So I did not realize when I posted yesterday that knitting in the cinema was so unusual. Thanks to everyone who commented! I always love WIP Wednesdays because it feels like we are all one big interactive community.
People's reactions to my movie knitting has got me thinking about the way we approach our knitting. Now, understand, I totally get why people say they can't knit in the dark. Many knitters are probably on to something when they say they require good light and few distractions. They probably are a lot more precise and make way fewer mistakes than I do. And to those who say their eyesight isn't good enough I say that you probably have better eyes than me. I'm sure I'll suffer eye strain before too long, not just from knitting in a dark theater but also from a childhood spent reading by a nightlight when I was supposed to be in bed.
I think it's safe to say that knitting is a tactile experience for all of us. But not all of us experience it in the same way based on our individual physiology and our development as knitters. For me there has been a dramatic increase in my connection with my knitting in the past year. In 2010 I knit a scarf at the movies that had a leaf motif, but as a scarf it was easy to memorize the pattern and then just count it in the back of my mind because counting is something that I find myself doing all the time (I blame years and years of swim practice. There is literally nothing to do in the water so you count your kicks and breaths and strokes, etc). But where before it was based on count, now I often knit based on the feel of an item. I might not be completely accurate, but I am starting to be able to trust myself to follow the development of my knitting based on the "feel" of the item.
Last summer I met a woman at knitting group who was blind. She crocheted the most beautiful things but could only do this based on feel and what she knew instinctively would happen next. She had to trust herself and her interpretation of patterns completely. My grandmother was the same way. She lost the majority of her sight due to illness but still kept knitting. It was something she enjoyed and thus she was not going to be kept from it (incidentally she died from said illness before I was born, but I'm fairly certain that she is the one who would have taught me to knit if she was around). I think of her often when I'm knitting more on feel than on sight. She had a lot more courage than I do. I might knit in the dimness of a theater, but I often check myself whenever there is a scene outside in the sunlight and I always find a mistake when I get home.