Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 20 of 30 Days of Knitting

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.

Reason #1:
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.

Reason #2:
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.

Reason #3:
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.

Reason #4:
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!