Knitting in public.
Anyone who has known me longer than 10 minutes knows that if I'm sitting, I'm knitting. Sometimes even if I'm standing (in line...making a speech...showering...that kind of thing) I'm clicking away on something. Nothing big or complicated comes in my purse if I need some on the go knitting, but I always have a hat or a sock. Why am I so obsessive about this? That is the million dollar question. I decided to really think about it as a result of something that happened last weekend. I was taking a class and the first half was lecture. I pulled out a sock and began to work. Now, here is the thing. I was knitting the foot which was in stockinette. No need for a pattern. No need to count. No need to even look actually. I was listening attentively to the instructor (who happens to be a good friend of mine) and absorbing the information. I even thought ahead to bring a project on a long circular needle to do magic loop so I didn't have to worry about any of the needles being dropped on the floor. I thought I was golden.
About an hour in to the lecture, I was asked to put my knitting away.
I froze. What just happened?
Now, it might sound extreme. In fact, I'm positive that it does, but this is the truth. Tears stung my eyes as I quietly put my sock back in it's ziplock baggie and slid it into my purse. My husband was sitting next to me and studied my expression as I stared forward blankly out the window. Now it's not just the knitting that caused the tears to come. I also hate being 'reprimanded'. If I think I'm in trouble, I will cry. Always have, probably always will. If I had been distracting other students, I would have understood this a lot better. However, I was not bothering anyone. I was quiet. I was sitting still. I was listening. Without my knitting, I began to fidget. I couldn't keep my feet still. I found myself wanting to poke my husband's face. I wanted to dig in the purse of the woman in front of me. I wanted to throw little pieces of paper at those around me. My mind wandered. When is lunch....will we get done early....I wonder if that's a 31 bag....and pretty soon I realized that I hadn't heard much after having my knitting stopped. Later on, the person who asked me to put my knitting away reminded me that we were there to listen and said it was like texting through a class. I said, "Knitting is how I listen. It quiets my mind and lets me absorb information."
Too bad, so sad was the sentiment that followed my plea. And it is. It really is.