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View Full Version : Do you approach other knitters?


Blissknits
10-17-2007, 08:50 PM
So today on the bus, a "regular" got on, and imagine my surprise when he sat down next to me and pulled out some knitting.

I am reserved. I am from California, where we don't talk to strangers. But I am (kinda) in the south now, where people seem to talk to each other all the time.

I looked at him from the corner of my eye. Twice. And debated this very question. Does being a knitter yourself give you the right to approach other knitters?

Serendipity occurred in the form of a sudden jolt from the bus, which sent his yarn flying onto the floor at my feet. (y'all just go ahead and go "EW!" now, as you think about bus floors)

I couldn't help it. I asked what he was knitting. I asked if I could feel his yarn. Thank goodness, he was gay *and* southern, and didn't seem at all encroached upon, even though we were on a bus and it was before 8AM. We talked about knitting until his stop.

It was kinda weird. The other bus-riders were definitely checking us out. You don't normally talk to the other people on the bus, especially before 8 o'clock in the morning. But because he was knitting, I felt like maybe it was okay.

What do you guys think?

scout52
10-17-2007, 08:57 PM
I approach knitters if they are knitting, every knitter i've ever met enjoys meeting another knitter and enjoys talking about their project because usually their SO doesnt understand.

but i had to stop myself at the supermarket the other day. this college girl from SDSU (and even though i'm 30 i look like i'm 17) was wearing calormatriy (sp?) headband and i almost went to her and asked if she knitted it and what yarn she used bc i sooo loved the yarn and i wanted to touch it.

mdog182
10-17-2007, 09:01 PM
awww that sounds nice!! i really only "approached" a knitter once and it was a customer that i was helping at work so i am supposed to be "friendly" and "chatty". i'm like you though...i don't like to bother other people. but it sounds like he welcomed your comments/conversation. sometimes it's nice to be somewhere where people don't normally talk to each other (like the bus) and just say to hell with it! we are all people on this bus, let's conversate! i wouldn't actually stand up and yell that though...too shy :teehee:

mdog182
10-17-2007, 09:02 PM
but i had to stop myself at the supermarket the other day. this college girl from SDSU (and even though i'm 30 i look like i'm 17) was wearing calormatriy (sp?) headband and i almost went to her and asked if she knitted it and what yarn she used bc i sooo loved the yarn and i wanted to touch it.
hahahaha that is hilarious!!!:roflhard::roflhard::roflhard:

ecb
10-17-2007, 09:34 PM
I talk to strangers in knitting stores all the time

I talked to my waitress at breakfast this am quite a bit (seems she HATES knitting on Circ needles) and I decided to convert her and I bought her a set of 16" circs and a skein of lovely blue green yarn, (she will say MMMMMMM when she touches it)
and I put in a pattern for a simple twisted ribbed hat
and dropped it back to her in the middle of the lunch crowd, she was like "NO WAY, oh WOW"
felt good to start someone on the road to addiction (this addiction anyway)
I was walking the dog hoping she would pee before i went into the yarn store and I looked in a gallery at the lady at the main desk who was knitting. She and I locked eyes and i nodded and smiled at her. I think she GOT it

knitgal
10-17-2007, 09:53 PM
I encountered a crocheter in the laundry room of my apartment. She works for one of the older people in my apartment and was doing their laundry. She was crocheting a blanket for a commission actually. I just asked about what she was doing and told her that I knit. People are often VERY surprised that I knit. I guess they don't expect young women to knit.
Also, one time in the shoe store I used to work at I asked a woman if she knit her scarf. It just looked handknit, you know? She did and told me all about something she was knitting for her granddaughter. I find it can be a great ice breaker.
We were in the emergency room friday night (long story, everyone is okay) and I had my knitting. I whipped it out and started knitting my scarf. Several women watched and one older woman said "she's a pretty good knitter" in a surprised voice. I wish she had come over and talked to me, but it may have been a little awkward in the hospital.

