You brought an ice breaker and conversation starter. You probably saved the day for a lot of people who wouldn't know what to talk about otherwise. I've never had any negative comments or looks (that I'm aware of, anyway) when I break out my knitting.
I hope it was a temporary stress reliever for people. I've never gotten negative comments when I pull out my knitting eutger but I wouldn't know if I've received dirty looks. I'm always too busy looking at my knitting to notice.