What’s so frightening?


A while ago I spent some time with people who share an interest in something that has to do with technology but mostly with aesthetics. An artform using technology as a tool, if you like. I was helping them with their art but also had some time to knit. This was aparently an eligible subject for teasing. I did not know it was but figured it out quickly enough when I found myself in the middle of constant remarks about my “crochet”, even after having gently corrected that misapprehension, and the fact that I had even brought my knitting to begin with. I have nothing against crochet but I want my knitting to be recognized for what it is.

I’m okay with being teased about knitting, me and my knitter friends do it all the time, but when people who don’t know me start mocking me the same moment as I get my knitting needles in motion, I don’t find it very funny. Especially since these jokes, or whatever they might be, are not particularly fun to begin with.

What is it with knitting that makes it laughable? Especially in a situation where we were all creating art but my art also had the advantage of warming people. Is it that some art is worth more because it includes technology? Is two sticks and some string not cool enough?

I was once given this picture by a non-knitter co-worker, accompanied with the words “It’s about an old lady who knits too much, I thought it would suit you”. When I wasn’t laughing at this, mainly because it’s not possible to knit too much, the person said the killer words “I hope you can appreciate a joke”. Well, I can, when the joke is fun, and I wouldn’t want to inslut the person by fooling him/her into believing that it was fun when it wasn’t.

I know that if you are a public knitter, like me, there will be comments. Usually the comments from strangers are nice ones, like how nice it looks when I knit or that they get inspired and want to go home and pick up an old project they abandoned fifteen years ago. I was once knitting at a coffee shop in Kyoto when an older lady approached me and started talking to me and we had a great time looking at my knitting. I have no idea what she said but she smiled a lot and we got along well bonding over knitting.

These are the comments form strangers. Non-strangers that are not really friends usually have some snidy comment and I don’t know why. Ignorance? Freight? Do they feel threatened that I can do something that they can’t or won’t do or that I have something that I like doing so much that  I do it everywhere? I don’t know but let me tell you, it’s good that I have my knitting because my patience with this is slowly but surely coming to an end.