Knitting Series: Knitting in Public

Let’s talk about non-knitters.

As many knitters know, sometimes the most tedious interactions in our lives happen with complete strangers. For some reason, there’s something about knitting that seems to compel people to walk up to you and strike up a discussion.

For an introvert like me, this is hell.

I’m always tremendously polite, of course, but they always seem to interrupt me when I’m at the most complicated part in a pattern, and I just want to ask them to please leave me in peace.

So here are the top 5 interactions I have with non-knitters, what I actually say, and what I’d like to say

1. “What are you working on?”

What I Say: It’s a hat! I’m making it for my brother, he really loves the knitted hats I make him.

What I Want to Say: Hat, sock, shawl, does it matter? No matter how much you peer at it, it’s not going to look like the thing I’m making because I only started it yesterday.

2. “My grandmother used to crochet, it’s pretty much the same thing, right?”

What I Say: Well crochet is with just one hook, and knitting is with two needles, but they are very similar.

What I Want to Say: No! They’re completely different! Do not compare my sacred craft to that layman’s activity ever again.

3. “I just don’t have the patience for knitting.”

What I Say: Oh it’s really not as bad as you think, I like to watch TV while I do it.

What I Want to Say: I don’t have the patience for this conversation.

4. “That looks complicated.”

What I Say: No, actually it’s really easy once you get the hang of it.

What I Want to Say: Yes, it is. And you’re distracting me.

5. “You could sell that!”

What I Say: Aw, thank you! I actually have thought about selling my creations.

What I Want to Say: Do you have any idea how much I’d have to charge just to make up the cost of this yarn, not to mention my time?

Of course, I know people always mean well. Besides, there’s that tiniest chance that that conversation may one day inspire someone to join the knitting community, which I think makes it worth it. You have to share the warm, cozy knitting love whenever you can!

What are your most common interactions with non-knitters? Do you get frustrated when people approach you, or are you more friendly than I am? Let me know in the comments!


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