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Old 10-16-2009, 09:07 AM   #1
thecatsmother
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Knitting in public...is this wrong?
I am on the board at our local Horticultural Society and when I go to the meetings I take my knitting(usually just the mindless stuff).
Our president called me the other day to say that we would be having prospective new board members attending and asked me not to bring my knitting....he's commented to me before about it and I say I can knit and listen at the same time.
I was not planning on going to this meeting but I told him if I had been I'd be bringing my knitting.Was I wrong?
I should say our meetings are very boring and we talk about the same problems all the time and knitting allows me to keep attending the meetings.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
saracidaltendencies
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He might be thinking it's more of a distraction to new members...Maybe he thinks people are/would be more focused on you knitting than what's going on at the meeting. Honestly, I don't think he's out of line, from what you wrote...
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
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I've never understood why anyone would consider knitting to be more distracting or take more attention then say....taking notes. But they wouldn't object to that, would they?
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
Lighting57
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If you go and take the knitting, sit in the back. That way you are less visible and would not attract as much attention as you would if you were sitting with people all around you.

I understand your reasons for knitting at such functions. I probably would become bored too, especially if the same stuff is rehashed at every meeting.

But:

For people that don't knit, your doing so would pull their attention away from the speaker. I know that if I had spent time to prepare to get up and speak to a group (no matter what the function), I would be bothered by someone doing something that pulled attention away from the business at hand and feel why did I bother to start with. Now if it were a talk about knitting are other similar crafts that would be different. Just my humble opinion though.

Last edited by Lighting57 : 10-16-2009 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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I don't think you were wrong! Unless they're paying you to sit at the meetings, I think it's fine to knit during them. However, looking at it from a non-knitter's point of view, they may be seeing it as rude because they don't believe you can listen and knit at the same time.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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I think that it should be fine for you to do that, if say you have a bit of anxiety when you are just listening and you are a multi-tasker. Some people just cannot sit still and listen, but need to be doing other things. because, if you are not doing something else while listening, your mind is only on not being there at that time doing that. Where as, if you have some mindless thing to do while you are listening it makes it easier to sit through boring stuff. I know someone who has this happen to them and even rolling silly puty around in their hands helps them to pay attentio,n or typing a list of to dos on their laptop while listening takes away the tension of it.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #7
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Actually, I'm thinking that perhaps asking if there's a right or a wrong in the situation is maybe the wrong question.

I've found that it bothers some people if I knit when we're talking. Other people don't mind it at all.

Some people really don't like hearing swear words when we talk. Other people don't mind it at all.

Some people find it really offensive when people ask questions about their lives. Other people don't mind it at all.

Just like I don't use swear words when I know it will offend, and just like there are some people I don't ask questions about their private lives because I know it will offend, I don't knit around some people, or I knit but make it plain in as many ways I can think of that our conversation is just as important or more important.

I've found that with a lot of people, if I'm knitting while I talk to them, if the conversation turns to very serious matters, if I stop knitting and start making eye contact, and then when the conversation turns to less serious matters, and I start knitting again, they seem to mind the knitting less. Other people, while they don't say anything, seem to mind the fact that I'm knitting, whether it's distracting to them, or whether they feel I'm not paying full attention to them.

For the last two days, I've been trying to finish a pair of knitted mitts that are a present to be given to the recipient tonight before we leave town. My friends have been very happy to have me knitting during our farewell get togethers over coffee and scones, knowing that I was still taking full part in the conversations, and knowing why I was knitting even while I was getting ready to leave town for who knows how long. I really hope that I didn't offend anyone by knitting during our farewell get togethers, and was doubly careful to make sure they knew that my conversations with them were more important than the knitting.

I don't really know if any of that helps you.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:44 PM   #8
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I'm with Craw.
I've also known plenty of volunteer and hobby group heads that get an inflated head and think they are the boss. I doubt if your knitting is a distraction to anyone and this guy just wants to be your boss. New people are just another excuse for him to push his weight around. I think you handled it perfectly.

You should go without your knitting, fall asleep and snore. See how he likes that.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:37 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your input
...I had never thought of it as a distraction for other members especially potential new members,nor do I want to appear rude....goodness knows we desperately need new members.
We are a small group usually around 8 people attend and we sit around a table,very informal and when I am bringing up a subject or speaking with someone I always stop knitting and make eye contact,but I do find I can pay more attention to the discussion when I knit as opposed to taking notes or doodling(as I've seen others do).
I've never had anyone else object except the Pres.so as Mike says it could be a power trip for him....he is a bit bossy
I think I will ask for opinions from the other board members
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:01 PM   #10
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I find that not all non-knitters understand WHY we knit. This could be true for this man. He probably has a certain image he wants to portray to the new members and a member knitting at a board meeting may not fit his picture. I guess I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Asking other members could prove valuable.
I would bring the knitting but if the new members seem to be focusing on your hands, then I would put it away. Otherwise...happy knitting!
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