Thursday, March 29, 2007

They only talk to each other

This message is for anyone who knits with others. Where sometimes there are new knitters who come to knit with your group. Not necessarily those who are new to knitting but new knitters means here “knitters who are new to the group”.

Some background: A few months ago my knit night friend and I went to a yarn store we occasionally shop at. I don’t go there often as it is not close to where I live but is within 20 miles which is “worth it” driving distance when there is some special yarn you need, and they are open, and you’ve already called and made sure they have several possibilities in the color and weight you are looking for. Seems at the time of this particular expedition they have “knitting”, so we brought our projects and after browsing the store and making our buys, we joined the knitters at the table and commenced knitting. I sat by a woman I had seen somewhere before but after a short discussion, we couldn’t decide exactly when or where.

So there is knitting and there is chatting. And they (except for my knit night friend and I and the woman I know from somewhere) seem to know each other and have some “history”. There were many threads of conversation going on and occasionally I try to join in, responding to this or that. After the fourth or fifth comment I toss in, the woman I know from somewhere leans over and says to me softly, “They only talk to each other”. I hadn’t really noticed until that point. Undeterred, I toss in a few more comments or questions and watch them land on the table and roll around. Unacknowledged. With no response from anyone.

We stayed only a short time longer. The ”worth it” driving distance seems less “worth it”.

At knit night, we sometimes have new knitters who come to knit with us. We try to make them feel welcome. And we always talk to them.

more later,


Blogger Carrie said...

Wow, that is terrible. I'd have been very offended. I've never heard of knitters being exclusionary. Maybe you should have taken a picture for a magazine, "Knitters in the Wild," or something... =(

3/30/2007 4:33 AM

Blogger Mindy said...

That is horrible. I have dropped in on the knit night at the LYS once. Most of the attendees are regulars. I swear they asked me more questions and talked to me so much I was ready for a break, but it did make me feel very welcome.k

3/30/2007 7:55 AM

Anonymous Angeluna said...

zI have had exactly the same experience that Jeri did, strangely enough, always at knit shops. I don't know if they are proprietary or what, but it feels a bit like junior high. At one, there were a handful of women who spoke with me, then there was "The Group", who didn't speak to any of us. Their problem, not mine.

Now this has never happened in a knit group setting, so perhaps it is something about the LYS. Perhaps the owner should take the time to interact now and then. And our whole group goes out of their way to welcome new people, even though we have almost outgrown our meeting places.

The time I found it quite comic was in a LYS that had recently opened. I went in wearing a Swallowtail Shawl I had just finished in a noticeable shade of deep yellow/ochre. Not one single knitting person mentioned it in the 1/2 hour I stayed. Since they were knitting mainly specialty yarn scarves, perhaps they just didn't realize it was a hand knit? Can't imagine. As I left, one lone person I crossed at the door dropped her jaw and asked "Is that a Swallowtail? It's beautiful."

Now you know us knitters. We go up to perfect strangers in airports and restaurants to admire or comment on something they knitted. Therefore the above incident amazed me. I told my knit group and they thought I was kidding.

3/30/2007 6:27 PM

Blogger Lynn said...

I *love* our knitting group, individually and collectively. What a great bunch of talented, warm, intermittently-feisty ladies! I tried a bunch of different groups when I first met up with y'all last summer, and every one of them was welcoming. And I like our group the best.

3/30/2007 8:31 PM

Blogger bookgrump said...

I always think it's weird when people can sit there and absolutely ignore a person who is obviously talking to them. I space out sometimes and am guilty of selective hearing loss on occasion, but I'm sure I would have woken up and talked to a person if they had tried as hard and enthusiastically to communicate as you did. At first, I thought it might be a case of people who are naturally shy but have just found a groove with each other, but the more I see that group in action, the more I think they're just odd! I love our knitting group and how the conversations shift. My favorite thing is how everyone seems so interested in whatever excites the individual members. Whether it's the latest yarn find, something that we heard or read, or some great discovery we've made in knitting, there almost always seems to be something to talk about. I'm always amazed at how quickly the time goes. (As opposed to that afternoon, which seemed to crawl...) Next time, we can just grab our buys and go to Starbucks!

3/31/2007 8:59 AM

Blogger The Knitstress said...

The first time that we came to join your group I was very nervous about fitting in. You all made both Angele and I feel very welcome. I am so happy that we found all of you.


4/03/2007 3:55 AM

Blogger LadyLungDoc said...

That is so incredibly rude!

4/04/2007 9:28 AM

Blogger Angele said...

As a new knitter to the BNKnit group, you all have made me feel very welcome! So welcome in fact, I may never leave! The group has so much to share, which they do without hesitation, and I have already learned a few things I didn't know before. I feel even more a part of the "sisters of the wool" group now that we all had to get very cozy in the Starbucks restroom!

4/05/2007 4:21 PM


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