Ingrid
10-17-2007, 09:56 PM
I don't often see someone knitting, but if I do, I always at least try to see what they've got going. A new teacher at work is a knitter, and I found that she sits with me at meetings so she doesn't feel uncomfortable pulling out her own needles. I've always got mine.

I was waiting at the ER one time and some Chinese women came over and examined my knitting:teehee:. All they could say was 'pretty colors' but gave an appoving nod.

Songbirdy
10-17-2007, 11:27 PM
I rarely see someone KIP-ping, so I usually do say something when I see someone else knitting...

if my daughter doesn't get in a "My mudder's a knidda" first..

Quiltlady
10-18-2007, 01:53 AM
There is NO way I could have have someone sit right next to me and NOT start up a conversation about their knitting. :knitting::knitting:Good for you!!

Sheridan
10-18-2007, 02:47 AM
Well, I am originally from New Zealand, and we talk to everyone, so its a no-brainer for me :woot: you can't shut me up.

iwouldratherbeknitting
10-18-2007, 05:28 AM
Oh honey.. I'm from the south.. and I am shy.. but, very friendly.. IF I saw anyone knitting.. anywhere... I would talk to them and I have.

I have had people on planes say something to me and me to them. I don't see many people knitting in public.. but, the few times that I have-- I have talked to them. Most knitters are by nature 'giving' people- so, they are NOT going to take offense if you talk to them. After all, those that don't knit are already staring at them.. and I'm sure that they'd appreciate a conservation w/ a fellow knitter.

I knit in public all the time.. even on the street 'waiting' for a friend to pick me up for while (car was in the shop) and I've knit on the subway here in Korea.. I get stared at all the time- since, I have NEVER seen anyone knitting in 8+ years of living here.. 'knit in public.' However, I did see one person crocheting on the subway once.

I've had people approach me in other countries if they see me knitting. Now, we might not know how to 'speak' each other's languages.. but, knitting is a language all it's own. I show them what I'm doing/etc.. and I've had some even write down a stitch pattern that they've seen me knit.

I live where there is a big yarn market and sometimes some of the 'yarn sellers' will come up to me and actually touch and try to figure out what I've done.. or they recognize the yarn as one that they sell. I try to take anything that I've finished back to the people who sold me my yarn.. so, they can see what I've done.

I have had quite a few people look at me with what I'd like to think as a little envy (USA and overseas) wishing that they had thought to bring their knitting or wish that they knew something like that to keep them entertained while waiting.

Non-knitters will even approach me and share about some relative/etc. that knows how to knit.. (ok, usually they get it mixed up with crocheting) and I do my best to explain what I'm doing/etc.. I figure if I take the time to 'educate them' that maybe in the future they'll want to knit or be more appreciative if they ever receive a knitted gift, or see someone else knitting. Children seem to stand still amazed at the knitting procedure.

So, go ahead.. approach those knitting.. share your most recent project.. they will not take offense.. after all.. they are OPENING UP THE DOOR by knitting in public, right?

sylvia
10-18-2007, 07:55 AM
i actually chased a women down because
she was wearing a beautiful capelet
she was surprised and happy that i liked what she made
sylvia:knitting:

msoebel
10-18-2007, 09:23 AM
As my dh says, I have no problem talking to anyone, about anything. On our flight to Dallas a few weeks ago I had a lovely conversation with a mennonite woman with a baby. It turns out she was born in the town where I went to college...and NO ONE ever knows where Waxahachie, TX is! We had a lovely talk.

On the way home, I was reading a book (sort of...I was also entertaining my dd) about raising your children while you are in full time ministry. The gentleman sitting next to me told me all about his daughter, who is a youth pastor.

No wonder I pursued a degree in counseling, huh?:wink:

I've found that people who don't want to be bothered will let you know right away (short, closed answers are pretty good indicators) but usually, people like to talk about what they are doing and what is going on in their lives. The smallest connection with another person can really turn your day around.

