Taking notes while knitting?

I have found that knitting is the only known way for me to manage my Attention Deficit Disorder. When I sit behind the computer programmer’s desk, knitting a scarf takes enough of my brain-power to keep my mind from wandering-off from boredom — but leaves enough of my mind free that I am still able to work on the task at-hand.

Problem is — the day will come when I will want to go back to school – and I’ll need to stay mentally in-tune with the class, and at the same time take notes. Seeing as knitting is the only known thing that can prevent my mind from wandering off – does anyone have any suggestion how to do this and still fulfill my student’s obligation to take notes?


Will you be in a physical classroom or taking online classes?

If online, you might try a speech recognition program that you set up on your computer. It can be slow, but perhaps it might work well enough for you to get a skeleton of the class material down. Then, immediately after class you could go back and fill out your notes more fully.

The only other option I can think of is learning to knit with one hand, but I’ve never seen or heard of anyone doing that! Hey, maybe you’ll invent a new way to knit!

My dear Sophia, I think you should get one of the myriad electronic gadgets - maybe something as simple as a tape recorder. Then you can get the audio of the class while your fingers do their flying and you can make notes from the tape later.

That’s what I’d do. Good luck, Jean

Depending on the campus where you’re enrolled, the Disabled Students office (or similar services) may have help for you. If you’re “out” about the ADD to others on campus, approach the Disabled Students office.

I would also strongly recommend approaching any instructors whose classes will be affected by this ahead of time and in person. It is very demoralizing to be giving a well-planned, interesting lesson to people who have voluntarily enrolled in your section, only to see someone engaged in an obviously non-scholarly activity (in this case, knitting; in another case, sketching very detailed portraits with pencil on art paper).

Let your instructor(s) know that the knitting is a coping mechanism for you (for stress, ADD, whatever), and let them know how you plan to cover the material they present. How will you get the notes? Will you use office hours for specific questions you need more information on? (IOW, re-assure them that you won’t be asking for a rehash of the lecture.)

This way, when other students gripe to the instructor–and you can be sure they will, one way or another–s/he will be able to say, with perfect truth, “She and I have discussed the situation, and I don’t find her behavior disruptive in the least.”


I have the same problem. I went through my university’s disability support services program and they provide me with a letter containing the accommodations that I need, one of which is permission to knit in class as long as it is not disruptive. I audio record the lectures and listen to them later to take notes and study.

Get a digital voice recorder and record the class. Be sure to talk to your instructors and let them know that you are Paying attention, you have ADD and knitting is the best way to keep your mind focused. Most professors will be willing to let you knit away as long as you do something small that is not disruptive and are able to answer questions when called on.

I agree with those who suggest working through your disability services office at your university. With documentation of your learning difference, you can get accommodations so that you can record your class and come back to it later. I would not recommend recording your class without talking to the disability services office.

In meetings, I’ll knit something relatively easy with a pen and paper nearby, and jot down the big points as I knit.