What do you think...okay to knit during a meeting?

DH and I are at odds… lots of ladies at my church will bring knitting to meetings (not formal services) and just happily knit along while listening. I would LOVE to do this but DH thinks it is not appropriate behavior. He would feel the same if I wanted to take it to the local city council meeting so it isn’t that it is church.

What do you think? Do you “knit in public?” during meetings or other times your brain engages and your hands keep busy?

Just wondering…

I knit in public all the time. IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS!!!

Tell your husband to loosen up and bring your knitting. It’s perfectly acceptable.

Knitting does not interfere your hearing, does it? Ask your hubby WHY it is not appropriate.

i dont so it for work meetings, but i sure would for a city council meeting i was witnessing. i knit just about everywhere i can.

some lecturers are offended, so i do not knit in CME lectures, ACLS etc, except on breaks.

Since you wanted our opinions,
I would never knit in public where absorbing what is being said or done is important not just my presence (like sitting in a waiting room). I would find it quite rude and wouldn’t do it.
Do you not stop knitting when someone speaks to you and give them your attention totally, eye contact etc?
To me, what a person is saying or doing is more important than my need to knit, and the person may be upset that you don’t care enough to pay attention and as I said, to me a person is more important.
You aren’t totally listening when you are doing something else. Whether it’s just making sure your pattern is correct, whether it’s just counting stitchs, you are being rude and basically saying sorry you or what you are saying and doing don’t deserve my entire attention.
Even when I knit watching TV I have to stop and look up occasionally and I know I’ve missed small things which of course I don’t usually care as it is TV. (gotta love rewind)
Would do you do other things while listening to someone else speak to you? shrug I can’t imagine sitting in a study and putting on makeup, eating lunch while no one else is, painting a picture… The list goes on, Im sure you can think of others.
As always, Im the “other side” but that’s my two cents.


:XX: Knit away. You can knit and listen at the same time, if you couldn’t LYSs wouldn’t be able to hold knitting classes. When something catches your attention or you want to ask a question, you’ll know. Women are great at multi-tasking-we raise families after all.

I KNOW I listen better at meetings when I have knitting. I avoid bringing something that requires constant chart reading or pattern checking, though, because that will distract me.

If I don’t have knitting, the little voice in my head is asking me what I’m going to do after the meeting, where I’m going to stop on the way home, what I’m going to do about dinner, etc. When I am knitting, that part of my brain seems to be kept busy and shuts up.

We have small meetings twice a week at work and I fully participate (sometimes to everyone’s surprise because I look like I’m not paying attention).

My husband used to complain about a woman at church meetings who would knit. Even though I explained it to him–from personal experience–he didn’t want to hear it. So too bad on him. He’s wrong. :wink:

Large meeting, yes – small meeting, personally I’d ask whoever was running the meeting if they would be offended. I think we all know that knitting doesn’t take away from our paying attention to people, but there are people out there who are really offended by it for some reason. I have a family member who is STILL mad at my mom for knitting at a gathering that happened almost 20 years ago. I know, I know, lighten up, right?? :roflhard: But still, I’d rather err on the side of not ruffling featheres in a meeting/ministry setting. :smiley:

I just spent several days in a conference and made a ton of progress on the Irish Hiking Scarf I’ve been working on. It was a large conference (100’s of people) in a dimly-lit room. So the speaker couldn’t see me, and I was able to stay awake and retain more than if I hadn’t had the knitting to keep my hands occupied.

I would think a small conference might be a different issue (depending on the formality, I guess), but I don’t think it’s any different than reading the conference materials, doodling, etc. But I would also hope that if I were disturbing those around me that someone would say something.

For me, it depends on the meeting. I, too, listen better when my hands are in motion - otherwise, I tend to be distracted, get fidgety, etc. But I won’t knit it I think people will be offended, or if it seems like my knitting my distract me, or if I’ll be doing a lot of talking at the meeting, or if the meeting is very small and my knitting might distract someone else.

This week I went to a Trustees meeting at our church. For the first hour, I didn’t knit. But after an hour of listening to all the minute details of buildings, grounds, and finances, I couldn’t stand it anymore and had to break out my knitting. I had brought a sock, so it was small and discreet. I kept it in my lap rather than out on the table in front of me. The people at the meeting, mostly men, didn’t seem to mind (some of them didn’t even notice). Afterwards a woman at the meeting asked what I was knitting and told me she thought it was a very intelligent thing to do (knit at the meeting).

