Posted by: knitknigel | April 12, 2009

Training to Knit the Camino

If I’m going to knit the camino, I need to get out there and practice. I can do all the walking I want, but it won’t improve my knitting, except perhaps for improving my stamina so I can knit more, longer and faster.

I’ve tried walking and knitting at the same time. It’s a little harder than walking and chewing gum! But I did it. Problem is that it might be a little challenge to turn a heel while I’m walking – I might turn an ankle which is not nearly as much fun.

So far, I’ve only tried knitting while I walk twice. Once was two years ago, when I took my knitting out to the seawall and walked briskly while I knit on a sock. I carried the yarn in my pocket, my needles (I was using two circular needles) clicking away. I think I drew a few curious stares, but no one gasped or even stopped me to ask what I was about – I suppose I may have looked just a bit like an unusual busker. I was training for a racewalk at the same time, so I really did look very odd to the passersby, I’m sure.

I took my knitting out again last week, but it was earlier in the morning, so I didn’t get too many folk who saw me do it. One of my neigbours passed by though, and wanted to know what I was about. She asked me later in the elevator how it went, so I have piqued a little interest.

Most of my training takes place at Melriches Cafe, on Davie Street in Vancouver. There I sit, most afternoons from 2 to 4, preferably at the middle table along the wall, where the light is good and I can enjoy a big cup of coffee and have room to spread out my knitting. I get lots of attention – people love to chat about their own knitting experiences, or the fact that their grandmothers taught them to knit, or their mothers knit them sweaters when they were kids. I love it. So many stories to tell.

Knitting socks at Melriches

Knitting socks at Melriches

Right now my training is a little odd. I’m working on an entrelac bag that will be felted after it’s completed. Not something I will take along on the camino with me. (And I beg the knitting’s forgiveness, because I usually tell people it’s ugly. I do however hold out hope for it’s becoming beautiful when it’s finished.)

This bag will be felted once it's finished.

This bag will be felted once it's finished.

I’m also working on socks. I finished a pair at the cafe last week and just two days ago sewed in the ends while I sat with a friend who is learning to knit. I also have another pair of socks on the needles and a swatch of a pattern that looks like it’s perfect for the Camino because it is a scallop shell. Scallop shells are a very common symbol along the Camino. In fact they are the most common symbol to mark the Camino in Galicia, the last province one travels to reach Santiago, after the ubiquitous yellow arrow. I still have a little work to do to make the pattern work for me, but I think they’ll look great on a sock when I finish the design.Scallop shell swatch


Support me on my journey as I knit the camino. You can make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC by clicking on the Sponsor me  link in the sidebar at the right.


  1. left a message on the camino board- love what you are doing and hope to meet up. Are you willing to share your shell pattern? I am thinking of knitting sock monkeys on my camino and think it could be a cool cape/logo.
    buen camino!

  2. I like the new header and theme you’re using for the blog. Much easier to read both the title and the picture.

    Great knitted scallop shell too.

  3. What a Wonderful IDea!
    I´m a knittingenthousiast myself and my mother started the camino today from Roncesvalles!
    She has also knitted all her life, I´d like to knit scallop shell socks for her, when she returns in May!
    Best wishes to You ,bon Camino!

  4. I’ll be in Spain June 3-17 walking from Astorga to Santiago (have been walking in stages over the past few years and this is my third and last stretch). Maybe we’ll meet up somewhere. I knit too but not on the Camino, I’m afraid.

    Buen viaje!!

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