Knitting in Public

There’s an interesting thread on Ravelry all about crazy things non-knitters (muggles) say about knitters who are doing their thing in a public place.  Some of them are hilarious, including the “ya know, you can get 6 pairs of socks for $7 at Walmart” and “you’re going to hurt someone with those sharp pointy sticks!” and my personal favorite, “would you please stop doing that…you’re bothering my child.”

I haven’t really had many comments.  I’ve had some interesting looks, but not really any comments until about a month ago.  We were camped out in a primo spot for an outdoor concert, and I was knitting 2 socks on one circular needle. There was a group of people nearby, including an older couple…I would guess in their late 60s, early 70s.  The gentleman stared at me for at least half an hour before finally asking “what are you doing?”  I told him I was knitting socks.  “Hunh,” was his reply. His wife, however, jumped in and gave me an interesting glimpse into her knitting life. She didn’t care much for knitting, and told me she had to be really inspired by the beauty of the pattern to be willing to knit.  I tried to keep up the conversation (chatting with strangers is not my forte) and mentioned that I enjoyed the process and the productivity…I like knitting most anything.  This made my conversation partner think less of me.  I got a positive scowl as I was informed there was no point in knitting potholders or dishcloths or anything else that wasn’t breathtakingly beautiful (defined by her as having lots of cables).

I hope my socks recover quickly without much emotional scarring.  They clearly did not fall under the category of “breathtakingly beautiful.”


4 thoughts on “Knitting in Public

  1. Jana (aka KnitTwit)

    Hey – c’mon! Functional can be “breathatingly beautiful”! Let’s face it – finishing something certainly is… And it IS the creativity of knitting that keeps me coming back and trying new things, including dishcloths, socks, and yes – even cables!! Keep up the good work!

  2. Marsha

    I’ve been lucky enough to escape (so far) rude comments from strangers watching me knit. A friend of mine wasn’t so fortunate last week, though, when our knitting group met at a coffee shop. A woman stopped by to ask what she was knitting, then declared, “You’re doing it the wrong way.”

    Granted, the woman was from Eastern Europe and knit continental style, whereas my friend is an English-style thrower–and I suspect there may have been some non-native-English-speaker-who-isn’t-perfect-with-the-nuances-of -the-language issues. But still…

  3. Jewel

    I get the “you can buy socks at wallmart for alot cheaper” alot! But until you wear a pair of hand knitted sock and had the joy of knowing that you made them yourself, you really can’t understand.


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