FWIW, I’m the pastor. Sometimes I’m the one running the meeting, and I never mind if I see someone else there knitting. (I even saw a little girl knitting once during worship, which I found very endearing).

I have to admit that I agree with Quietheart. I think it’s very rude. I’ve heard that sometimes a graduate student knits in class. I think this is very rude, and stupid on their part. You’re paying rediculous amounts of money per minute you sit in class- and you’re not paying attention?! So, there’s my two cents.

On the other hand- if it’s a big public event- like a city council meeting- I think that would be ok. I guess my problem is if it’s small, and/or you are expected to participate.

I would say that it depends on the meeting. I would ask the person conducting the meeting what his/her thoughts are on KIP during the meeting. I knit @ church while my husband practices for Sunday service, but I put my knitting away after practice :wink:

I knit everywhere… from movie theaters to stoplights to restaurants to bus stops. I do not, however, knit in any situation where I want to reassure another person that I’m giving them my undivided attention.

I was taught that good manners consists in doing what makes the other person comfortable rather than insisting that they should do what makes ME comfortable. Until technology comes up with a viewscreen into my head so that another person can tell at a glance that I’m focused on them, I’ll have to rely on the traditional social signals of eye contact and cessation of other activities.

So when my husband has a serious matter to discuss, I don’t knit. When I’m in the presence of customers whose opinions – right or wrong – affect my salary, I don’t knit. I don’t knit in the church sanctuary, regardless of whether there’s a service in progress or not because I don’t want to be a source of distraction or scandal to someone else.

But here’s the thing that’s interesting to me…studies have shown that people with certain learning styles actually pay attention better when they have something to occupy their hands. Our own DotMom has pointed out that her 10-year-old son pays better attention to his lessons when he is knitting something. This fascinates me!!

If I was paying a boatload of money for grad school, you can bet I’d want to do whatever it took for me to get as much as possible out of my classes. :smiley:

you’re opening up a hugh can of worms…LOL…not that that’s bad…back in January (I think) I posted a topic similar to this about knitting in a conference and it carried over to a discussion about knitting in church…see if you can use the search tool and find it…there was tons of interesting POV’s. It’s really long though…

My daughter is going to a Waldorf High Schoolnext year
During the interview I was SO nervouse I grabbed my Knitting and worked on a little thing I can knit in the dark, and after a couple min Realized what I was doing, and asked the admissions director if he minded. He LAUGHED at me
it seems that many of their students knitin class, and as long ass its not a lab, or an exam, its fine
it seems to them that its less disruptive to theother students than Chewing Gum
and it actually helps the student Focus on what is being said


knitting at my CPR class
I asked permission first, then knit through the whole thing
I answerd all Questions
and did well at the “does anyone have anything to say about that?” parts

I passed all my tests
and knitting was acceptable for the entire 7 hour class


I knit everywhere (when I dont have my little girls with me.) I listen better while I knit. My son also absorbs information better and will sit still longer if his hands are busy.

I do knit in church only if its extremely repetitive. My dh doesn’t have a problem with it. He is a fill in minister and wouldn’t mind if anyone was knitting during one of his sermons. Our pastors wife also thinks it’s fine.

In meetings I take the pulse of the group. I make eye contact and smile at others, then I knit. This trick also works well with breastfeeding in public. I have never had anyone give me a hard time.

In church if I can worship without it, I worship without it, and if I need it to worship, I knit. There are times when putting down your knitting in church could be a fast (LOL Anyone else have that Sunday school lesson today?) Putting it down during the week as a fast could also be worship.

How do we really know whether someone is paying attention, when they seem engaged? And if they are in church whether they are really worshipping or not?

Hmmm… I must say I would find it rude. I know I’m in a minority here, but whether you can focus better on things or not is not really the point. I guess to me if a particular event is so boring that you can not help yourself, maybe you shouldn’t be there after all?

Personally, I find it rude when people play with their palm pilot or laptop during presentations or conferences. Yet a lot of them use the same excuse: “but I focus better”. Well maybe… but I still think it’s disrespectful for the presentor. I don’t see why knitting would be any different.

Sorry, but that’s my opinion… :oops: