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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Natter of Non-Knitters' Faux Pas


I belong to a knitting group whom I met on Ravelry  and we meet in a pub once a month for a couple of hours to knit and natter, as we did on Thursday night.
We are a broad range of people and age groups and experience levels which is was makes the night so random.
I also like that by knitting in public we raise the profile of knitting in the community and hopefully keep it alive as a useful and artful skill. Some people stare at us, some look and smile fondly and some even engage in conversation with us which is the best of all.


While I regale you with our knitting night, I am showing you some images from the wool that arrived this week from "Jellywares". Jodie is having a sale and here is a selection of the exciting yarns I have purchased. I was also so excited by the pretty buttons Jodie included. That has definitely decided the fate of the raspberry merino/silk and it shall become something for me.


So what do knitters talk about?
Knitting....lots of it...yarn, patterns, needles...
But we also talk about science, medicine, education, food, nutrition, travel and religion but I can't recall us ever touching politics.
This month we had quite a lengthy discussion about non-knitters and the things they say and I thought it is probably valuable to pass on to prevent potential faux pas.


To summarise in point form;
  1. Knitting is the weaving of a fine thread into a form of fabric, this takes time, a LOT of time. While we include it as an enjoyable hobby it is still hours of work.
  2. We don't consider it a "favour" that you have found us a little project for us to knit for you. We always have a list of projects that we would like to do for ourselves.
  3. Yes the yarn is a significant cost in a knitted item but it is far outweighed by the cost of the man hours so when you offer to "buy the wool and you could knit me something" that doesn't really cover it.
  4. Think very carefully before you venture to put a price on something we make. Someone once gushed over a pair of socks newly finished and said "These are gorgeous! You should be selling these, you could get $20 for these." When you say something like that we are liable to keel over in shock. 
  5. If you would like us to knit you something it would be acceptable if you bought the wool AND then offered to trade the number of hours worked on the piece for something in lieu. If I spend 15 hours knitting your garment, then you could offer 15 hours of gardening or housework in return.
  6. A knitted garment is designed to last for many years and it is worth the time and effort and should be looked after accordingly. They are not in the same league at all as "one season throw away fashions" and you break our heart to treat them in this way.
  7. A proper "thank you" is required after someone has spent hours making you something, even if it is dish cloths or dolly clothes. 
So if you are a knitter think about joining Ravelry it's a great place for patterns and guidance and if there is not a group in your area, then start one. If you are looking for some beautiful yarn check out Jellywares
If you are a non-knitter, then consider becoming one, there are so many benefits. But if knitting is not for you, do study the above list and it will set you right on etiquette with knitters. 




9 comments:

  1. Next time I meet a group of knitters I shall look upon them with unbounded respect. Have a nice weekend.

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  2. I agree, while I do enjoy creating a garment , payment would be a bonus:)) But not always forth coming,.. It is usually I'll buy you a couple of extra balls of cotton etc..

    I like to purchase my materials from Bendigo Woollen Mills.. and I do love reading the patterns and pics on Ravelry..

    Enjoy the Day :))

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  3. Well said Tanya!
    Knitting is FABULOUS!
    Knitting in a pub is FABULOUSER!

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  4. very eloquently said, Tanya. Thank you for the tip off about 'Jellywares' as I'd never heard of it before. Those yarns are gorgeous!

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  5. Hey Tanya, gorgeous yarn from Jellywares and those buttons are lovely. I'm sure you'll turn it into something wondeful...

    Love the 'faux pas' I think some of them could also apply to those who sew as well.....
    Friends often think they are doing me a favour by asking me to make something for them.

    Now that I've turned a 'certain' age (eek!!) I feel quite able to say 'no' and not feel guilty......all done very politely but I have one of those long lists of things I want to do which is much more appealing...

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend,

    Claire x

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  6. Hi Tanya
    I once saw a group of knitters in Pierre's restaurant. I did pop over for a chat and they told me it was knitting in public week. I thought it was great to see people knitting. I used to be a very prolific knitter. Havnt knitted my grandchildren anything!! I sign of busy working life which makes me a little sad when I think of the beautiful things my Mother made.
    Maybe time to start.
    Chris

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  7. I love seeing people knitting in public and would love to find or start a group locally.
    Love that yarn :)
    x

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  8. THAT is a GREAT list there. WOnder if I should print and hand to non knitters when I hear these words muttered to me.....

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  9. Ah yes, the same faux pas could be applied to quilting! If somebody asks me to make them a quilt (usually a king size bed quilt!) I offer to teach them to quilt instead.

    Love those buttons!

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