KIP Fears Over

I have been traveling way too much lately and I have finally overcome my KIP phobia. I still get looks and some pointing, but with all of the time, but I just forge ahead. Recently I had a flight home from Brail and with all of the layovers and waiting the trip was almost 20 hours! The time went very quickly as I was knitting in the airports, on the plane, or anywhere else I could find a chair. I finished two Christmas projects on that flight alone.


Craig's picture

Great way to use your time while waiting.

Have been knitting for years. I knit continually then will try another craft, but will return to the needles.

dannvictoria's picture

Usually I get men who approach me to tell me they learned to knit sox as kids during the war - and people facinated to know what I am knitting. Good for you for persisting - it pays off.

WillyG's picture

I remember a flight from Ecuador to Miami that left us sitting on the tarmac somewhere in Florida due to inclement weather. Having my knitting handy helped make an already long stay in the plane more bearable as we waited for the weather to clear enough so that we could get back to Miami and go through customs. The cool part is that I was working on squares for a (belated) wedding gift for a friend who grew up in Ecuador. Parts of the afghan had also traveled to Argentina the year before, so I could honestly say the gift had travelled a good bit. It all made it seem more special in my mind.

And knitting in public is truly a great way to take advantage of the moment. I always believe it makes a person more patient...even if that patience is artificial. "What's that you say? I have to wait another hour in line? No problem, I wanted to finish a few more pattern repeats anyway."

markplusbrett's picture

Bravo to you for persevering... I'm always amazed at the reactions or gazes I get when I break out my knitting. What I find most interesting and sometimes disturbing is the differences according to the country. I am an American living in Paris and I have a home in Florida that I travel to quite often. When I'm traveling around Europe people seem interested and often stop and ask questions... a real positive experience contrasted to the States where I get at least a couple of non-approving stares each time. I attribute this to Traditions and Social Norms... Everyday I see men in Paris having relationships/friendships similar to those only reserved for women in the States. Sadly, in the States we reserve that relationship only for men that are in combat... only then is it permissible. As an American, I never realized just how BLACK and WHITE we drew the lines on what is or isn't appropriate behavior for each gender. I've at least decided for myself to embarrass my European counterparts and hug and kiss on as many people as possible. The best part of being Parisian.

PaulJMC's picture

Braver than me! I still only knit at home or with close friends. We are still not allowed to fly with knitting needles in Australia :(

In cielo non c'e vino...beviamolo sulla terra!

Kerry's picture

Paul, I thought this regulation had been changed, although as I don't fly I have no personal experience of it. I'll try to remember to ask at the Knitters Guild meeting today.

Mnjack's picture

We travel quite a bit and I decided about 12 years ago to knit on planes and in airports. I figured as long as I had come out openly, then to hell with the world, they could stare and point at me knitting. We just came back from Amsterdam a couple of months ago and I got a lot done on the plane. Even on shorter flights I bring out the needles. It has surprised me how sometimes I get questions regarding what I am making and other times just stares. I just flew to Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago and while waiting in the airport I started to knit. There was an older man, probably in his 80's sitting next to me. He suddenly asked what I was making and then went into detail about his mother teaching him to crochet years ago. I know one thing. knitting makes the time go by fatster and often results in fun stories, like my 80 year old man. Keep up the good work.

AKQGuy's picture


It's a big stop deciding that you don't care enough about what others are going to think regardless of the fact that you have needles in your hand or not. I'm proud of ya! I feel better about downtime when I can be productive during it.

Hope you continue on despite strange looks and and sidelong glances.

bobshome's picture

Big step. Happy to hear you had a good experience. I broke the ice in perfect conditions. I traveled to Peru with a "Fiber Arts Tour" (which I highly recommend) and I knit my way through Lima, Cusco, Macchu Picchu and the Highland Andes. I have to say the flight home was not a challenge - everyone was sleeping and I knit!
I also like knitting on road trips. While I'm usually the driver - it's nice to just ride along knit, talk and see the roses.

J Chi's picture

I travel a lot for work and usually break my knitting out. While I often get looks, the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive and have provided some interesting discussions. On one flight, the flight attendant gave me a free glass of wine "from one knitter to another". On another flight, I sat next to a "chatter", not being one who likes mindless talk with strangers, I was never so happy as when after bringing out my knitting, he didn't talk to me the rest of the flight. I have other friends who also travel for work and can't wait to hear the latest travel knitting stories. Keep going with your KIP!!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Congratulations on passing an important milestone. I have knit in public for quite a few years and have run the range of reactions. However, I have never had any really negative reactions - except to spinning, when a young tweenager couldn't relate to a man spinning yarn and then knitting it up. Otherwise, it is amazing the men who mentioned learning to knit or crochet when they were young. I always try to have a project along when I travel [sometimes 2] most often being socks or dishcloths. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

TheKnittingMill's picture

Congrats! I felt like I had two closets to come out of--the gay closet and the knitting closet. For me at least, the former was actually easier...LOL!

Tom Hart's picture

I was working on a project in a large downtown public garden the other day and this woman comes up and sits down right next to me, and after I nod hello, leans over and says, “Are you making that?”

Bill's picture

...and you said???

Tom Hart's picture

Well I said, “Yeah,” but the question definitely took me aback. I wondered if it was a trick Zen question or something. We ended up having a lovely conversation. She said that when she was a little girl during the second world war her class knit squares which her teacher stitched together to make blankets for the soldiers. She said she’d love to learn how to knit again. I told her to come down to the main library on the third Saturday of the month.

There is apparently something about the way I knit that doesn’t look like knitting. I was in a bike repair shop waiting while some work was being done on my bike so I pulled out my knitting and went to work. At some point a young woman walked in and saw me and came over and said, “Oh, you’re actually making that. I thought at first that you were putting a handle on it.” (A handle on a rug?) But again it was a pleasant conversation about knitting. She was a knitter and was new in town so I told her to google “knitting groups in San Francisco”. I said there’s one going just about every night of the week.

One thing seems to be true about knitting in public: people feel very free to come up and start talking to you. If I hadn’t been knitting I doubt that either of those people would even have looked at me let alone walked up and started talking to me.

michaelpthompson's picture

I'm happy for you Eric, but I must confess, I cannot identify at all. It has never occurred to me to be self conscious about knitting anywhere or any time. I've had many lovely conversations because people were interested in what I'm doing. If any were staring disapprovingly, I haven't noticed.

I guess it helps that I'm an extrovert and and extreme individualist. I like being different and I like meeting new people and having something to talk about.

So I'm very glad you beat your phobia and I hope others are encouraged by your experience to do the same. Now if I could just get over this fear of conformity. :-)

"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."