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Topic: Social Stigma of Public Display of Knit-fection  (Read 11664 times)
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Alli_Lucy
« Reply #110 on: December 02, 2008 07:14:26 AM »

I've been knitting for about two weeks now and I've already started knitting in public!  I think my favorite thing about knitting is how incredibly portable it is.  I haven't gotten any funny comments yet; I don't think it's all that unusual in my neighborhood. 
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Pirate Mama
« Reply #111 on: December 02, 2008 10:50:25 AM »

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't...If I'm going someplace that people might want to chat with me than I leave the knitting at home.  People are funny about knitting in public, for some recognize it's a quite exercise and leave you be...while others find it an invitation to chat.  Usually those people are knitters who have never tried or they have some story about knitting and they  want to talk to someone who cares.

My Mom finds expensive yard disturbing and so I have explained to her about a gazillion times that if I'm going to spend months on a project I want it to last years and years!  She has now started looking for special yarns at garage sales and thrift stores to help me with my stash!  We both share the excitement when she finds me an amazing deal.  Or she gives me money on my birthday and I buy yarn...then show her the finished project and say "See what you got me!"  She loves that.

My husband is the one who feels self conscious about me knitting in public.  For some reason he associates it with old ladies, and also he feels like he's interrupting me when we talk.  I love to tease him, so it doesn't help that I remind him WE are getting old (like no one will notice he doesn't have any hair on the top of his head, or the mini-van we drive!)  And really-the number of times I interrupt him is far greater than the times he interrupts me...Hello, don't I have a certain number of words to say each day!? (Ummmm maybe I'm making him self-conscious "just because" Hmmmmm- I love to knit!!)



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« Reply #112 on: December 02, 2008 11:31:11 AM »

At my second job, which is my husband's primary job (2 people, 4 jobs, 1 car... Shocked) we often work relatively the same saturday shift. Usually I'm either in an hour later or off an hour earlier than he is, so I usually take either a knitting or crochet project with me and sit in the breakroom while waiting for him.

The first several times the older ladies kept (very excitedly) asking if I was pregnant.
After that, people just started asking what I was making, which is fine. People not very excited about scarves but thrilled with crocheted snowflakes for some reason.

But my favorite:

There was one gentleman (I use the term very loosely) sitting in the breakroom complaining about American women (he knows that I'm a Canadian transplant) and saying that they were self-centered and useless. In the middle of his rant, he turns to me and said something like: "American women need to DO something, like that thing your doing there, that's very attractive."

Umm, please let my husband walk in right now, please let my husband walk in right now....

He's creepy in general but that was just weird.
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yofi
« Reply #113 on: December 05, 2008 11:46:19 AM »

I'm suprised at the number of people who say they knit in class.  I can't imagine that if I'd tried that, my teachers wouldn't accuse me of not paying attention.  Not to mention the fact that it's tough to take notes while you're knitting!

Likewise, I don't think I would ever knit when I was out with other people.  Mostly because I'm a terminal people watcher, and I'm fascinated with observing the world around me.  But I also would think it was rude if the person I was with was focused on something else, not making eye contact, not paying attention to the people they were with.  (I resent it when people fiddle with their blackberries and cellphones when we're talking, and usually wait respectfully in silence until they're done.  ) While physically I *could* knit around other people, I certainly couldn't participate in the conversation, or look up enough to gauge their reaction.

That said I do often knit in public; waiting in lines, on long bus rides, etc.  I voted early the Saturday before election day, and the officials told me as I got in line that it would be a four hour wait.  I was sooooo glad I brought my knitting.  I finished a wool cowl in the time as the line snaked back and forth and back and forth thru the building. There were a few people who seemed interested in the project, and one guy meaured my progess every half an hour or so, as his part of the line passed mine.  (If it hadn't been so feminine an article, I might have given it to him at the end!)
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« Reply #114 on: December 05, 2008 04:47:31 PM »

I would agree that it would be rude, in a social situation, not to engage with the people you are supposedly there to socialize with, choosing instead to ignore them so you can concentrate on something else, like your cellphone or blackberry. But I think most people can do uncomplicated knitting while still following a conversation and even looking at people's faces some of the time.

I guess it's an individual thing, though; I've noticed men in general have a harder time dividing their attention than women, but individuals vary in how hard they focus on one thing and what distracts them.


ETA: You know, maybe this sort of thing seemed more normal in the olden times, when women were more likely to have social gatherings that were also needlework gatherings of some sort--quilting bees, stitch and bitch sessions, get together and make things for charity (knit socks for soldiers, roll bandages, etc.) sessions, or just general coffee klatches where some of the women might bring embroidery or something.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008 04:54:50 PM by wifeofbath » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Alli_Lucy
« Reply #115 on: December 06, 2008 09:22:57 AM »

I'm suprised at the number of people who say they knit in class.  I can't imagine that if I'd tried that, my teachers wouldn't accuse me of not paying attention.  Not to mention the fact that it's tough to take notes while you're knitting!

Yeah, as a university instructor, I would ask someone to leave if they pulled out knitting in class.  To me, it would be the same as texting or browsing the internet - I would interpret it as disengagement with the rest of the class.  Knitting while sitting around chatting with friends is one thing (I do it, and know that many people don't have a problem dividing their attention in that way), but I expect my students to be listening, thinking, and participating very actively in my classroom. 
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« Reply #116 on: December 06, 2008 10:49:54 AM »

Alli, I would hope that you would at least speak to the student first.  I have a problem sitting still in any sort of situation where there's no physical outlet.  Knitting actually makes me concentrate more.  Otherwise all I'm thinking about is how I can get away. 
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Alli_Lucy
« Reply #117 on: December 06, 2008 01:03:42 PM »

Well, I probably would ask the student to put the knitting away or leave (students who text don't get a warning - I clearly print in my syllabus that students who text in class will be asked to leave immediately, but I don't really want to put in a clause for knitting, haha!).  If it was an issue of absolutely needing to do something with one's hands while sitting, I would refer them to the office of disability services, since I'm not legally allowed to make any decisions on that sort of thing. 

Students pay a lot of money to go to college, and I try to encourage them to engage and get the most out of what they've paid for.  In class at the university level, students should be listening actively, taking notes, voicing their thoughts and opinions, and responding to everything that's happening around them.  I simply don't see the need for any additional stimulus. 
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« Reply #118 on: December 06, 2008 01:59:19 PM »

I'm perfectly aware of what is required at the university level, I did graduate from one quite a few years ago, lol.  I just think it would be nice to speak to a student rather then just making them leave a class. As you say, they are paying a lot of money for that class.
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« Reply #119 on: December 06, 2008 04:55:56 PM »

I'm perfectly aware of what is required at the university level, I did graduate from one quite a few years ago, lol.  I just think it would be nice to speak to a student rather then just making them leave a class. As you say, they are paying a lot of money for that class.

Right, but education is not a consumer situation, i.e., the customer is not always right. I think Alli-Lucy's totally within her rights, and referring someone to student services is exactly what she should do if challenged.

A lot of people have commented in this thread and other public-knitting threads (knitting in school, knitting in church, etc.) about how other people might find the knitting distracting, or see it as disrespectful (and then wonder why they can't get away with inappropriate behavior). I'm sympathetic to your plight because I'm the same way, but I as restless as I am, I've always viewed it as my problem.
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