Knitting in company

(19 Posts)
MeRichard Sun 31-Jul-16 10:04:20

Just wondering what people think... Had some friends over and one of them brought their knitting with them. As we sat talking, drinking, sharing stories and photos, and so on, they got their knitting out.

Many of my older relatives knit (or used to) but none did it in general company like this. Do you think it is rude or completely acceptable? Is this what keen knitters do as a matter of course or was the approach of my older relatives more typical?

MrsHulk Sun 31-Jul-16 10:05:30

It's totally normal to knit in company, I'd do it and have friends who do as well

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sun 31-Jul-16 10:10:35

It isn't unusual for a keen knitter and I wouldn't think it was rude. I have a lovely friend who knits socks constantly. She used to drive a taxi and she got into the habit of having her knitting in the car for when she was waiting for someone to finish their shopping etc.
Your friend might have had a deadline for finishing her work, or may just find it easier to relax and talk without feeling lazy if her hands are busy. It might be just the way she makes herself comfortable, or she may be trying to get rid of a worse habit like smoking. Whatever the reason, it's unlikely to be meant as an insult to you.

MrsHulk Sun 31-Jul-16 10:28:28

Tbh I've no idea why you'd find it rude - a competent knitter will still be listening and chatting while they knit. Even if they occasionally need to stop to count stitches or something they'll still be listening to you.

SecretMongoose Sun 31-Jul-16 10:32:44

If she's a keen knitter I guess she may already go to a 'knit and natter' session so is probably used to it. I'm a knitter but it's still fairly laborious for me so I couldn't do it because I need to concentrate. Wouldn't mind at all if someone else did it, it'd be rather nice.

LilacInn Sun 31-Jul-16 10:36:53

Miss Manners and other etiquette pros are fine with knitting, hand sewing and other quiet tasks during social conversation.

MeRichard Sun 31-Jul-16 11:32:19

Interesting thoughts thank you.

I find it distracting that they are constantly looking at their work, counting, looking at patterns and so on. Little eye contact with the other people there. Cadence changes with their interest in the conversation - no movement when they are speaking, actions speeding up and slowing according to their level of engagement otherwise.

I am not anti-knitting by-the-way. If they were playing a game on their mobile phone it might not have been any more distracting but I would have felt as awkward with that too.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sun 31-Jul-16 11:38:43

It depends on the situation a bit...

If I had a group of friends around for lunch or something I'd find it rude, but a group of us sit in side room waiting while the kids do an activity & one of the women knits while we chat, I don't find that rude.

...but mostly it's rude. It signals that the knitter isn't fully engaged in the group, especially if it's not just a 1:1 meeting.

Plus others might find the clicking & movement irritating.

(BTW I'm a knitter)

ExtraHotLatteToGo Sun 31-Jul-16 11:39:23

Yes. It's no less rude than playing on your phone.

PeaceOfWildThings Sun 31-Jul-16 11:51:47

Rude yes, but some people knit and crochet to assuage extremely difficult (invisible) MH problems. Best not to judge. They are there in the room. Perhaps they needed to bring their knitting along to be there.

EBearhug Sun 31-Jul-16 11:57:37

It's no less rude than playing on your phone.

If you're doing a difficult pattern with a lot of mixed colours or complicated stitches, maybe, but if it's a straight piece of knitting with just knit and purl, a competent knitter can do that without looking at it all the time. I've yet to find a phone activity which doesn't require looking at it, unless you've got it to your ear, which is as distracting as looking at it.

MrsHulk Sun 31-Jul-16 15:52:18

Hmm, if they were constantly looking at patterns, counting stitches etc then they're either very inexperienced or knitting something v complicated. I can actually see how that would be distracting and look like they're not paying attention.

I'm curious though - would you still think it rude if they were just knitting something simple? I knit baby blankets and literally barely glance at the needles, as it's so automatic. As somebody up thread mentioned, for me it's a way of coping with special needs that aren't that visible

illstarttomorrow Tue 30-Aug-16 11:45:10

I'm fine with it and it's quite normal for us, even do it in the pub

Saucery Tue 30-Aug-16 11:51:22

I do think it's a bit rude if they are using it to ignore people talking and only tuning in when it interests them. But then I use it to tune out Staff Room Bores grin

diddl Tue 30-Aug-16 14:55:09

Seems odd to me to take your knitting with you when you go to a friends house.

lnewborough Wed 31-Aug-16 11:21:41

I don't think it's rude at all - most of the women I know are keen crafters and so knit/crochet/sew in the company of others. I understand that some might find it distracting but I think it's lovely - plus some of us (cough) have nervous hands and it helps to keep them active so we don't fidget.

If you friend is having troubles, maybe direct her to this post about reading the pattern before you begin, it might help?

tribpot Wed 31-Aug-16 11:25:38

Not rude in general (I've knitted in meetings on occasion) but it sounds like your friend was knitting something requiring quite a lot of concentration. That's not on - knitting should be done in addition to the conversation not instead of it.

I knit in the cinema - being able to see what you're doing is definitely optional smile

claraschu Wed 31-Aug-16 11:41:25

Lots of people knit without even looking at their hands. I think that's completely fine. Some people even knit as a form of therapy, to calm their fidgety ands down and make them less likely to do more irritating things like bite their nails or play with small objects...

SerenDippitee Wed 31-Aug-16 23:09:46

I do this often. Since the smoking ban pubs have become much more knitting friendly. However, I wouldn't complete a very complex cable or intarsia section in company - I stick to the boring, straightforward stuff that I can do without looking at my needles.

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