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T O P I C    R E V I E W
craftyjuliet Posted - 01/31/2007 : 4:25:50 PM
Ha! My encounter with the occasional observer last night went like this:

Last night I met with my regular SnB group. We had just wrapped up a conversation about how people approach you when you are knitting in public and immediately say stupid things like: "I could never do that" or "I don't have the patience" or "when do you find the time?", etc. Less than two minutes later a woman approached our group. At first it was harmless, you know, the normal, "Oh what are you making?!" and "Do you meet here regularly?" and (my personal favorite) "are you all a friends?" (I would like to say, No, we all hate each other, but we like to knit.)

Anyway, then the conversation took a turn for the worse. She starts in about how she just doesn't understand how we have the time or patience to be knitting. We all looked at each other and a few of us smirked. Then, she looked down at me and saw what I was doing and exclaimed, "You're doing that wrong!" She was referring to my technique.

Now, I was actually working on some crochet at the time and apparently, I insert my hook into my work differently than she does. Oh, AND I'm left-handed. She went on to comment that I do it BACKWARDS. And she just couldn't believe what I was doing!

Well, I bit my tongue. But the nerve of some people!

I love to knit (or crochet) in public, but sometimes the strangers who approach you just make you wonder! Anyway, we all got a good laugh out of her after she left.
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Snow Posted - 03/24/2008 : 3:47:01 PM
Before I had my kids to chase after, I used to knit everywhere! I knit on the bus to/from school and work and in the one class at school! Teacher got after me at first, but I politely told him if he wanted my mouth shut to pay attention to him, I would be knitting, otherwise, I was talking! LOL
I knit on the train and in the car (so long as I didn't have to read a pattern).
Having the kids tho made it impossible to knit and have them about. However when the wee one is bigger and I get a brace I can knit with, (or learn to knit with the opposite hand), I will be back to taking it everywhere with me.

"There are levels to genius, but no levels to stupidity" Anonymous
knittymommy Posted - 03/24/2008 : 06:04:53 AM
ever other weekend, we make the hour long trek to Granpa's house. I have to knit on the way, the scenery is lacking. if I don't bring my WIP inside with me, granpa will ask what I'm working on and where is it!

Janbie Posted - 03/23/2008 : 09:59:44 AM
My husband still get embarrassed whenever I pull out some knitting in public - he calls it my "PSP". I just give him a comeback about golfing. That effectively shuts him up...for a while.

The KnitWit Copywriter
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it." Ferris Bueller Posted - 03/18/2008 : 7:58:38 PM
Oh this brings me back!
In the early 70's in the dorm at nursing college in freshman year it seems that there were two kinds of people - knitters (we included crocheters here) and non. The Nons gave us grief about being antifeminist (which we were decidedly not!) and told us that one knitted because of sexual frustration (oh yeah - you should have heard some of the conversations!) or gave us the Madame DeFarge routine. So the knitters retaliated by using kniiting abbreviations in a secretive, suggestive way. For instance, we would see some of tne nons, roll our eyes and whisper something like PSSO in a suggestive manner. I'm sure some of them wondered what Yarn Over meant for years the way we used these terms!
The dorn had only 2 temperatures - too hot or too cold. The knitters always seem to be confortable. We also didn't go broke over holiday spending and in general had nicer scarfs, hats, mittens etc.
In freshman year knitters were in the minority but by senior year we were in th majority.
Years after, nurese fron this class were in the minority but that's a whole "nother story!
Knit on! - Ellen

needlessharon Posted - 03/17/2008 : 07:22:07 AM
I remember someone telling me that I was knitting wrong because I throw my when she returned a couple of hours later and saw how quickly I had progressed on my sweater she apologized. Every week or so I would bring another finished project to her to show her how "wrong" I had knitted once again. She never said those words to me again. Everyone has their own style......duh.......

KL Posted - 03/16/2008 : 07:09:08 AM
Coffee all over the screen, Mokey!

Yep, just look around when at a stop sign. More than one is picking their collective noses.

I knit in public all the time, and have never gotten any response but curiosity. And usually from men.

Go figure. KL
Originally posted by mokey

Silly Jen. You should have just picked your nose and scratched yourself like everyone else in public!

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey

Mocha Posted - 03/07/2007 : 09:42:26 AM
Actually I had the interest to pick up knitting thru some lady who KIP on bus. She was typical working professional (or what we call "Shenton Way Girls" and stylish and I was amazed to see how she moved her needle and yarns.. After obsrving, it did not look that hard. I still have that "I don't know if I can do it & I don't have the patience..." mindset.

