Yes. My friend and I regularly meet up to knit in coffee houses (usually a Costa) or a garden centre. We get a lot of comments – whether it’s the nature of the project – like making a sock on DPNs gets a lot of comments because it looks quite strange to someone who doesn’t know exactly what it is your doing, and it sort of looks like a yarn filled weapon. Other times, it’s because a project looks a lot more complicated than it is, and those tend to attract a lot of comments as well.
It’s generally divided into two groups of people – children, who watch quite intently at the actions and what’s going on. They tend to comment [quite loudly] to their family about what it is, what you’re doing and “doesn’t granny do that as well?”. There are the adults that comment – usually about the project, or about how they “wished they had time for it” or “wish they had the patience for it” when really… I’m sure they have both but just no inclination to actually commit to a hobby like knitting. [Okay, that maybe a little unfair, and quite a generic way to paint these people, but it doesn’t take long to learn the basics, and it can be done whilst they would otherwise just be sitting, probably watching the television… something that I just can’t do any more.]
I think for me the worst comment – not a derogatory one or anything like that – I was sitting by myself in the hospital cafe – also a Costa – with lots of people coming in and out. A Dr, I think, sat next to me with her friend chatting away. I was making a sock using Magic Loop and two different strands of yarn, and she insisted that I was doing crochet, despite me saying several times that I was knitting. She kept telling how nice it was to see me crocheting in the coffee shop – with no question in it, just telling me that that was what I was doing. I wasn’t. It was knitting. It annoyed me because she really wouldn’t listen to me. Clearly the use of the magic loop was throwing her, because it is unusual if it’s something that you haven’t seen before.
I was making a hat once, waiting for my Mum to finish having a consultation [possibly operation], and the nurse that was enamoured with the progress I was making as I’d started the day with nothing and ended up with an almost complete hat by the end of it.
I haven’t seen many other people knitting in public though. I saw a couple of ladies doing it in one of the local coffee shops to me – which made me want to run home and get my knitting. And once I was in the hospital – waiting for someone again – and saw a nurse get out some crochet on her lunch break, but it’s really not something that I see often. I would really love to take part in knit in pubic day – like go to an event or something, but it, as always, would have to depend on what I’m working and wether it would be viable.
Overall most people are more curious than anything else. I don’t see why people would get offended at the act of knitting, but I suppose there are people out there that like to get offended at anything and everything.
Do you knit in public? What reactions do you get?