History · Knitting

Problems of Public Knitting

A man writes: My question concerns this knitting business, which the female sex has again taken up after a lapse of some years. I think the come-back of knitting is one of the finest things that has happened in this modern age. Besides being an enjoyable and quiet pastime for the girls, it is also an economical movement, since good sweaters, socks, shirts and other things can be made cheaper than the same quality can be purchased: But here is the point that defeats the advantages:

Groups of girls are taking their knitting everywhere they go, even to meetings. The other night there were at least 25 girls at our Sunday school association meeting who were knitting – which to me, as a speaker, was very annoying. So much so that gradually I felt more and more insulted as I found that the audience did nothing to help me put my message across.

My answer: I hope you won’t think me unfeeling if I find it unreasonable to demand that the audience keep its eyes on the speaker. I myself spoke to several hundred women not long ago, among whom were an appreciable number who were knitting busily throughout my talk. I am afraid I am less modest than you are, because it did not occur to me that I ought to feel insulted. After all, had they not wanted to hear me speak, they would not have come to hear me.

The Oregonian, January 30, 1934

He would NOT have been a fan of Knit in Public Day!

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