Out & Proud: Knitting in Mixed Company

Knitting can be a very solitary activity.  For me, the bulk of my time spent knitting occurs while alone, kept company by my yarn, needles, and usually the television or my ipod.  Once a week I get to socialize with others of my kind at Stitch ‘n Bitch, a wondrous place where needle crafters gather to bask in the camaraderie of our work and share ideas, information, and friendship.

I had a couple of knitting friends before I started attending these meet-ups, but they live far away.  Finding this group was my first real opportunity to meet with knitters regularly, and it has made all the difference in my knitting and my life.  These women have pushed me to try things I never thought possible.  They provide endless inspiration and support, and through them I quickly learned not to be scared of knitting and that its potential is limitless.

Non knitters in my life politely smile and start to glaze over when I talk about my knitting and the aspirations I have.  I imagine they think it’s cute, or at best wish they could do it too, if only they had the time (ha!). No one outside of my fellow knitters seems to really get how intensely important knitting is to me, how it  enriches and emboldens me, and how utterly anxious and lost I would be without it.

So it was an amazing experience this weekend when I got some knitting friends together in a room with some non-knitting friends at our holiday party.  In a pleasant turn of events, they brought their knitting!

Holiday Knitting
From left: Jenn, Rebecca, Jen, Kelly, and Nancy

I wonder how/if the non-knitters were changed by seeing knitters in action.  I missed a lot of the conversation as I was trying to be a good hostess and circulate, so I would love to know some of the questions and comments you ladies received.  I truly hope you were treated well and didn’t have to fend off too many comments!

Have you mingled your knitting and non-knitting friends successfully?

What is the most interesting thing a non-knitter has said to you about your knitting?

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8 thoughts on “Out & Proud: Knitting in Mixed Company

  1. Thank you once again for inviting me! It was nice to put aside the difficult things going on in my life for a little while.

    Everyone was amazed that I had dyed the yarn I was using for my SIL’s gloves with Kool-Aid. I was also asked how I could possibly knit with all those needles. Since I get this question from my own family, I told your friends that I only knit with two out of the four needles at a time and it’s a lot easier than it looks!

  2. Ha! It would be great to have been a fly on the wall at your party! I can’t say I’ve had that many interesting comments from non-knitters, but the nicest interaction I had recently was on the train coming home from work. A group of young teenage girls got on the train on their way home from school, and two who sat near me watched me knit with their mouths literally open. The moment I looked up and smiled at them, they were full of questions about it, asking to hold the sock, etc etc. They were really sweet and enthusiastic!

  3. what a lovely gathering!

    I know I’m humoured by most of my non-knitting friends. Some are accepting, some admiring, but most are a bit puzzled. When I pull out my knitting in front of my father, he rolls his eyes and says, ‘didn’t take long, did it?’

    For what? i always want to ask. Doesn’t he know pulling out my knitting is a)the most natural thing in the world and b)the way I cope with being around him?

  4. Oh how fun!!! I love that your knitting friends brought knitting to your party!!! I had mine at a party, too…..got it out the following day, while still a guest, and knit alone while my friend was getting a massage in the living room….ahh…for a group. You SNB girls got it good….

  5. Wow – how great is that!

    Somewhat due to where I live I’m usually a solo knitter, and I’ve gradually trained people around me to get used the idea that I knit in bars, parties, etc. But in any of these occasions – I’m the freak. I would love to be able to invite a few of my non-knitter friends to a gathering that had a bunch of knitters! Perhaps then they could get a better understanding of how many knitters there are out there, and I wouldn’t be the lone little freaky knitter anymore.

  6. looks like a great party! everyone is very used to me pulling out my knitting. i think once people see that it doesn’t take you away from the social interaction, they are comfortable–sometimes a little bit jealous!

  7. I would have loved to be sitting among the knitters. So sad that I missed the party. I think the message your non-knitting friends took away from the gathering must have been: Knitting is so cool!

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