Fear of Old Technology

I read the Yarn Harlot post today, the day I leave for San Francisco. Reading her blog is usually a good part of my day, where I get a good laugh and maybe a glimpse of some knitting porn. It seems that Stephanie is flying today, and she had a run in with some airline attendants. One of them asked her to put her knitting away because it is “dangerous,” and the other was perplexed about why Stephanie had put away her knitting. It’s that sort of unpredictability that makes flying so unbearably anxiety provoking for me. The TSA says right here that knitting is expressly permitted on the plane. Admittedly, it only says you may have the needles in your carry-on bag, but they also mention that they realize you are bringing the needles to pursue a “Needlepoint” project. Given that knitting needles and pens have a lot in common in their shape and lethality levels, and you’re allowed to have pens out, I cannot see the argument for banning knitting in flight.

It got me thinking – the only people who actually think knitting is dangerous are those who have never actually touched knitting needles in their lives. I once had a friend who went on and on about how “those needles, especially the sock needles” are scary and you could seriously hurt someone with them. I then pulled a sock needle out of my work and let her hold it. “Oh,” she exclaimed, “these are blunt. It would be difficult to hurt anyone with them.” To apply a little logic to the situation, I would like to point out that if knitting needles were that dangerous, knitters probably would be using a different tool to get the job done. You’d also hear more stories about knitters going on a rampage, needling people to death. I assure you, if I ever go on a rampage, it’s because some S.O.B stole my needles, not because I was allowed to keep them.

I have a brilliant idea: we should have a “Teach a Muggle to Knit” holiday. It would be a day where we force non-knitters to sit down for just a few minutes and hold a pair of knitting needles. The victims students don’t really have to learn to knit, but maybe just to respect that knitters are a peaceful folk and that our tools, while unfamiliar, are not dangerous. No more so than a pen. Ooh! Better yet – we teach them to knit with pens and pencils. Now I have another magnificent idea – there should be a special class in Flight Attendant School in which they learn how to handle knitters. In the curriculum should be a bit about how the only certain way of keeping a knitter calm is to let her/him go about her/his business in peace. It should be emphasized that taking knitting needles away from a knitter is like taking food from a wild animal – this should not be done unless you are looking for a way to lose a limb.

I’m probably just crabby because I haven’t slept well in a few days. But still, these are good ideas. Think about it.


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