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THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE VERY VISIBLE KNITTERS

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

One of the most hilarious Internet GIFs shows actor Cary Grant learning to knit in a scene of the Hollywood film Mr. Lucky from 1943. Only knitters understand how funny his exaggerated body language is.


In the film, a young woman wants to gather “a group of obviously masculine men to take up knitting, do it perfectly casually in public places.” As Grant’s character begins to enjoy his new craft, a group of puzzled men watch him through a shop window and try to convince him to quit all that knitting nonsense (their own words, of course, not ours).


cary grant knitting meme

More and more knitters wear their fiber folk pride as a second skin. Some dare to knit every single second of their daily commute under the amazed gaze of fellow travelers. Others hunt frenetically for tips and tricks to smuggle their needles into airplanes. (Dear knitters, airlines can be quite ambiguous on this. Scan your knitting networks for tried-and-true pieces of advice to spread your craft talent up in the air.)



And then occasionally, a knitter who is also a celebrity emerges out of the shadows for the delight of the fiberverse.


Michelle Obama confessed on TV and magazine interviews she took up knitting in 2020 during the pandemic. A quintessential quarantine knitter, she often posts about her personal craft wisdom and ongoing projects (a tweet last April got 1.2 million views). Actress Meryl Streep knits on set and made a shawl she wears in one of her films (‘Doubt’), sports diver Tom Daley knitted his way through the Olympic Games in Tokyo, actor Ryan Gosling shared on an interview that he learned to knit on a film set, singer Katy Perry crochets in her spare time, and musician Sufjan Stevens knits on tour.


See?! Knitters like us are as normal as celebrities!


black and white picture of man watching woman knit
Greek photographer Nelly’s (Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari), a female artist and entrepreneur, knits in quiet style on the deck of a tanker ship whose interior she decorated with her own photographs and ceramics. Photo taken at PIREOS 138 – Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece.

But knitting in public spaces could be as normal and expected as gazing at your smartphone, right?


What do you think, dear reader? Have you thought about how it feels to be a very visible knitter? Do you show yourself as a sparkling knitting star? Or prefer to cuddle under the cloak of invisibility with your hidden knitting gems?


Regardless of your personal inclination, what about grabbing one or more fiber friends and settling comfortably in your favorite public space on the next World Wide Knitting in Public Day? Breaking news: Mark your calendars next June 8, 2024!

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