I have a younger knitter who recently was asked "Aren't you a bit young to be knitting?"
These people are implying that a) knitters are lazy and b) only little old ladies knit. I don't know with which I take more umbrage.
The implication that if you are knitting you aren't doing anything is definitely insulting, and is a splendid exemplification of Mark Twain's famous quote "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." People who say things like this obviously have never made anything with their hands, nor are they astute enough to realize that the person they are antagonizing is holding two potential lethal weapons. They are apparently operating under the delusion that hand-knit objects spontaneously generate while the knitter in question indulges her/his inner sloth.
The implication that only little old ladies knit is an exquisite example of full-blown extralocal ignorance. In Europe school children are still taught how to knit. In the Orenberg region of Georgia, children as young as 5 are already knitting to help support their families with world famous Orenberg lace shawls. In the Andes children knit so they have enough warm clothes to wear. Some of the most famous contemporary knitwear designers are well under 65, such as Melissa Leapman, Cat Bordhi, Cookie A., Cheryl Oberle, and many more. Celebrities including Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, Dakota Fanning, and Cameron Diaz knit and have helped make the craft more popular over the last several years, and none of them are in any danger of being considered "little old ladies" any time soon.
There are several potential responses to these transgressors of simple social graces. My favorites are:
- "I may be a knitting addict, but at least I don't share my needles"
- "I have to do something with all the yarn I spin" (this one usually makes them back out of the room slowly)
- "You have two eyeballs, I have two sharp sticks - you do the math"
- "I learned to knit in prison."
- "My psychiatrist told me to knit if I ever felt like killing someone again."
- "Are you being deliberately rude, or merely stupid?"