So talk to other knitters! I try to always make a point to comment on whatever they are making...and find something to compliment.

Plantgoddess+
10-18-2007, 09:38 AM
I have also found that most people appreciate someone taking notice of an activity being noticed and commented on. It's not just knitting. Look how often someone walking a dog gets greeted.
I will strike up conversation with people I see doing something interesting, most are willing to discuss their activity at length and sometimes you may make a new friend.

stirsmommy
10-18-2007, 09:55 AM
As my dh says, I have no problem talking to anyone, about anything. On our flight to Dallas a few weeks ago I had a lovely conversation with a mennonite woman with a baby. It turns out she was born in the town where I went to college...and NO ONE ever knows where Waxahachie, TX is! We had a lovely talk.

On the way home, I was reading a book (sort of...I was also entertaining my dd) about raising your children while you are in full time ministry. The gentleman sitting next to me told me all about his daughter, who is a youth pastor.

No wonder I pursued a degree in counseling, huh?:wink:

I've found that people who don't want to be bothered will let you know right away (short, closed answers are pretty good indicators) but usually, people like to talk about what they are doing and what is going on in their lives. The smallest connection with another person can really turn your day around.

So talk to other knitters! I try to always make a point to comment on whatever they are making...and find something to compliment.
I have a friend who was raised in Waxahachie. But she went to school in College Station. I love the name but she and her family are the only people I have ever heard of that are from there.

msoebel
10-18-2007, 10:00 AM
I have a friend who was raised in Waxahachie. But she went to school in College Station. I love the name but she and her family are the only people I have ever heard of that are from there.

I was just in Waxahachie last week! Dh's family lives there now, so we get to go back about once a year. I wouldn't want to live there, but I love to visit!

Sharly
10-18-2007, 10:17 AM
I would definitely talk to someone who was kip'ing, but I've haven't had the opportunity to do so. I've kip'ed twice this week in restaurants. Once the server (a very good looking young man) just kept staring at what I was doing, but he never said anything. I kept waiting for "my Grandma does that"! :)

bip
10-18-2007, 11:56 AM
I'm from CA and now I live in Boston where people also don't talk to each other. I ride the subway to work and it is rare to see another knitter. I actually sat right next to another knitter for about 30 minutes and neither of us said anything to the other. It is just so risky striking up a conversation on public transit. Before you know it, the other person is telling you about the cult they are in or their neo-nazi beliefs or how their dad abused their cat and you are totally stuck until you get to your stop. Then you have to pray you never see them again.

Of course, if someone asks what I'm making (knitter or not), I am delighted to talk about it (though the risk of them being nuts is the same). I guess maybe I find it flattering that someone is willing to risk the possibility that *I* am nuts to ask about my knitting, lol.

Abbily
10-18-2007, 11:59 AM
I would definitely have started chatting with him right away! :) I live in the South, and have all my life, so I guess it's just natural to me. I start up conversations with random people all the time, and people do the same with me.

Sharly
10-18-2007, 12:34 PM
I'm with Abbily - I think it would be really hard to move to a place where people didn't acknowledge each other...boy, they would really think we were nuts!!:eyes:

bip
10-18-2007, 12:44 PM
I'm with Abbily - I think it would be really hard to move to a place where people didn't acknowledge each other...boy, they would really think we were nuts!!:eyes:

I know it seems a bit strange, but I've figured out why it is. The city is CROWDED. Wherever you are, you are surrounded by people. Even in your home, which is likely a condo, you are constantly aware of the presence of other people. And everyone needs "alone" time. So when you are out on the street, it is important to let people stay in their own little worlds. That may be the only alone time they are gonna get!

