« In like a lion.... | Main | E is for Ether »



A very measured cand tasteful stash of sock yarn. A lovely,cool sea of blues.
What's to be embarrassed about ?


You know what's interesting? I think I was with you when you bought about half of that yarn. Nice to see a red in there. ;-)

Interesting point about behaving in ways that won't offend, and the spectrum of ways in which one can pay attention. I personally think we should all write to the paper and chime in.


I wouldn't be embarassed about that sock yarn - it all looks great. As for knitting at conferences, I do that quite a bit at library things. I usually check with the speaker in advance, just to make sure they understand that it doesn't mean I'm not paying attention, blah blah blah. I've never had one complain.

Rachel H

Interesting people's reactions to knitting in public situations. I knit on every conference call I take at my desk, which my manager is perfectly well aware of and has no problem with as it's actually the only thing keeping me focussed on the meeting some days. (yes they're that boring) But I won't bring the knitting to a meeting I attend in person where I believe the people around me may be distracted by it.


I think knitting during a lecture is better than doing the crossword puzzle, sleeping, text messaging people, reading something unrelated, talking to the person next to you, etc. etc.

I always knit at med student lectures, but never at grand rounds, etc. Mostly because I don't want to drag my knitting around through the hospital. Germs. Attendings remember me for it, and often ask me about it later when they see me. I generally get a good response to it.


Your sock yarn stash is lovely.

I ony bring mindless projects to conferences and meetings. Something I can work on without looking and that is not too fiddly or bulky. I don't want to distract others by drawing attention to myself.

I find that knitting helps me pay attention. It seems to occupy that part of my brain that would otherwise wander and start pondering important topics such as carpet pattern, what they will be serving for lunch and whether or not the person in the third row is color blind (did you see that ridiculous outfit?).


You clearly need more color in your stash. That's the ONLY reason to be embarrassed. The last journalist who dissed knitters had to publish a public apology. Keep reading her column. She may be forced to do the same.


I would get so much more knitting done if people wouldn't be offended by it. And as long as I'm not counting stitches or needing to take notes or read something for a sustained period during the lecture, I can attend to anything while knitting. But most people don't understand that, plus, it marks you as a bit of a nutter. I've kept my needles stashed at many moments in which knitting would have been perfect, here in this job. Bummer.

The sock yarn stash, as Emma points out, is tasteful and lovely. I think it's beautiful. Flash it with pride.



Don't be embarrassed!

I've been dying to knit in law school lectures btw but I know it would NOT be looked on kindly. *sigh*


I think that photo is just about right. I question your statistic about 8/18ths not being screamingly blue, though...unless it's just the camera, about 7/8ths of it looks pretty blue to me. ;-)


That stash looks gorgeous--what amazingly great taste you have! :D You have nothing to blush about. Of course, you could always send the yarn on to other happy homes if it really bothers you (not mine, though, as I think my yarn stash rivals yours in size). :D

I had surgery last week, and the anesthesiologist is a knitter, too! I told her about your blog, and I hope she checks it out. She was very, very cool and did a wonderful job (she even kept me talking about knitting while the nurse put in the IV to keep me calmer and not freak out, as I tend to do around needles). Maybe you guys should have an anethesiology knitting conference and get CMEs for knitting and boards. :D


"Not knitting because someone might be offended is an icy blast from the '50s, when women were extremely careful to behave in ways that would not offend."

I have never thought of it that way, and in fact have avoided knitting in places where I thought it would give offense. Shame on me!

I do think, however, that working women might need to consider how professional they look knitting at an industry conference. While I think we all agree that knitting helps us pay attention, so much of business success is based on others' perceptions of us, like it or not.

julia fc

My thoughts when I read that yesterday, exactly.


Non-knitters (I believe) perceive our knitting through something boring through a lense of jealousy. Simple jealousy that we are having fun while they are not.



