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Monday Morning Mirth August 1, 2011

Monday Morning Mirth

…as seen at this weekend’s Zara Phillips royal wedding

Well, finally, we have the final word (as published yesterday in the Washington Post):


Over the years I have noticed people knitting in public and have had no particular problem with it. However, I am a bit put off by those who knit in church or at an event such as a recital or concert.

Is it acceptable to knit at a church, synagogue or other religious service? And what about a concert or recital? I recently attended a piano and violin recital in a small venue where someone was knitting in the third row. Surely it was evident to the performers. And if such knitting is not appropriate, how should the knitters be approached, or prevented?

GENTLE READER: Please do not — repeat, not — make a hostile approach to knitters. Have you not noticed that they are armed with long, pointy sticks?

Of all the multitaskers who could annoy you, Miss Manners would not have guessed that knitters would top the list. There is a centuries-long history of ladies quietly doing needlework while remaining alert to what was going on around them.

But perhaps your complaint is that they are not quiet. If the clicking of needles is what bothers you, you could appeal to the authorities at church or concert hall that as they ban texting, it is only fair to ban activities that create similar noise. And if they don’t already ban texting, you might start by asking that they do before going after those comparatively unobtrusive knitters.

Visit Miss Manners at her Web site,, where you can send her your questions.

2011, by Judith Martin

btw, be sure and refresh your browser on Chic Knits pages (or hit f5 function key to reload). We’ve been a tinkering and some stuff might look funny unless you do. ;p

11 responses to “Monday Morning Mirth August 1, 2011”

  1. CindyCindy says:

    God Bless Miss Manners!!!!! I knit in church all the time. It actually helps me focus.

  2. Alex says:

    What!? Who gets annoyed by knitters? I’ve had people actually REQUEST my knitting presence because it’s soothing.

  3. Bee says:

    Thank you for this! Knitting is soothing and meditative and helps me focus too!

    Who could possibly be put off by it?

  4. Gina E says:

    Crack me up! We are a low tolerance people…

  5. What a hoot! Though I generally refrain from partaking when I am an invitee to a ceremony (e.g., wedding) or in church (we are very participatory), I have absolutely no qualms about knitting during concerts and spectator sporting events. (I particularly think it goes well with men’s gymnastics, and I have something handy to catch the drool–)

  6. jdu says:

    Personal desires for activity or distraction aside, one would be ill-advised to knit in synagogue during shabbos – end-of-week religious observance, or other time of devotion, observance or commandment to take a day of rest. Now, what I do at home on Friday night is moderated by my terming my knitting restful and restorative, not my work…. Quibblers will make much out the creativity part, but, that’s my story and I sticking to it!

  7. Bonne Marie says:

    The church reasoning I can go with – too much book work (sing/read) where I go and you’re constantly standing, sitting and sometimes kneeling, but the music performance? Not knittin’ with me ears….

  8. Darci says:

    I recently attend a 4 day workshop where the presenter had specifically noted in the “rules” of the class that knitting was not allowed. I protested loudly and after much debate I was able to finally get her to say that I was not able to focus while knitting. I replied “I am use 2 very pointy sticks – I promise you I am focused. While I followed her wishes during class, I promptly pulled out my knitting at each break and actually taught a few along the way.

  9. Kate says:

    That is hyterical! I am another knitter who focuses so much better when my needles are going. I actually talked/”cleared” it with my pastor when we first joined our church because I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t irritate or distract him!

  10. Meghan says:

    In the day and age of cell phones ringing constantly (and people using very BAD judgement about when and where to answer them) I have trouble seeing how knitting coulde be in any way bothersome. If this person feels that the knitter is somehow pronounicing the church service “boring” by having to do something else, then they are confused. If they think a knitter isn’t paying enough attention to the goings on when knitting, they haven’t tried sneaking past my mother when she was knitting. I swear she could hear the carpet crunch. I can’t imagine anyone being bothered by knitting…..except jealousy that their hobby isn’t as easily transported. Glad to know that Miss Manners sided with knitting.

  11. Jenink says:

    I have wondered about this from time to time…
    and as a knitter although I know that anyone knitting during a mainly ‘listening’ type activity is perfectly alert and paying attention, I also am very aware that most other people present aren’t knitters and don’t know that. And I don’t think it is helpful for me to do an activity that either distracts them, or in some way models to them that listening to the sermon/performance/lecture is not worthy of 100% of my attention. So I don’t. It’s about choosing to put their needs first for the time we are together, rather than them being correct in their assessment that I’m not paying attention.

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