Are you out?

So I just started knitting and very few people know about it. I'm afraid to let my friends and co-workers know. I'm not sure what kind of reaction I would get.
How many of you are out? How did people take it? Can I expect to be laughed at and made fun of? If that happened to you, how to you react/respond to it?

Jason1978's picture

As for me, I never told anyone I just took my knitting with me and would start knitting, they would laugh at first, but that lasted only a few minutes, nowadays, when winter comes up their all running for the phones to call in their knitting-orders!

'Why are you weeping? Did you imagine that I was immortal?'

Thor's picture

I agree... never make an issue of it and it just isn't an issue for others. Plus, when they see the beautiful creations, they are silenced with envy! I invite people to learn for themselves.

BrianFTL's picture

I too never really told anyone, they would just see me knitting away. I've never received any negative comments, just lots of requests for hats, pullovers, etc.

MasonM's picture

I just knit wherever I feel like it. At first I got a few good-natured jokes from some of the guys, but nothing serious and more often they expressed genuine curiosity about it. Everyone who knows me knows that I knit and just accept it as part of who I am, and are often quite interested in seeing the stuff I make.

Don't worry about what other people think about it. A man should do what he enjoys and not concern himself with the approval or opinions of others.

A great many people have expressed respect for the fact that I am confident enough to be a man who knits. I do admit it requires some self-confidence to sit in a truckstop, saloon, or biker bar and pull out your knitting, but the more you do it the easier it is, and before long you'll realize that the vast majority of people actually admire it.


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

steve kadel's picture

same here. i knit wherever and whenever i choose. i have never gotten a negative comment, often curiosity, interest, confessions of their craft secrets, compliments, requests, or just conversation. it enhances meeting people in my estimation (like walking a cute dog, but more stationary)

we put birds on things

MasonM's picture

Exactly. I've found it to be a great conversation starter.


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

knit_knot_eat's picture

I did knit this morning while sitting on the train commuting to work. I was actually sitting with a group of women who were knitting and they know I started. A definitely got some strange looks from people, but no one said anything to me. I just think the guys I drink beer and play poker with will find it amusing and will have a good laugh at my expense. Oh well. If I can knit as a man, then I can take it like a man.

MasonM's picture

Sure, they might may a few jokes, but I doubt it'll be more than just a bit of fun.


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

Mnjack's picture

I didn't tell anyone for years and only knit at home. I now knit on planes, in airports, in parks or whereever I happen to be. It is amazing how many positive remarks I get and interest. I also have gotten offers to sell my work, which really surprised me.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog Well I don't hide it from people, but I don't tell everyone. People think you can make a sweater in a day or so. They all want hats, but not many want to pay for the labor. Some want sweaters for their dogs, (which is unnecessary , nature has given animals a good coat or their own hair) I do take my crafts serious and consider myself a crafter. I donate or gift most of the stuff I make, but rarely take something made to order, American Manual Labor is expesive. lol! It is! I agree with Mason, Do as you feel, be confident and comfortable with your knitting. People can sense your discomfort. At almost 50 years of age, I really don't care wether people laugh ornot because I crochet or knit in public.

ManMadeKnits's picture


"The only sin is mediocrity." --Martha Graham

MMario's picture


MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

grandcarriage's picture

I'm 6'1" and 245 pounds...and I knit wherever I damn well please. bwah hah hah haaaaaa.

I live in Portland, OR... many many many people knit in public and I have been to LYS knit nights where the men actually outnumbered the women (granted, low turnout night, but there were still 7 guys knitting at a knit night.)

Only once did I receive a semi-negative comment: (on a bus)... ~ woman, "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE DOING THAT!" me~ "Yes, ma'am...double seed stitch."

MasonM's picture

Yeah I think physical size/appearance does help in that respect. I'm only 6' 230 lbs but have a general "don't mess with me" look that tends to keep people a bit on the polite side of things LOL


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

eyedoc's picture

One night about a year ago, I was sitting with my partner's grandmother in her nursing home (she died on Christmas Day). One of the night nurses (female) came in to do something and asked what I was doing. I told her I was working on a scarf for a Christmas gift. Her response...."Oh. So you're just playing?" My rebuttal.... "No, I'm just knitting!" That has been the only semi-negative response I have ever had. I don't do alot of public knitting or crocheting, but everyone that knows me knows that I can.


VTandPTguy's picture

I've really enjoyed reading responses to this question. Mostly on MWK we talk about what we're knitting, ask technical questions, and cheer each other on. But we all do share the experience of bumping up against cultural expectations when we knit in public. So the more we all knit in public, the more "flexible" we make our world. And that's a good thing! -John

BuduR's picture

even though I am a woman I often get weird looks when I am knitting in public, and comments like "you just don't look the type" usually I just tell them I learned to do it to relax and have less aggressive thoughts while I was in the women's correctional facility.
then I make some vague comments about how pointy they are and pretty much I'm left to knit ^^
MWK's Token Estrogen-American

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

Kilted Knitter's picture

Knitting in a Kilt....

Now which do you think people laugh at more Barry
The Kilted Knitter

RickeScott's picture

Gee, I'd like to be an out-knitter. Just feel a little too self-consious. And, as some of you know, my knitting method is rather unconventional. After risking bringing my needles with me onboard (just flew back to Nebraska for a couple of months.), I didn't even pull them out. BTW, no one said a word about the needles (plastic and long). They even passed a hand-search in Istanbul. However, I DID bring out my weave-it loom. I've become comfortable weaving anywhere and do. It is a good conversation starter.

jwhassjr's picture

Everyone knows I knit, which doesn't generally generated any negative or humorous responses: people actually ask to see some of my finished projects and are happy to receive hand knit gifts should they be a fortunate person to be added to my list.

teejtc's picture

I'm totally an "out" knitter, and it was a HUGE leap for the congregation I pastor. It is a rural, conservative congregation that lost a few members when I came because I have earrings. Later they found out that I knit and tat... I expect their next minister will be a former truck driver or construction worker (many of whom also knit, but they don't know that!) :-)

I don't make a huge issue of it, but I do refer to knitting in conversation (and sometimes even sermons or classes I teach) the same way I refer to my other hobbies (scuba diving, coffee roasting, biking, bread baking, etc.)

Sometimes people compliment the knitting "your wife did" -- which is always funny because my wife wouldn't be caught dead doing something so "boring" and "tedious" :-) I often say we both grew up liberated - I learned to cook and she didn't. (It's not exactly true, she CAN cook, just doesn't enjoy it - makes a good story though!)

Come "out" -- the great people you'll meet are worth the few belligerent folks you'll run into.

Grace and Peace,