Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Planning a Knitting Presentation

A couple of months ago, when I was asked to give a talk about knitting, I thought, "No problem! I can go on and on about the subject." But maybe that will be my problem.

My first hint of the challenge was when they told me about the three areas that the local University Women's Club needs to cover throughout their year: social, intellectual and the arts. Hey, knitting topics could cover their whole year in one meeting!

The group will meet at the shop in November to hear what I have to say. As I read and make notes and prepare, I remember that I won't be preaching to the choir. Some of these ladies won't have heard of Ravelry or Stephanie Pearl-McPhee or Knitty. There may be some who don't understand the pull of this "art with a purpose," or who may not, like others in our communities, have great respect for knitting. My job, if I choose to accept it, will be to win them over to the knit side.

Lately, I've been collecting comments from other knitters, comments that they've heard about knitting. And guess what? Many of them aren't all that respectful. In fact, the comment that made me start collecting comments just rots my handknitted socks every time I think about it.
It is the reason for my working title for this talk: "Knitters are the Rodney Dangerfields of the creative world - we don't get no respect!"

Recently, a visitor asked me how I got involved in knitting and why I opened a yarn shop. After my brief explanation, what did he say? Two simple words: "I read."

Maybe I shouldn't have been offended, but there was just a hint of arrogance in his tone. Stunned, I said nothing. What I really wanted to say was, "Hey, I read, too. Sometimes I even read while I'm knitting. Can you do that?"

Don't worry. I kept my mouth firmly closed.


  1. And yet, a part of me wishes you hadn't kept your mouth firmly closed...I giggle to think of the expression that would've crossed the smug face had you actually said something in reply...you're still the best in my books, Joan!

  2. The poor ignorant sod wouldn't have got it but I would have said it anyway.

  3. Here's something you may be able to use the next time somebody chooses to say something like that to you:

    "The idea that someone would feel smug for NOT knowing how to do something seems a little ridiculous to me."

    And leave it at that.