KIP, Margo Style
Sorry if someone already posted this, I was out of town last week when it ran.... By the way, if you're not already a fan, Margo is Ann Landers daughter. She also used to write the advice column, Dear Prudence on Slate.com.
KNIT ONE, PEARL TWO
DEAR MARGO: I am a knitter involved in a number of online communities discussing this popular craft.
Many knitters are accustomed to working on small projects wherever they are -- waiting rooms, public transportation, in the car, etc. As a consequence, the subject of "knitting etiquette" is discussed fairly often, and these debates become heated.
Experienced knitters can carry on conversations while knitting, barely paying attention to the needles in their hands. Many believe that it's perfectly acceptable to knit while in social settings (graduation ceremonies, parties, family reunions, etc.).
The latest debate concerned a wedding reception: Could an experienced knitter bring a small project to a reception without being rude? My opinion is that knitting is inappropriate in any setting that is not casual (like the wedding reception, or a graduation ceremony).
Even if one can listen and participate attentively, knitting away on a sock makes you seem uninterested in the proceedings. I equate it with skimming a magazine or reading a book at one of these events. Can you please share your insight on this? -- POLITE KNITTER IN NEW YORK
DEAR POL: Aha! I am a needlepointer and am always trying to figure out when I can get away with doing needlework in public! I think "casual" is the keyword here.
If, for example, you're at a holiday dinner, say Thanksgiving, where people sit around for quite a while before and after the meal, then it's OK to do hand work -- so long as you can make eye contact every once in a while, and occasionally speak so they don't think you've passed out.
Community meetings, for example, would be acceptable occasions to knit, but any ceremonial occasion would make a knitter look like a clod. (And now, the same conundrum is facing people who use BlackBerries and Treos!) -- Margo, attentively