Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Have Four Conversations with Four Total Strangers About One Piece of Knitting

This is the piece of knitting.


Gentleman's Bathing Drawers (c. 1880) in Quince and Co. Chickadee
for the Nautical Knitting Cruise
with Melissa Leapman

First Conversation
Stranger: What are you making?
Franklin: A pair of Victorian bathing drawers.
Stranger: What?

Second Conversation
Stranger: Is that knitting? What are you knitting?
Franklin: A pair of Victorian bathing drawers.
Stranger. Oh. What?

Third Conversation
Stranger: May I ask what you're making?
Franklin: A pair of Victorian bathing drawers.
Stranger: ...

Fourth Conversation
Stranger: Wow, what are you making?
Franklin: A sweater.
Stranger: Cool.


Bill said...

Franklin, you could say "A Rugby Jock."

The Foggy Knitter said...

Tell the next one that you've had secret information about an imminent world wide shortage of swimming costumes and so you are getting in first by making your own.

Looking good btw! (would look extremely cool in Suffragette colours, but might have colour running issues).

Liz said...

At least strangers ask you about your knitting--I suspect it's because you're a man.

Deb said...

"Would you care to try them on?"

"Shall I model them for you? They may be a trifle breezy at the moment."

"What size do you wear? I can make us a matching set, sweetie."

Or just pull out that picture of the Brighton club and explain that yours should look somewhat like that pair over there. Explain somewhat apologetically that yours aren't really in the preferred colours of the bathers in that photo, but you just loved the nice rich plum colour. Emphasis on plum, of course.

Jenz said...


That'll make them edge away.

Ted said...

You could say that you're a expert in historical knitting patterns, and you're working on a pair of bathing trousers from the Victorian era as a part of a costume for when you're teaching knitting classes on a cruise ship.

At least they recognized you were knitting. I once had someone watch me spindle spinning and she said she'd never seen anyone crochet like that in her life.

Mardee said...

@Ted, I know the feeling. I recently got on a hotel elevator carrying a spinning wheel. The lady next to me says "Nice loom."


Renee Anne said...

::sigh:: Muggles.

I'd probably go with "panties" next time......that should get an interesting reaction, at least :)

Rosemary Riveter said...

Those colours are fantastic, and from that photo I totally understand the OMGSQUEE over the chickadee. It looks delightful.

@Mardee Lots of people seem to think spinning wheels are looms, a bunch of visitors to my house asked eagerly to see my "spinning loom".

My favourite muggle experience was when I was carrying my ladybug spinning wheel through the San Diego County fairground after participating in a demonstration in the animal barn. A man passed by me then backed up, wide-eyed, and asked if I had "won that thing here". He didn't know what it was, but he knew he wanted one, and hoped that it would be winnable at a nearby tombola.

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Bgstoner said...

If another person asks you should say it's a tea cozy.

Jamie Wang said...

How about tidy whities in color?

They look great by the way. I wish I were on the cruise just to see you (blushingly, I'm sure) parade around the pool deck.

Unknown said...

I love a good laugh with my morning coffee. Thanks!

roxie said...

In-as-much as you are the ONLY person I have ever even heard of who is knitting Victorian bathing drawers, I must confess that I would probably fall into that "What?" category as well.

I was knitting a peter parka for a friend working a season on a fishing boat in Alaska. People on the bus would ask me what I was knitting. It got to the point where I could just hold it up and say, "I have a friend in Alaska," and watch the penny drop. It was a conversation stopper, but it sometimes got a few laughs.

Liz said...

I've started taking your advice (wasn't it you?) and just telling people any given piece of knitting is a scarf.

Even the bag I was knitting out of worsted weight linen, "a scarf."

On the other hand, if you say bathing drawers no one will subsequently ask you, "Can you make one for me?"

Anonymous said...

So I just got caught up on your posts. While I have no desire to spin, I am totally loving your spinning adventures, and your humor. Just what I needed on another crappy day in the swamp that used to be Pennsylvania!

Lisa C said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing. I just read a recent post of yours through the Lion blog and thought I should pop over and say howdy to a fellow Chicago yarn(although I crochet ) enthusiast ! :) ps my husband always ask me to crochet him a kilt. Maybe bathing trousers instead ?

etqoe1953 said...

LOL. Yes.

Vanessa said...

Whenever strangers ask, I always respond with "a thong for my husband." Even if it's clearly a nearly finished sock or a sweater. Unless they identify themselves as a fellow knitter, I know they're just making conversation.

Some people laugh, others mostly just go, "wat?"

Anonymous said...

Bathing drawers, is that the fancy way of saying swimming trunks, Franklin? You want them to say "What?", don't you ;-).

Pam Sykes (aka Pretty Knitty) said...

LOL! I love to leave people speechless...sounds like you do, too! If you lived in my town, and I saw you out knitting, I would just take out my knitting and join you. I'm knitting hexipuffs...they illicit a similar reaction. =/

Laura said...

HAHAHAHA that's hilarious!!

I'm currently knitting a beer cozy and people react very positively when I tell them that.

I can't wait to see your finished Victorian bathing drawers... xoxo

Lynne said...

hehe somehow I'm not surprised those conversations went the way they did. :)

Leigh in Portland (we are not burning down) said...

Purely awesome. :) That will be my answer from now on. Victorian Bathing Trunks. Yes.

Anonymous said...

"Willy-warmers" . . what else can be said?

Rin Adams said...

*L* Whereas I'd respond with "Really? Awesome! Is it for a particular event?"

Anonymous said...

If I had this conversation with someone, it would make my day. Unfortunately a lot of people don't know how to handle the unexpected. I was dubious at first, but the colors together are just so pretty!

Florence said...

LOL Oh people are funny! I like the answer "A Rugby Jock"

RenateS. said...

My daughter says she would have answered "cool" to the bathing drawers comment.

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