Tuesday, August 1, 2006

KIP-ping (Knitting In Public)

Some knitters are of the opinion that Knitting In Public (KIPping) is alienating. As in "Oh, it makes you uncomfortable that I'm sitting here knitting during [activity]? I'll just put it away. Is that better?"

I feel that these are the same people who conform in every aspect of their lives in order not to ruffle anyone's feathers. I won't sacrifice my own comfort for the comfort of strangers, and although I have been approached by a number of crazy people when KIPping, that hasn't been enough to stop me.

I knit in the movie theater (sans the dorky/cool light-up needles). In fact, at V for Vendetta, I found that I could do all of the tricky parts of a sock in the theater. Woo! I knit through my "optional" lunch meeting, which spurs conversations of all kinds before/after the main topic of the meeting is discussed. I knit my way through high school and college, finding that it helped me concentrate on the lecture.

Why hasn't it been an issue for me? Because I can maintain eye contact, and participate in the conversation while I knit. Not normal eye contact either. The "staring contest" kind of eye contact, which is a little creepy. But the point is made, and I only do it the first time my ability to participate in a conversation while knitting is questioned.

I usually knit socks in public, since they're super-portable. However, I found that while I was watching Carnivále and working on my Peaseblossom socks, I goofed up a couple of times on the mitered squares. There was some profanity involved while I frogged; There is nothing more frustrating than screwing up something so simple because of the riveting subject matter that the show deals with. These are not "meeting appropriate" socks, simply because of the potential for both swearing and showing my co-workers that I rip things out.

(Ripping= not being super-amazing, like they believe me to be. It's like seeing Superman trip on his cape. Completely undignified and it just doesn't fit expectation. My readers/friends in real life know me better than that- blasts of profanity, ripping and all.)

The most awkward KIPping experience I had was when I was dating Zak- after his truck had died. I had driven him to SCVC Rehearsal, and instead of spending the whole time driving home and back, I took an aran sock that I had been DYING to start- but hadn't had the peace to get familiar with the pattern.

Memory Montage Sequence

I found a Starbucks near the corps hall, got my latté and a table, and started knitting. For about ten minutes I was grooving and in a very Zen knitting place.

A woman parks herself at my table and starts chatting with me about knitting. I was polite (but had to put down what I was working on, since it required my undivided attention at that point), but the conversation went like this:

Crazy Woman: * talking at the speed of light about how she knit while she was high because it made her head feel good*

Jasmin: * Trying to pack up without her noticing, because you don't want to make a crazy person think that you don't want to be around them. *

(45 minutes passes in this fashion)

Crazy Woman: I have to go outside and have a cigarette now or I'm going to choke you to death.

Jasmin: * Throws everything into the bag, runs to car, locks door, drives like mad to corps hall, where she pulls in just in time to pick Zak up.*

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