When I first became a librarian and started attending regional and national conferences, I was appalled to see a number of attendees actually knitting or crocheting during presentations. It struck me as being rude to the speakers. How could they possibly focus on listening to the speakers while they were working on craft projects?
Fast forward years later. I am a fairly proficient knitter — my novelty scarf days are long behind me. Also, I have tenure. I can watch pretty involved movies and television shows while knitting; I can manage to follow the plot and turn out decent work. Do you see where this is heading? I brought my knitting to the conference.
I had picked out a pretty simple pattern that I’m doing in magic loop. My efforts to sit in the back were stymied by a presenter who insisted we move up front. I almost lost my courage, but noticed that in the same row was the woman who had taught the CE class was knitting too so I dived in and started my project.
Normally, I’m that fidgety attendee who can’t sit still. I’m that annoying person shuffling through papers. I doodle. I drop things. I nervously move my feet around. Knitting in my hands and man, it’s better than Ritalin. I took notes. I paid attention. I sat quietly. It was an entirely different conference for me. I was focused.
Would do it again in a heartbeat.
Note: found that photo on Creative Commons. I think the knitters may be archivists. Anyhow, the photo belongs to LollyKnit and I borrowed it from her Flickr Photostream.