Friday, 12 January 2007

Knitting In Public

This last week I've been in darkest Somerset, working away from home. I took my knitting bag with me and as you can see from the photo above, I managed to get some knitting done. I knitted in the evening in the hotel bar, and during the day at work. I'd just like to clarify, by the way, that I knitted at lunch time, not when I was actually supposed to be working.

The reason I thought I would write a post about this is that I often hear people saying that they don't feel they can knit at work (in their lunch hours I mean!), and one reason which is frequently given is that they work in a profession with a high proportion of men, such as IT. My profession is relatively male-dominated, and I have knitted in my lunch hour, without any adverse reactions from colleagues, on many occasions over the last twenty years.

People do often come up to me and ask what I am knitting, and I am happy to tell them. Many people of my age or thereabouts have memories of their mothers knitting when they were children, and so it brings back pleasant memories of their childhood. A very high proportion of male colleagues as well as female have told me that they were taught to knit as children, which surprised me at first, but when I think about it, my brother learned to knit along with me when we were kids, and I taught DSOK and Catbert to knit together when they were little. One colleague even remembered his father knitting!

Now if you really feel uncomfortable about knitting in public, or in your place of work, then I think that you have to respect your own feelings, after all, you have to enjoy it, and if you are tense and nervous then it isn't going to go well! But if you are dying to whip out your latest socks on two circs in your lunch hour and you are just not sure if it will be OK, I hope this post will encourage you. This week I was leading a team of five male colleagues to complete a demanding and intensive task. At the end of the week, we had some photos of the team doing stuff which I had taken as we went along, and the guys asked if they could also take a photo of me knitting to add to them. That's where this photo comes from, and I thought that was rather nice of them. So give it a go, you might be surprised what you will learn about your fellow workers!

Incidentally, I managed to finish the back of Ivy, so I'm going to be starting the left front very soon! I'm really pleased with how it is turning out.


Kai said...

Hear! Hear! I completely agree with this...

I started my new job Dec' '05 and having come back for to knitting/crochet just a few months before that, I was a bit nervous about knitting at work..

I work in IT as a presales/training consultant and it's very male oriented.

There are some at work who take the mickey (my MD who is female) and there are some that ask polite questions.

My boss smiles and boasts to customers when they visit.

My new colleague has some very technical questions about knitting for me!

On the whole, because I am me, I don't actually care what others think.. but it's nice to know that my colleagues are fascinated by the fact that I knit!!! :)

Christina said...

I would knit at work, except I don't work!!! But when I did work, I was always reading a German book or something at lunch, and my colleagues were always asking about it. Ivy is looking good btw. Sorry about the DB tweed enabling ;)

jklwat said...

Knitting!? In public!? You brazen hussy! Have you no self respect? do you think us decent folk want to see you whip out your size nines and watch you knit 1, slip 1, purl 1? No we do not! Couldn't you ask your place of work to provide a special room when you can Intarsia in private?

TutleyMutley said...

What's the matter with knitting whilst working? I've done it, much to my colleagues' amusement. I reckon it helps me concentrate if I can keep my hands busy. Do you think it's rude?

When I was a bus clippie (during student days) I used to sit and knit on the long stretches between busstops. I got 'reported' by an old lady once.

Murdo said...

I think it's lovely to see people kniting 1/it raises the flag for knitting
2/it's a good stress-buster at work
BTW love the blolero you are wearing, did you knit it yourself. It's especially nice that the flower detail matches your knitting project :o)

Knitbert said...

Thank you all for your interesting comments. For those who have asked about the nice green knitted jacket I am wearing, I am afraid I did not knit it, it's from Principles!