Day 20: Do you knit in public? Was anyone offended / incredibly happy / curious that you were doing so?
I have only knitted or crocheted in public a few times. Or, actually, I guess I've done it more than that if you count sitting in a car in a parking lot (while waiting for my husband to come back out to the car). Once while I did that, I had the windows rolled down, and a woman who parked next to me commented on the doily (favorably) and asked if it was very hard to crochet lace. :o) (I answered that it wasn't really that difficult, but it was time-consuming. Possibly I should have added that it can require patience, because soon afterwards, I found a mistake and had to rip back and re-do!)
Apart from that, I can only recall knitting and crocheting in public twice-- once per craft-- at family get-togethers. Both times, someone commented on it-- favorably / curiously ("What are you making?"). I can't imagine anyone-- especially in my family-- being offended at the sight of someone knitting or crocheting in public, unless possibly they felt that it was a situation where you should be giving all your attention to someone or something else...
That said, I rarely make the choice to knit/crochet in public (beyond sitting in the car on long drives/waits), for a few reasons.
Not enough time. I don't often have occasion to go out and sit in public for extended periods of time. When I do need to go out, I'm usually busy doing something else the whole time, so there's no time for knitting.
Inconvenience. Even with small projects, it can feel like a hassle to make sure I bring everything I need-- and often my projects are too large to be convenient for hauling hither and thither.
Consideration for others. I often worry that if I pull out my knitting/crocheting at a get-together, it will seem rude-- like I'm purposely shutting myself off from everyone else (more than usual (g)). Now, I know this is silly. For one thing, I don't usually talk much, anyway, being more of a listener in groups. Also, I am fully capable of crocheting/knitting and following a conversation. I don't think anyone would really care whether I crochet... But then I come back to the "not enough time" issue, unless it's a long get-together with extended periods of just sitting around and chatting.
Shyness. People are likely to comment on / compliment whatever I'm making, and that just makes me feel awkward. (*sigh*) Logically, I know they're only trying to be friendly and take an interest in what I'm doing-- and maybe the interest is even genuine-- but I can't help but feel that they'll think I'm tiresomely fishing for compliments... "Ooh, look at me! I just pulled out a crochet/knitting project and you can't help but notice what I'm doing, so you are now expected to say something nice about it." I feel somewhat the same way about giving handmade gifts. (*embarrassment*) This is why I think I'd feel less self-conscious knitting/crocheting in front of strangers (on public transport, for instance) than in front of people I know. I don't care as much what strangers think of me.
...Wow, this got long. Obviously, I have some Issues to work through, on this topic. ;o)
I do like seeing what other people make-- no matter what craft they do-- so I should probably just not think so much about it and carry my most portable WIP around with me wherever I go. Maybe I'll be the spark that gets someone else interested in learning to knit or crochet!