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Polite Knitting: Socktoberfest on the Road October 13, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, sock wars, Socktoberfest.

Just back from a four day gathering (well, actually called a “retreat” but when it is work it does not feel so restful). What a conundrum! My Socktoberfest socks are lacy, and involve a chart. It is one thing to knit in the back of a room full of people when one’s knitting is discrete and small. Sounds perfect for socks, right?

But once we have the addition of a chart, and a stand, and the marking of rows, etc. we have a whole new problem.

There are several ways to ensure that your knitting is polite and nonobtrusive (and thus allowed… which is the most important part).

 1. Pick a project that is relatively small and can be knit from memory. I decided to start another set of the oh-so-polite socks of doom.

2. Always inquire if your knitting will upset anyone. I find a good question sounds something like this: “I find that keeping my hands busy allows me to listen better. Would anyone be offended if I was knitting quietly during our session?” Be sincere. If someone seems like they will be upset, put the knitting away.

3. Make sure you really are listening! Contribute to the conversation, if there is one.

4. Set down your knitting every once in a while. Always do this if you are supposed to be looking at a handout, sharing with a neighbor, or writing something important down.

5. Engage with the speaker. Periodically look up and catch the speaker’s eye. Indicate that you are paying attention either by nodding sagely, or by allowing a questioning look to cross your face.

All of these things and more will ensure that your polite knitting is welcome at these meetings. In all likelihood someone else will bring a ball and two sticks to the next one!


1. kirsten - October 23, 2006

Yes! Yes, yes, yes!
Polite knitting is very important.
Thank you for this post.

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