Knitting Manners

We started Knit Club at school. Off they went into the world, with their knitting. My heart was full. The next day (the VERY next day) they each came running back in to show me their knitting. It was not our day for Knit Club, but they all wanted to show me their progress. You can believe I was happy to see it. One girl came in with about 5 inches of beautiful, even stitches. Oh my WORD. She rides on a “bus” (van) after school to a different location, so on record, she is the youngest commuting knitting EVER.

I have some new addicted knitters and I am thrilled. As their enthusiasm for their new craft bubbled around the room, there was conversation about their projects. “‘Katie’ got her project out in class after she finished her Spanish!”  one girl exclaimed with a big smile on her face! I stood in stunned silence.

Uh Oh.

The girls went quiet.

“What?” she sheepishly whispered. She had no idea what had just happened.
“We need to talk about knitting manners.” I said.  They stood gravely, looking up at me with puppy dog eyes.
“You didn’t get your knitting out in CLASS did you?”

“Well, I was done with my work!”
“Really done? ALL done?”
“Yes! I WAS.”
“Okay, here’s the thing you guys. I am so glad you love knitting. Believe me, I do too. I do. And I KNOW. I GET IT. But the people that don’t knit might not understand. And if we get in trouble with our knitting, then who is that going to come back to? ME!
You now know, and I know that knitting actually centers you. You can feel it, pulling you back to the middle. But other people don’t see that. If someone is trying to talk to you and you are not looking at them, then you are being rude. Yes. Rude. The tricky thing is that it may not feel like that to you. But it will LOOK like that to them. So be aware. ”
This was a startling revelation. So startling that there were no comments.
I went on. “How does it feel when you are trying to talk to someone and they are texting? Rude. SO rude.
There is a difference. In fact, you can knit and have your ears open. If you are not too busy counting, you can listen and knit. But I need you to know, it does not look like that to other people.”
Now that I had compared knitting and texting we were getting somewhere.
Believe me, when we started the club, we had some serious discussions that knitting can NEVER come before academic homework. I let them know they needed to find SOME time to knit each week, but never before their other assignments. “we cannot get in trouble with our knitting, or that will be the end of the club.” They all heard, and took it seriously. But they did not anticipate the level of addiction they were going to feel. They are so young. I thought we would be lucky if they got a project out of it at the end! They have surprised me. And they did not realize the temptation that comes with something that you are able to carry around.
Take away:
For those who knit – Please understand the people who do not knit may think it is rude for you to knit while they are talking. You may feel otherwise. But that is still the way of it. A conversation is a two way street.
For those who do not knit – If a knitter is looking down, it is not the same as texting. The knitting is not speaking to them, and they do not have to form a reply with an emotional connection. Maybe it is a compliment that someone is knitting in front of you. They may want to share their new found passion with you. And they feel comfortable with you.

Who knew that in the new age of technology, that I would have to address some boundaries about an age old, hands-on craft! I think that “knitting” and “screen time” are opposite. And “knitting” and “social media” are MILES apart. But here I was, addressing my new recruits using some of the exact same language! It was startling. I am still smiling at the irony!

How about you? Have you picked up your knitting today?

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9 years ago by in Crafting with Kids , Crafts , Knitting , Needlecraft | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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