Last week, we brought you a few stories from our readers about their experiences knitting and crocheting in public. Today, we want to share a longer story from Jessica Leete of Orchard Park, NY.
I often spend my weekend mornings at the local Starbucks for a few hours, enjoying my specialty coffee while working on my most recent crochet project. Although I love the coffee shop atmosphere, it can often get quite noisy as well, so I usually also bring my laptop and earbuds so I can listen to music or play a TV episode in the background to help drown out the noise. As a result, I am often zoned into my project, completely oblivious to the sounds and activity around me.
On a number of occasions, I have looked up from my project to find someone sheepishly standing right in front of me, who has undoubtedly been clearing their throat a few times to get my attention, while I unaware, had been crocheting away.
I quickly pull my earbuds out and apologize that I hadn't heard them. On most occasions, it is a a woman who simply wants to pass on a compliment regarding what I am 'knitting'. I always give a big smile and a 'thank you', while politely clarifying that I am actually crocheting, but reassuring them that they are quite similar and easily confused. I love these small chances to spread a little knowledge on these two crafts and their differences.
In one instance, I was actually addressed by two guys from the adjacent table. The one looked at my project and said, "You are crocheting, right?" Impressed, I replied with "yes" and a smile. He continued that his grandmother used to crochet all the time when he was young and that he didn't know crocheting was done any more.
I definitely had to stifle a laugh. I told him that crochet is still around and actually becoming quite popular recently. I loved the opportunity to increase the awareness of my craft.
My favorite instances though are when kids are around. They don't just stare, but they come right up to my chair and stand next to me watching my every yarn over and draw through. They cannot help themselves—they are just so curious to see something they never have before. The parents are always embarrassed and try to call the kids away, but I quickly intervene and assure them it isn't a problem. I happily answer any questions they have and show them step by step how I complete each stitch.
My most kid encounter involved two young sisters, maybe 7 and 5, sitting in the big comfy chairs nearby. I noticed them watching and sent them a quick smile. They took this as a signal that it was OK to approach and they quickly bounded over to my table, the mom following behind to ensure they weren't too intrusive. At that time I was just finishing the toe section of a toe-up crocheted sock. The older girl pointed to the project and asked if it was a mitten.
I put the toe section over my fingers and said, "Yes, it does look like a mitten top—that is a very good guess! This is actually the beginning of a sock, however, and would go over your toes." She then asked who I was making them for.
As I glanced towards her younger sister, I said, "I am actually making this pair for my younger sister."
Their mom, who had been standing right behind them observing, stepped in and said, "How nice! See it is important to make things to share with your sister." The older girl put her arm around her sister and gave her a quick hug.
An opportunity to teach how your craft can be used to spread a little love? Best part of all!
Do you have a story you want to share about crocheting or knitting in public? Share it with us in the comments and you could be featured on our blog!