This even seems to extend to when you normally might apologize for lightly jostling or bumping someone! (unless you really disturb them, of course)

Of course, there's nothing wrong with being friendly. I usually at least smile if I'm walking on an uncrowded street and pass someone going the other way. But I usually don't say "good morning" or anything. A friend of a friend moved here from the midwest, and he says hi to every single person. He sounds like someone on a receiving line, "hi, how are you, hi, hello, morning" Never stops because there's no break in the flow of foot traffic!

bitchknitty
10-18-2007, 12:47 PM
I'll talk to anyone ANYWAY....but I'm SO not shy about approaching other knitters. I've never met one that doesn't enjoy meeting one of their own. It's kinda funny, since knitting is such a solitary activity....but I've always found other knitters to be friendly, approachable, and QUICK to offer advice and ideas if you're stuck on something.

Songbirdy
10-18-2007, 01:13 PM
:roflhard: I have to laugh because I agree, I can't not talk to people when I am out and about in our new 'city.'

My kids and I are so social, having been country farmers for so long.

In fact I had someone say that to me once, "You've got country in you!" Why thank you!

scout52
10-18-2007, 01:20 PM
i actually chased a women down because
she was wearing a beautiful capelet
she was surprised and happy that i liked what she made
sylvia:knitting:

well that makes me feel better about wanting to approach the girl at the supermarket bc i loved the yarn in her calormatriy :teehee::teehee:

MerigoldinWA
10-18-2007, 02:54 PM
I love to talk to people of all kinds and knitters in particular. I always like to talk to people about my knitting and believe in "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". But I understand some people like to be left alone. As someone said, if you get short answers and get the feeling they want to be left alone, I can do that too (but I don't like it LOL). I have to say I don't understand people not wanting to talk, but it takes all kinds. :-)

KT120
10-18-2007, 03:04 PM
I have only seen another KIP other than me and that was on a trip I took recently. We happened to be sitting across from each other and ended up talking most of the way. I even had the same colorway she was knitting into a blanket for her son. She marvaled at my ability to read patterns and I marveled at her ability to make up patterns.

I would defenitely strike up a converstation with anyone I would see knitting. I also do beleive we as knitters are a friendly group.

sinistral_needler
10-18-2007, 03:40 PM
I would approach a random knitter and make some chit-chat. Here in Wisconsin, people tend to be extremely outgoing and friendly. Probably the opposite of California! :) Striking up a convo with a stranger anywhere, like the checkout line, is not out of the ordinary.

dip's mom
10-18-2007, 04:00 PM
I would like it if someone came up and talked with me about knitting. I was in the bookstore a few weeks ago, looking at the knitting books and wearing one of my projects that I am particularly proud of. Another browser complimented me on it and asked about the yarn and the pattern and I was more than happy to talk with her about it. I was so glad she noticed!!!!!

CindyS
10-18-2007, 04:15 PM
It takes a lot to get me to pull out my needles in public, but I did at the kids' dentist office the other day and the hygienist approached me about it. She said she might pull out her needles and start up again, and I told her I wanted to see her handiwork at their next 6 month checkup, lol. I would LOVE for more people to approach me while I'm knitting because I love to talk about it!

Abbily
10-18-2007, 04:18 PM
I always knit while I wait during my daughters' dance class, and I actually ended up teaching two other moms to knit, and convincing another one to get out the afghan she had finished for her hubby, but didn't like the border, and redo it. :)

iwouldratherbeknitting
10-18-2007, 06:18 PM
I think that one can't get more isolated than where I live.. it's a city of 16 million, shoving and pushing is just part of the culture.. no one says "I'm sorry or Excuse me", and I don't speak the language at all. Oh, I can say about 3 things.

This is the only country that I've lived in -- where I did NOT learn how to say: "Excuse me".. and I finally figured out why.. NO ONE USES IT!

So, I do understand about the 'isolation of city life' and if someone was 'crazy' .. I think I'd be able to figure it out from their body language, their gestures? Cause body language, is the same' for the most part. Of course, the advantage is that I don't have to listen to them TALK about the strange, crazy, bizarro things that they do- due to the language barrier. :D

AND.. the fact that I do knit 'in public' in waiting situations.. does earn me many, many stares... but, they are more of 'I wonder what she is doing?' or 'Wow! Look at her.. she's doing that on 5 pointy sticks!' but, when they smile and nod at me.. I just figure that they are knitters or know someone that knits.

