ·

    I would love to be able to knit at the cinema – but I’m always worried I’d get sticky popcorn everywhere! Maybe I’ll take a sock next time and have a go though 🙂

  6. My friends think I’m bonkers for knitting while watching movies. Of course that might have something to do with the earplugs I wear as well!

  7. I haven’t been able to knit in the theater because I need glass to see the screen and I don’t need them to see my knitting. Taking them on & off every few minutes would be awful!
    I, too, have knitting projects for specific places and different purses/bags to bring with me so the project will fit…

  8. I don’t go to the movies very much…but, when I do, I always knit. It keeps me focused on the movies because, I have the attention span of a gnat.

  9. Hello, I’ve just found your blog, and I’m so pleased that I have. I’m also happy to hear that this is typical knitting behavior – as my family all thinks I’m bonkers for carrying my knitting around with me everywhere I go. I guess you must knit to understand the love of it, and to know that knitters’ hands like to be moving.

  10. i like how my knitting has become a record of events and places. I was gifted a beautiful journal for CHristmas and have decided to use it as a knitting journal. Not only do i record all the details of each project but also where the knitting has been and what it has seen ( such as new year’s eve, something funny that one of the boys has done or the fact that it was stolen and chewed on by the puppy.) My knitting journal has become a journal of my days.

  11. I haven’t knitted in a movie yet, but I used to knit in line-ups (the bank, for one) and people seemed to think I was weird; but at the end of that time I had a bit more to show for it; they had nothing . . . 😉 I’ll have to try it at the movies; then I’d have a good reason to not buy popcorn . . .

  12. The Knitwit · ·

    I plan on finishing the Kitchener stitch on my second sock and them I’m designing a new item so there’s some creative knitting at home in freezing cold Michigan.

  13. anastasia · ·

    I hope to get to the ROM on Saturday along with a couple other errands I want to run and then on Sunday meeting up with some knitters one of whom happens to be visiting from out of town (actually out of the country). So, I plan on having lots of subway time to knit. I have a shawl in Indigodragonfly yarn and also have a plain sock (and some WIPs. let’s not speak of them shall we?).

  14. I haven’t tried knitting during the movie, but have been known to knit before the movie starts since I like to get there early. I’m just envious of all the movies you’ve seen. The last movie I saw in the theater was Gravity.

  15. I’m working on a baby blanket for a shower this weekend. I’ll spend most of tomorrow knitting the last few squares and sewing them up. I don’t knit in the movie theater, because I tend to drop needles and don’t want to go hunting for a lost one later! I do knit and read at the same time, though, thanks to my Kindle! With that, I don’t have to brace the book open with my elbow and free a hand to turn pages. I can free a finger to tap or swipe.

  16. I’ve just taken delivery of some lovely purple yarn with a sparkle to begin one of your patterns this weekend – the wrap-over cardigan. But I know what you mean about social record. I’m making blanket squares at the moment and looked at my last one earlier and it reminded me very intensely of what I’d been watching at the time. I also knit at ceilidhs and at my husband’s gigs, so the music is woven in too.

  17. What a lovely idea, to knit at the movies. I’d be thrilled if I went and saw someone knitting! I fear I’d get in a terrible mess if I tried though, but maybe one day…

  18. Just don’t know how you manage to knit through movies; I just have to give them all my energy, even though my hands can knit perfectly well without a constant watch. Our local theatre, The Screening Room, offers (china) mugs of tea, which makes it feel rather as though you’re watching in your own living room, and even that hasn’t made it possible for me to knit and watch. I took up Kate Davies’ suggestion and got hold of Anno 1790, the Swedish historical/crime/romance series, and even in my actual living room I couldn’t knit and enjoy the show. I guess I’m just doomed to be less productive!

  19. Netflix + Yarn = Proof that God loves me.
    I love knitting to movies or to books on CD, though I need a light on when I knit, so only movies at home… not the movie theatre. But my daughter’s soon-to-be Invisibility Cloak has seen then entire 8-film Harry Potter series twice. tee hee.
    A question perhaps folks can help me with: My daughter and I are both allergic to wool, so I often knit in silk, cotton, or just acrylic. It can get pretty pricey though–a scarf can easily run $40 or more in yarn. Does anyone know a place that has silk yarn at a bulk discount?

  20. I definitely associate my knitting strongly with the “history” of what I was doing at the time. I still harbor a lot of hatred for the sweater I was knitting while studying for the bar exam.

  21. I love to knit in the theater! I can’t do super small yarn/needles like you’re talking about, but I do love do to things like soakers or mittens in the theater. I actually forgot to bring my knitting when I went to see Frozen with my daughters and I almost cried!

  22. I would love to be able to knit in a movie theatre. I haven’t done it yet because normally the patterns I knit tend to have the odd row that needs to be counted and so I finally cast on a vanilla sock pattern hoping to take it to the theatres this week! I am in awe that you managed to knit your shawl throughout all those movies, especially the increase row (which would be the one row I would definitely have messed up!)

  23. I’m so glad you “movie knit.” My kids think I am crazy for doing it but I can’t be stopped. I also teach my fifth graders to knit so then. I take my needles to bus duty and meetings too.The only placed my children put their foot down is football and soccer games at their school so I try very hard to honor those requests….. most of the time.

  24. It’s kind of funny, but sometimes when I put on a garment that I’ve knitted, I’ll get a flash of all the shows I had watched when I made it. Sometimes I’ll also remember what shows I ripped parts of the project to as well. It’s always a little sad because it feels like ripping out a memory.

  25. Having just returned from a cruise, your post reminded me of three ladies sitting on the top deck, by the pool, knitting and watching a movie on the big screen … cool ocean breeze, needles and a movie; how great is that.

  26. I am not skilled enough to knit in a dark movie theatre, but I have taken to a new habit of audiobooks and knitting – why didnt I start doing this, like, years ago?? My two favorite activities now working together in harmony, whereas before audiobooks they were always in conflict. 🙂

  27. Wow. I am in no way good enough (or limber-fingered enough? Insufficiently coordinated?) to knit at the movies…. But then, most of the stuff you knit here is beyond me, though I do love looking at all the things you do!

  28. I’ve never tried knitting at the movies. I’m always worried I’ll really really really want to use my cell phone as a light if something goes wrong. And it would kill me to have knitting just sitting there and me not being able to knit!

  29. My old eyes no longer allow me to knit at the movies, but it would be nice. I have become obsessed your your Pi shawl. I love your Malabrigo Sock yarn, though the Eggplant colorway is back ordered everywhere. Are you finished and how many skeins have/did you use?

%d bloggers like this: