Tales of a Backpacking Knitter

It’s now been well over two years since I picked up my grandmother’s knitting needles and started to knit seriously. I finally had some free time on my hands after five years of suffering through getting my engineering degree. Knitting was (and still is) my creative outlet; a place to design, explore and create. And I’m just as amazed as ever to create something practical, functional and even fashionable, using nothing but two sticks and some thread. It’s simplicity at it’s finest. There’s a reason that knitting has been around since Egyptian times.

Since I started backpacking four months ago, I’ve come across relatively few knitters. Makes sense, as I can attest that when the humidity is close to 92% and you’re dripping in sweat, you don’t exactly feel like doing much, never mind knitting. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to squeeze a few rows in here and there. Here are some of my observations (on the knitting side of things) of the different countries I’ve been to so far.

Knitting in New Zealand

In New Zealand, I learned that possum fur could be blended into yarn and knit into something warmer and more pill resistant than the finest merino. I stocked up, while telling myself I was helping to save the fragile New Zealand ecosystem from being destroyed by invasive species.

Knitting in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, I came across a famous alley way, where the railings were completely yarn bombed! There seemed to be a festive holiday theme, although I went there in May.

Knitting in Bali

Knitting in Bali brought mainly curiosity. The Balinese asked me questions, and I taught a few basic knit stitches to a friendly Balinese guy. He was thrilled. Other than that, my knitting progressed at a snail’s pace.

Knitting in Malaysia

And now I find myself in Malaysia. I have mainly been knitting in buses, but have yet to see any Malays knitting. I have, however, noticed a few knitted items (including hats) in some souvenir shops. In particular in the Cameron Highlands (makes sense, as the average temperature is 18 degrees Celsius, which is quite cold for Southeast Asia). I’ve also found a yarn store just outside of George Town, which I will be visiting the second I get a chance!

Hopefully the upcoming World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP) which I will be hosting in Penang will allow me to meet a few more knitters in the area.

For now, I’ll continue using up the last of my yarn stash (consisting of mainly alpaca and possum blend wools) to knit myself some warm toques and mittens that I will have no chance of wearing for at least another few months.

You might also like: 

The Backpacking Knitter’s Bucket List

Top 6 Knitter Problems while Traveling in Asia

Tales of a Backpacking Knitter on the Road