VeloKnits: One Girl’s Dream of Exercise While Knitting
I’m not sure if it’s by luck or by design, but most of my hobbies can be done while I knit. However, there is one notable exception: it’s really hard to exercise while knitting.
Listening to music, hanging out on a patio with friends, enjoying a fine Scotch whiskey, and watching Doctor Who are all actually enhanced by the addition of knitting. With increasing availability of audiobooks, I can now read voraciously while I knit.
Even my work is extremely conducive to knitting: I write blog posts and articles about my knitting, there is a constant flood of exciting new yarns and patterns, and it is understood that knitting during a meeting actually enhances, rather than detracts from, attention and retention.
The only major part of my life that I can’t combine with my knitting is my love of exercise, especially cycling. True, I could knit myself some dapper vintage cycling stockings if I was really committed, and I frequently knit hats, cowls, and headbands that can be worn during outdoor adventures.
But what my heart truly yearns to do is ride my bike and knit at the same time. Outside the world of the indoor trainer, this is not remotely possible. I can ride my bike without handlebars for 30 seconds at most. My boyfriend is more talented and actually agreed to attempt knitting while cycling. Here’s the video he took. Unfortunately, both his cycling jersey and his very first knitting project (squee!) are red, so it’s a little hard to see (fullscreen helps). But trust me, he’s knitting.
For myself, I think it’s best if I keep my exercise while knitting endeavors confined to the indoor arena. That way I can go for the triple task: cycling + knitting + TV = ultimate win. I was spurred into action by the start of the Tour de France. I’ve loved the Tour since I was a kid and I still watch as much as I can each year. I rigged up the bike trainer, tuned in to the Tour, and picked up my WIP, Helena’s Shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2017.
I was able to ride and knit relatively smoothly, but I will say that I was neither doing my best knitting nor getting my best workout. I might do this for events like the Tour where I’m going to be watching more TV than usual or if I were knitting in quantity for a charity project, but I think for the most part, I’ll keep my cycling and my knitting separate.
I still haven’t scratched my itch of finding a way to exercise and knit simultaneously. So let me know in the comments: what sport should I try next to combine with knitting? Paddleboarding? Skiing? Jogging on the treadmill? If you have found a way to combine physical activity with knitting, I very much want to hear about it.
Yours in Stitches,