That is until a fun-loving, hippie (then) colleague persuaded me to try to learn. I gave all sorts of excuses but she would hear none of it... I conceded finally one day, and the rest is history.

So folks, you never know who you have planted the knitting seed at. Sometimes it is just the mindset and breaking out of comfort zone that scared us away.

Maybe it is our Asian culture but no stranger said anything about my KIP-ing except to stare. However I do notice some people would actually sit so they have better view on what I am doing on bus.
mokey Posted - 03/07/2007 : 08:45:15 AM
Silly Jen. You should have just picked your nose and scratched yourself like everyone else in public!

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey
ndjen04 Posted - 03/07/2007 : 07:53:58 AM
I just had a knitting-in-public incident last night and it was not with a stranger, but with my BF! I usually try to bring knitting with me wherever I go and it just so happened that when we left to go to the mall last night I had a sock OTN with me. After I was done going where I had wanted to go, I told BF that I would wait for him in the food court while he went into yet another video game store. When he came back, he saw me knitting the sock and rather loudly exclaimed "What are you doing?! Don't do that in public! People can see you! Oh my gosh that's so embarrassing!" To him it might be embarrassing, but to me, I couldn't care less. Plus I know that he was partly joking with me and I laughed it off, explaining to him that when I am away at school I knit in public all the time -- on the bus, in line at the post office, etc. It relaxes me and beats waiting around doing nothing.


Blog: (not much to it yet, but it's getting there)
BeckJo Posted - 03/06/2007 : 7:57:19 PM
Originally posted by

BeckJo, this was fantastic to read! ...and when people say something about patience I said that because of knitting I am never bored and never wasting time! ....

I teach children to knit at the Columbus Ohio Children's Hospital, where I work in Information Services. I tell them exactly what you said, "When you know how to knit, you will never be bored." They look at me like they're not sure what to make of the idea, but at least I've planted a seed. It's great to walk away from those lessons knowing that although I may not remember them, the kid may remember me and knitting forever as being a bright spot their not-so-happy hospital stay.

To the person who said they're not sure about knitting at hospitals, I strongly urge you to try it anyway. I've knit through hours of being with my 11-year-old niece who had her gall bladder out in late December. I knit while waiting on my husband to come out of anesthesia from back surgery. It helps your stress and it helps everyone around you. There's something about knitting that soothes the watchers. When a person is knitting, all seems right (or at least better) in the world. Because who could knit if it weren't?

txknitr Posted - 02/14/2007 : 12:49:36 PM
I was reading this topic earlier this morning and came across this quote this afternoon and thought it very appropriate....

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." -- George Bernard Shaw
Ann2Knit Posted - 02/13/2007 : 09:44:40 AM
I knit on the NYC subway all the time. It is a wonderful way to pass the time and make knitting progress. Frequently, another passenger asks me about what I am making. It is a nice way to feel a sense of community in an environment where people usually avoid eye contact.
diamondgirl Posted - 02/13/2007 : 07:56:35 AM
Originally posted by mokey

Doesn't make anyone a bad person. I'm Canadian and from what I've experienced, Americans think nothing of starting up conversations with total strangers, especially in the South. When it happens and I don't feel like talking I have no problems saying "I appreciate your friendliness but I just don't feel like chatting." If they think I'm rude, so be it.

Oh GOD, you are so right!!! Up in New England, we are not as chatty wtih strangers as our Southern neighbors, and we have a national reputation for being 'cold' and 'unfriendly.' At home in Boston, most people do not comment on my knitting, and it is considered sort of tacky to bother someone who is busy.

When I am in an airport or on a plane, however, it is open season! My knitting is the conversational hook that people need to show me pictures of their grandchildren, attempt to delve into my personal life with my husband, discuss the relative merits of our destinations, etc. It is amazing. I don't mind if someone asks what I am making, or comments on my yarn a little bit, but - !!!!!!

EDIT - In response to Beck Jo's Goth boy story, I recently taught a niece with severe ADHD how to knit. I thought she would not have the patience for it, shame on me. It turns out it helps quiet her busy little mind, and she knits MADLY. All I have to do is get her to stop knitting so tightly. The poor thing knits so tightly, after a few rows she can't pass her stitches over!

