Thursday, May 25, 2006

they're watching me

Swatch show, showing a sneak of Bakerloo. The camera's doing that weird thing with the red in the purple which distorts it a bit. Face to face this stuff reminds me of The Hulk. That or CND's old logo colours. Mad scientists either way.

The scarab's not especially meaningful - my brother's just been on holiday to Egypt.


For various personal reasons I've been taking the tube a lot recently and discovered that knitting on the Underground is different from the bus (I do most of my knitting on the top of big red double deckers).

You have less elbow space, the lighting's not so good and its so much more bumpy. But the main difference is how much more public it is.

Knitting on the bus, or even in a coffee shop, is in public, but people don't really look for very long. On the tube, people STARE. What's more, they talk about your knitting to each other like you can't hear. "Is that crochet?" (n.b. you apparently pronounce the "t" in crochet when on the district line).

I think it comes down to two things: (a) people sit facing each other on the tube, and (b) they don't really have much else to look at than each other (unless you count the Metro, which I don't). There is a great book based on how tube travelers stare and think about their fellow commuters. Set on a Bakerloo train in fact. 253, by Geoff Ryman. It was one of the first books to start online, you can see the site here.

Publicity aside, my favourite tube knitting moment happened on monday evening. I sat in the middle of two guys both untangling their MP3 player earphones while I was untangling yarn from my addi turbo cable. The three of us must have looked hilarious to all those people.

Those people starring. They stare I tell you, STARE.


Mary said...

The staring is freaky at first but after a while you get used to it and embrace it. There is a feeling of power that comes with realising that you have a whole carriage of people under your spell - especially if you are knitting socks on 4 or 5 dpsn.

amy said...

*trying to work out which station that sign is from*

gleek said...

if you stare in new york, you're likely to get told off or even stabbed. hence everyone generally minds their own business in the subway and you can knit to your heart's content :) looks like this is one of those little differences between us.

Pig wot flies said...

Hmm, Oxford Street?

It's always fun knitting on the Underground. Lots of people stare, some people comment and some people start talking about knitting a few feet away from you, but as if you can't hear them. I've missed it. But I get to knit on the undergound this evening on my way across London, hoorah!

Pig wot flies said...

Oxford Circus rather.

Kelly said...

Hmmm... I look forward to taking my knitting to the tube! so far, it has just made me unwanted friends in Starbucks.

Gina said...

I've noticed that people in NYC stare regardless of the method of commuting. It tends to be more of the curious/glad to see variety than the what the hell variety.