Great Knitting Debates – Knitting in Public edition

I love when blog post ideas just come to me, especially on the day that I want to be publishing a post!

Today, I’m looking at another Great Knitting Debate.  The subject – knitting in public.  I’m not necessarily talking about heading to the park and setting up the needles.  I’m more specifically talking about knitting at meetings, in the movies and other places in which knitting is not the main purpose.  I love knitting in public when knitting is what I’m supposed to be doing.  I struggle more with knitting when you are supposed to be doing something else.

For me, it really depends on who I’m with and what exactly I’m doing.  I’ve tried knitting at movies and I just don’t like it.  I feel like I’m not paying close enough attention to either one.  When I’m at home and can turn on a light or rewind (ok, this term is probably showing my age) the movie if I miss a part because I dropped a stitch I’m good with it.  But if I actually go to a movie at a theater I want to focus on that, especially because most of the time I go it’s with my friend’s kids and I like to stay in the moment when I’m with them (I’m pretty sure they are not going to be wanting to go to the movie with me very soon 😦 ) Also, movies are expensive – I want all my money’s worth while I’m there.

In recent years, I’ve seen people pull out knitting at continuing education classes I’m required to take for the day job.  As much as I would love to do that (and I would LOVE it) I can’t make that leap.  Here’s my thought on this – odds are slim that the instructor is a knitter.  Non-knitters do not understand that we knitters can knit and listen, comprehend and even converse all while knitting.  They seem to think that what we do with strings and sticks is magic and requires all of our brain power to accomplish the magic that is knitting. Based on that underlying assumption, I feel that I’m being rude by pulling out my knitting during these classes.  This is what stops me most of the time.  Now, if it’s a video replay, then we’re talking!!!

This issue came up this morning (aha, and a blog post is born!).  I had a board meeting for the non profit I serve and at the meeting I was being elected President.  This means I have to lead the meetings.  At the last couple I have quietly knit on my socks kind of under the table and by now our board members are used to me knitting at meetings.  Currently, I’m working on a test knit with a deadline and I have a LOT of knitting to do on it yet so 3 hours of time was a lot of knitting time.  I did pull it out (it’s not quite as compact as a sock…) and worked on it on my lap and led the meeting.  I think it helps that everyone there is accustomed to me knitting during meetings and have learned that it does not interfere with my ability to contribute.  In fact, many are well trained and ask what I’m working on. I managed a number of rows this morning (everything in the light pink!)

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In the end, I guess I come down in the middle of this one.  I’m not anti knitting in public but I do believe there is a time and place for it and most of it has to do with where I’m at, who I’m with and what I need to be doing while I’m there.  I almost always have a sock with me so if the situation presents itself I’m all set.  And, I do believe (and this might be slightly controversial) there are times when we just need to put the knitting down and enjoy what’s going on around us!