Third Generation Craft Ho
Momma78239 Posted - 02/10/2007 : 8:48:15 PM
Originally posted by Texasknitter

What I want to know is how people can knit standing in line. I have to sit to knit.

Usually, you either have the yarn in your shoulder bag. I made a crocheted wrist bag so that I could hold my yarn while I knit (or crochet).

And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. Exodus 35:25
khoff Posted - 02/10/2007 : 6:36:15 PM
When I was asked to be on the Board of the sisterhood at my synagogue, before accepting I asked if I could knit at the board meetings. I was told no one would mind; that one person already on the board was always knitting. Well, last week I noticed that another woman had also brought knitting, and one had brought sewing of some sort. I was asked to run a knitting evening as a social event sponsored by the sisterhood, and it worked so well we decided to make it a monthly event! We're calling it "Knit and Knosh" -- "nosh," normally spelled without a K, is the Jewish word for "snack."

I've never had rude comments when knitting in public --usually just "what are you making," which is fine because I'm usually knitting for my favorite charity and I like to tell people about it. But I love some of the responses people have posted here!

As far as knitting in meetings and letting people know you're also paying attention -- it helps if can knit without looking at the knitting, so you can make eye contact with people. It also helps to ask a question or make a comment (when appropriate) so people know you're paying attention. Perri Klass had a whole column about knitting in meetings in a recent issue of Knitters magazine.
knitting_wounded Posted - 02/10/2007 : 2:59:42 PM
I've been lucky enough to have gotten only positive comments about my KIPing. I usually get approached by older ment who tell stories about their mother or grandmother knitting. It's very touching!

Check out the Knitting Wounded Tent:
kadiddly Posted - 02/10/2007 : 2:44:19 PM
The most derogatory comments I've gotten while KIPing have been assumptions that I am pregnant. I mean, obviously only grandmas and pregnant women knit, and since I'm obviously not a grandma, I must be pregnant. [crazy] (I'd like to think that it's fairly obvious that I'm not pregnant, either, but whatever.) I think that's what turned me off to doing baby things - one guy just kept harping on it over and over while I was making a baby blanket for a friend! I haven't done any baby projects since! (I might make a baby cap for one of my instructors, though)

Other than that, most people are usually pretty positive about it, if a little surprised at first. Particularly if I'm working on a sock. Scarves just aren't as cool, I guess.[:00]

"Alright everyone, back to your knitting..."
- Fred or George Weasley, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (movie)
Backstage Stitches
Elysbeth Posted - 02/10/2007 : 10:43:29 AM
I usually tell people that *Children in Communist Countries do this as Slave Labour. How hard can it be?*

I am an Eastern Uncrossed Knitter, so I get a lot of *doing that wrong*. I generally just say *nope, just faster and differently*.

For the most part though, people are friendly. 20 years ago, not so friendly, much more mocking. Unfortunately, 20 years ago I didn't have the courage to advise them not to antagonise someone with an attitude and a handful of pointy sticks.

We don't have to race if we are always where we like being.
HomekeepingGran Posted - 02/09/2007 : 1:29:05 PM
Well, I was crocheting instead of knitting, but in the doctor's waiting room this morning a man watched me for a while and then asked, "How long has it taken you to do that?" We chatted for a minute, then he told me his grandmother made a special quilt for him which he used to have on his bed but has since hung on a wall behind glass. I could feel the love he has for his grandma and his respect for handcrafts. It was a nice moment.

A few minutes later an elderly woman passed through the room and she stopped to comment, too. "I used to do that but I've forgotten how." It was a bit unclear at first, but it seems she wants to crochet, but has done so little that she really needs a refresher course. Surely here in the South she has many friends who could teach her...

These are typical reactions. I love it!


She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands... Proverbs 31:13
Taxigram Posted - 02/09/2007 : 07:13:31 AM
I too do a lot of knitting in public and have had my share of strange comments but one of my best memories occurred while waiting during my friends chemo treatments. While she dozed, I knit and chatted with the nurses and other patients. One of the nurses told me her mother had been knitting a sweater for her son but passed away before it's completion. She asked me if I could finish it for her which I was delighted to do. I was happy to be able to gift that grandmother's love to her grandson.
The funny thing is that I also had an opportunity to complete a crochet afghan for another medical staffer that had been started by her deceased mother. I made a subtle marker so the daughter would always know her mothers loving stitches from mine.

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