Society’s view of knitting: Part 2

Comment from Shana, a really smart knitter friend of mine!

“I think many times knitting in public is perceived as unprofessional — I know that people (typically women) who knit at meetings, conferences, lectures, classes, are sometimes perceived by others as unfocused, not engaged with the meeting, not serious, etc., because they are doing a craft while everyone else is quietly paying attention to the meeting. (The idea that everyone else is paying attention is not true — most people these days play with their phones constantly, doodle, daydream). Anyway, I think that knitting in this situation brings up negative stereotypes of women and handicrafts, and old-fashioned doubts about women’s ability to be professionals. Maybe to some people, bringing knitting to professional places might almost be comparable to bringing your laundry to fold at a meeting.

Obviously I don’t agree with this perception, and I think that knitting can actually HELP me focus on lectures because I’m not tempted to check email or daydream, and am keeping my hands busy and not falling asleep. But this is not how it appears to others. It appears like you are not a true adult professional, like you’re just at that meeting for fun, not because you’re at work.

The really difficult thing for me personally is that despite the fact that I would love to knit at meetings etc., when I see students knitting in my classes or my colleagues knitting at professional lectures, sometimes I find myself disapproving of their behavior and wanting to police them! Sexism is sinister that way, and women often police each other.”

E here now…

When I see people knitting in meetings, I am totally jealous that they had the guts to do it, and I think that is why I have the same annoyed feelings, but I also think that it isn’t professional to bring your hobby to work meetings. I always have knitting in my bag, but just incase I end up waiting for someone at some point in the day. Also the occasional lunch break knitting is cool too.

I think my whole “are knitters perceived as lazy” question came from this thought: Everyone else on Saturdays and Sundays are out in the garden, mowing the lawn, exercizing, reading, doing house chores, and knitters and crafters choose to spend their time in a seated position working on a project. This leads to weight problems and really, I dont want to be an obese knitter. I have to work really hard on regulating my food and exercize and it’s only then that I am able to knit and not feel upset that I am not burning calories or being active. My brain is being active, but my body is not.

I think our country is made up of middle aged women and men who sit all day at a desk and have heavy midsections. I am really concerned about this.

Two weeks away from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival where two years ago, my mother, aunt, and I saw the heaviest people we have ever seen in one place, I am thinking a lot about this subject. I love the fact that there is a blog called Exercize Before Knitting because I think we all need to.


4 thoughts on “Society’s view of knitting: Part 2

  1. Bad form to knit in meetings period. Leave the hobby at home and make an attempt to focus on work at work! you’re getting paid to produce in the workplace not knit. I think you have to balance everything you do – if you love a sedentary hobby then you have to make sure you make time to do the exercise to keep you in shape. I spent 8 hours once on a crossword but i was on a plane and couldn’t move anyway!

  2. E- You are in great shape, constantly think about your health and should not be concerned about a love of yours, your hobby, knitting!!! You’re life is not consumed with it, and you create gorgeous garments while conducting a successful career!! Go for it girlie;)! xoxox

  3. I crocheted my way through most of my grad school seminars where note-taking was not expected – of course crocheting is quieter than knitting…

  4. I think that the problem causing obesity in America has to do with what’s in the food that is most easily accessible and affordable for the majority of Americans, and the power that enormous corporations like Mon___tos (I’m afraid they have spies everywhere!) have on making profit-driven rather than health-driven decisions (at the expense of the wellbeing of their customers and farmers).

    And, yes, we are all sitting way too much. We’re all working too much too — for far less money. The workday should be shortened and productivity (at desk jobs anyway) would probably increase because people weren’t so exhausted and irritated to be forced to stay at work so long for no good reason.

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