I'm not even going to comment on the sock stash...except to say mine is bigger! As for the knitting at conferences...it depends. Those of us who attended college in the 60's and 70's, when knitting was "hot", know that knitting was present and accepted at college lectures. Knitting is taught as a way to get kids to focus at the Waldorf School and public schools in India. I tell the teachers at my mandatory real estate continuing ed classes that I can knit, or I can sleep...their choice! (I did notice that I am no longer the only one doing so at these insultingly boring seminars....what guy is going to take on ten or twelve women with sharp sticks in their hands!) But, I think there are some occasions when I wouldn't knit...just trying to think of one.


I always bring my knitting to colloquia, and to my lab meetings. I fall asleep otherwise, regardless of how interesting the subject is (really; I fell asleep in a colloquium (sp?) I was dying to hear), and I agree with Theresa that knitting is less distracting than sleeping. Especially to the lecturer. And even though Martha's comment is spot-on, I'd still rather be chastised for the lesser evil.


Maybe it is a generational thing? I knit during a burlesque performance I was made to attend with cousins. I was miserable and twitchy in a small, uncomfortable seat at a stupid, stupid play.
Eventually I pulled out my knitting, which let me hold still and defused my tension.

Later on I was told that I had humiliated my mother - who was not there - by doing such a rude thing, one that made my comtempt for the performance so clear.

Beth S.

Aw. Look at that little bitty sock stash. It's so cute! The red skeins seem to have blundered into the shot accidentally... "wait, how did we end up here?"

Interesting comments today. I've often felt a bit anxious about whether or not to knit while I'm attending a lecture, concert, etc. If it's a musical event, I'll often knit before the conductor comes out, and then at intermission, but not during the actual performance. Not because I think it's rude, but because I fear other people might think so.


Hmm, that seems like a tasteful and restrained sock yarn stash. You probably need more. :)

So, will you be sending in a rebuttal to that etiquette response?!


Just like breastfeeding in public, the public needs to get over our knitting in public.


For me, crocheting in a talk is a compliment, because it means I'm not sleeping. I get *more* out of a talk when I'm crocheting than when I'm not. I'm also getting more than the people doing crossword puzzles and reading their e-mails, even though they may *appear* to be taking notes.


Oh... and I'm envious of your stash. Please ignore my drool. ;)


what's the address to send letters to "miss conduct" (that should be spelled misconduct!). i would like to vehemently protest the thought that these knitters are rude, and not paying attention. i have discovered over the years (and they are not inconsiderable, lol) that i pay better attention if my hands are occupied. knitting, particularly something mindless like a stockinette sock, or sweater in the round, takes the fidgety edge off for me. i can't sit still otherwise. i work in ajob that requires me to "sit" for 8 hours a day. yeah, right. i sit, i stand, i literally exercise (i'm a phone jockey, and you'd be amazed at the exercises you can do while tethered to the phone, and the customers dont' even know it, lol!). and all because i'm not allowed to do anythign with my hands while i'm working. what a farce. can i go knit in her face (yes, i'd be willing to drive to boston!)


ok, i know i commented once, but then i read all the other comments, and had to say something. if i gave a rat's patootie about what other people thought, i wouldn't be the person i am. i am KNOWN for my knitting. even at work (i pull something out at breaktime EVERY break, even the 5 minutes between eating lunch & going back), i'm known for my knitting. i'm working on my fiance. if i don't bring my knitting, it's out of deference to him, not other people. however, he's getting used to it. and considering i'm going to turn this into a business venture once we're married (in 6 months, ack!), i WILL be knitting any and everywhere. he'll get used to it, lol. one thing i'm grateful for is his support in this venture.


Last year during my endless sea of second-year lectures, I happily knitted without stopping. Instead of making me pay less attention, it actually made me MORE attentive. My classmates were surfing the internet, which for me requires all of my brain power, and my ears turn off. While knitting, I am less prone to becoming crankily bored, and more able to just accept that a lecture is long and tedious. I would always chose patterns that required little thinking or looking (lots of holiday scarf work), and left me free to look at the endless stream of power points!