I've lived overseas for 18 years now.. and basically people are people.. no matter where you go. I do know that I've had a much more enjoyable time of it- met some really great people in random meetings.. all because of my southern upbringing and not being afraid to approach others. After all, if you don't speak the language.. you are already quite limited at best.

Some of my best memories were because of 'random opportunties' that just present themself to me.. but, I had to be the one to take advantage of them too. I've found amazing places to eat- by asking the first person that I saw. I've been fortunate that I've not run into those that would cause me harm.. but, then again.. "WHEN I GET THAT BAD VIBE FEELING" I make sure that I listen to it and that has been what has kept me safe, I'm sure of it. Because, I have gotten the 'bad vibe feeling.'... at times.

AND, I know that there are crazies in the world.. and I'm sad to hear that it changes things so much 'in the not taking the risk of the outside one's circle of friends/family' of communication.. but, I understand it.. it's just sad to think about.

AND.. trust me.. I really, really am shy.. but, I will engage anyone that is receptive. AND, I do it w/out speaking the language. But, as I said.. "PEOPLE for the most part are the same everywhere."

AND.. I have been helped so many times and have helped others.. by simply responding to gestures and attempts at communication. AND, I know that 'my friendliness' is part of it too... and a smile can open doors.

AND.. I do understand.. fearing for one's safety, fearing crazy people.. but, what a sad, sad, world it is coming to.. reminds me of that book 1984.. maybe I should get it out and re-read it? It's been since HS.

AND, since, I'm from the south. .it took me awhile to STOP WAVING at every car that I saw!! Those from the south- will know what I mean.

bobi1218
10-18-2007, 08:28 PM
I talk to everybody anyway, so I guess its no surprise that I would start a conversation with a knitter :) I once started a conversation with a girl in line at the Southwest check in counter in the Phoenix airport, because I recognized the sweater she was wearing (it was from IK, but now I forget which one...). I totally embarass my DH, because I'll just start talking to anyone!

amy
10-18-2007, 09:13 PM
I have no problem approaching another knitter. Knitting is such an ice breaker, and I can always think of a gazillion questions or comments about what's in their hands.

Personally, I adore knitting in public, I always have, even as a kid. I enjoy the interactions it brings.

Blissknits, I think it's great that you talked to that knitter on the bus, good for you! It seems to me that anyone KIPing will expect some interaction. Also, I understand that men KIPing can get downright negative vibes from folks, so it seems like an especially good thing to offer positive, friendly words, as you did. We knitter are naturally drawn to each other, and that's a good thing. :)

Lisa R.
10-19-2007, 12:25 AM
I haven't been knitting that long, but I don't recall seeing anyone in public knitting. However, I've been approached quite a few times by fellow- knitters, and always have a pleasant conversation--even with the woman who asked me what I was crocheting the other day! Another woman approached me, and we had a nice conversation...she had a thick accent and explained that she knits the German way, and how she loves to knit sweaters, but now lives in Florida and has no need for them, but she knits as much as she can, etc.

I think it's a great way to start a conversation, and I can't imagine anyone being offended by someone striking up a conversation about their knitting!

Sunny_Singer
10-19-2007, 02:06 AM
I'm not sure I have approached a knitter.... however, I have had other knitters approach me lately.

It seems every where I go, anymore, I end up near someone else who knits. One day about a week ago, my hubby said I needed to hide my knitting so he could talk to me for a change! LOL.

rissa
10-19-2007, 11:19 AM
I always bring my knitting to Taekwondo practice. And it gets noticed, but I get the typical "I could never do that, I don't have the patience" responses, lol! I have approached other knitters at work before. One gal was knitting a beautiful fair-isle sock! I just couldn't help but stop...who could blame me? :inlove: