I was listening to a recent episode of Sticks and String over the weekend, the one where David talks about knitting in public, and how knitting in front of people you see regularly will increase the chances that they'll be inspired to learn to knit, or to take up their knitting again. I'm sure he's right--I don't go on break or eat lunch with any of the other knitters in my department, but based on my sample of 10 non-knitting archivists, 30% of non-knitters will ponder starting to knit or starting to knit again after several weeks' worth of exposure to regular knitting--but I'm not sure the knitting I do at break is giving them a very representative picture of how knitting will take over their lives. Over the past 2 weeks or so, my coworkers have seen me make these booties (the "beginner booties" from Knitting for Baby by ... oh, maybe Debbie Bliss?... made from some unidentified scraps of sock yarn I had floating around), and start the baby pants from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (in Lola, Schaefer Yarn's superwash wool). So far, I have about 1.5 legs done (plus the original first leg, which I ripped when I was nearly done and finally had a chance to check my gauge--although the whole leg is only about 7 inches long--smaller than some people's swatches!). I did work a little bit on the pant leg over the weekend, because I had a long wait and I got bored, but that cancels the leg that I ripped out, right?
If their comments are to be believed, my coworkers think 2 booties and 1.5 legs are an impressive output for 2 weeks (that, or they're humoring me and just trying to make conversation with the wacky knitter). And it's not that 2 booties and 1.5 legs isn't plenty to knit in the time they've actually seen me knitting--it's just that they have no idea about the knitting they haven't seen: nearly 5 feet of a shawl and maybe 2 feet of baby blanket. Admittedly, the shawl (the one for Schaefer Yarns) is in a light worsted yarn on size 8 needles, and the baby blanket (for one of my many pregnant friends) is loosely knit on size 9 or 10 needles. But still--it's a lot of knitting, none of which my coworkers are even aware of when they talk about how fast I knit. What if they knew how much knitting I've actually been doing? Are they really ready to add that much knitting to their lives? What if they start knitting (again, in some cases) and it doesn't take over their lives?