You know people will say these things, think through how you will respond to these delightful comments beforehand so that you are prepared.
You can read the post or listen to the blog here (note: the audio is AI generated, so may not be perfect).
Things Non-Knitters Say
Have you ever been knitting in public and had someone you don’t know come over to chat?
If so, you can probably guess what they are going to say.
It will likely be one of these things:
- “My grandmother (aunt, insert elderly relative here) used to knit.”
- “I don’t have the patience to knit.”
- “Wow, you’re good. You can make a lot of money selling what you knit.”
- “It’s good that you are preserving such a dying pastime. Nobody knows how to knit anymore.”
- “You are SO lucky to have the time to just sit and knit. I am too busy to do anything like that.”
- “If I buy the yarn, would you make one of those for me?”
If you are like me, you might be tempted to come up with a snarky retort (at least in the heat of the moment). But that is rarely helpful or useful and then you may regret having said those things later.
How You Can Respond to the Things Non-Knitters Say
Here I have assembled some of my common responses to these comments from non-knitters. Some are slightly snarky, but not so much as to offend most reasonable people. Feel free to borrow any of these comments for your own adventures when knitting in public.
Comment: “My grandmother (aunt, insert elderly relative here) used to knit.”
Response: “Knitting is really popular among younger people.”
According to a wtop.com article, 70% of knitters (and crocheters) are 54 and younger. Clearly not just an old people’s pursuit.
Comment: “I don’t have the patience to knit.”
Response: I don’t have the patience not to knit. I can never just sit still.
Actually, knitting productively keeps me focused so that I am less likely to be impatient. It is handy to have something creative to do while waiting, especially something that produces beautiful results. It makes time fly by when waiting for appointments, being a passenger, trying not to overreact to stressful situations, and so on.
Comment: “Wow, you’re good. You can make a lot of money selling what you knit.”
Response: Not really, it takes me about 20 hours to knit a scarf (insert approximate time and project here) like this and the yarn is costly as well. Very few people are willing to pay enough to even cover the cost of the materials, let alone the time.
I usually offer to teach the person to knit if this is something they might be interested in pursuing.
Comment: “It’s good that you are preserving such a dying pastime. Nobody knows how to knit anymore.”
Response: Actually, knitting is a vital and thriving pastime with millions of knitters from around the world. New materials, tools and techniques are being developed all the time.
In that same article for wtop.com, Susan Strawn (a professor at Dominican University) “Knitting has enjoyed a resurgence in part due to social media.”
According to the BBC, “all signs point to knitting only growing in popularity in the coming years.”
Comment: “You are SO lucky to have the time to just sit and knit. I am too busy to do anything like that.”
Response: I use a lot of the in-between times to do most of my knitting. Time that would otherwise be wasted: waiting for appointments, travelin, and so on. When other people are playing Candy Crush, I am knitting. While watching TV with my family, I am knitting. When in meetings, I am knitting. It is so portable and compatible with other activities, I can easily fit it into even my busy schedule.
Comment: “If I buy the yarn, would you make one of those for me?”
Response: Sure, I only charge $10 an hour, so that pair of socks will cost $300 plus the $30 for the yarn. Would you like to pay with cash or a cheque.
I don’t actually sell my knitting, but do say this regularly – shockingly, no one has ever taken me up on it.
Please share comments you get and your responses below! Thank you.