Awwwwwww.......look at the preeeeeety sock yarn. *sigh* So soft....so lovely....but girl, yeah - you need to 'get out' more with the sock yarn colors. I hear CTH makes a lovely potluck called 'brights' for instance. That would, of course, be.....er.....completely hearsay. Yah, that's it, hearsay.


I sent a letter to the Globe pointing out that as an elementary school teacher, I can vouch for the fact that many people NEED to move their hands in order to focus. And I would have thought that "Miss Conduct" would know that, given that she's a PhD in psychology. Maybe she was too busy reading Jane Austen in class that day. Ha.


I just love your stash of sock yarn. Whenever I feel like yarn is required, sock yarn is the way I go. Mine is now embarassing as well. I have Opal, CTH, Brown Sheep, Trekking, Pattons, and the list goes on and on. And, thanks for reading my sorely neglected little blog. I am back to posting.


The sock yarn is lovely, but I have to say that I agree with Norma -- looks pretty blue (not that there's anything wrong with it.) I don't have much experience with knitting during lectures. I do know that I've opted not to knit at board meetings in connection with volunteer work, because it doesn't feel right. (Although I've thought about it on occassion when debate goes on and on). And I do not knit at work. I do at movies, although I put it away when the theater gets dark. That had to be one crazy conference :-)


I initially thought one of the researchers who knit through seminars and colloquia was rude but this idea was smashed down when she always had an insightful comment, question or devestating criticism. Far less rude than one of the more senior lecturers marking student's essays during the same - can't imagine how he was giving due care or attention to either.


18 socks worth of yarn is nothing to be ashamed of. Now when you get to 118 - which is probably very close to my own total at the moment - we'll talk ! Enjoy it all - it looks lovely!


18? really? I'd have thought more, but can't explain why I'd thought that. (your phenominal taste is obvious though, given that the handpainted nature of most of those skeins; quality always trumps quantity.)

As for knitting in public/lectures/class, I can't imagine the public speaker at the front of a 150 - 400 person lecture caring what I do at the back of the room. I do knit at small lunch talks and grand rounds, but my needles stay under the table and it's mindless knitting. (of note: a hospital social worker saw me knitting and mentioned that DHS sent out a memo stating that knitting during meetings and workshops will not be tolerated anymore.)

I've been thinking about how knitting during class kept me going and if it's a cruch for my learning or not. Most of the professionals I've seen recently (with a pt hat on) affirmed that I simply did what I needed to do to concentrate and get through. Now, however, I'm on psych and rethinking (overthinking?) everying. I sure hope it's not a crutch...

Have a great trip!

lynne s of oz

Heh. You were writing about knitting in conferences? I was told that I was NOT allowed to knit during the conference that my work held (and that I helped organise) becaue it was "rude."
How much ruder was it that as soon and as often as i could, I escaped because I am an introvert and need my quiet time rather than having to be friendly with everyone all the time? Let me knit and I am sociable. Don't let me knit and i turn into a gibbering wreck...
Love the sock stash! I have to blog all of mine properly. Plus I just got three more skeins...


I'd like to knit more in unusual places (e.g. lectures) but I've heard some people say that the sound of the needles is really offputting. I'm sure this would only be true for non-knitters but that's most people I know. One said that it would be a bit like having a fidgeting child next to you while you were concentrating at a business meeting. I expect it is more the movement than the sound, myself, as you dont get many people clicking on steel needles these days. I don't get the rudeness criticism tho'. It's obvious that people's hands are on autopilot if they are knitting while watching a screen etc.


I went to a small women's college with small classes. I wasn't yet a knitter, but I've always remembered this professor who told us that many students used to knit during lectures instead of obsessively scribbling notes. He was trying to encourage us to loosen up and just listen!

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Moon Phases

    moon phases