Appropriate to knit during classical music concert?
August 12, 2016 10:58 AM   Subscribe

I am going to a classical music concert tonight at a fancy venue. It's a 2 hour concert indoors with assigned seating and I would absolutely love to bring my knitting with me. I am not sitting anywhere near the front, I will be sitting in the main orchestra level. I would be using bamboo needles, which don't make any sounds and aren't reflective. Is it rude to fellow concertgoers to be knitting openly during the concert?
posted by vacuumsealed to Human Relations (66 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry, but I would not do this. The light level is high enough that your neighbors would be able to see the motion and it would be distracting.
posted by wnissen at 11:03 AM on August 12, 2016 [75 favorites]

Yes, it would be rude. A fancy venue classical music concert is not a good place to knit. I say that as a crocheter who likes to crochet "everywhere".
posted by atomicstone at 11:03 AM on August 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

Rude to the audience, but mostly to the performers.
posted by meemzi at 11:05 AM on August 12, 2016 [14 favorites]

The fidgeting would annoy me. It seems a little bit disrespectful to the performers, too.
posted by ambilevous at 11:06 AM on August 12, 2016 [20 favorites]

I'd personally find it distracting to have constant motion in my peripheral vision. Standards of formality are pretty high at indoor classical music concerts. You might be able to get away with it if it was an outdoor show (i.e., at a place like Wolf Trap, Ravinia, Tanglewood, etc.); but not a performance in a symphony hall.

Basically, if you wouldn't do it at an outdoor wedding, don't do it at a classical music concert. They're pretty comparable in their expectations of formality, in my experience.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:07 AM on August 12, 2016 [39 favorites]

As an audience member, I would find that distracting.
posted by lazuli at 11:07 AM on August 12, 2016 [13 favorites]

this personally wouldn't bother me if it were truly silent, but I see that I am in the minority here!
posted by loquacious crouton at 11:10 AM on August 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

I would love to bring my crochet to similar others have said, it would be distracting for your neighbours. I hate people fidgeting during something like that, and most people will be trying to concentrate fully on the performance
posted by drunkonthemoon at 11:10 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

I knit a lot in public, and I would not knit in this situation. Apologies.
posted by sockermom at 11:10 AM on August 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

I sympathise as someone who is a knitter/crocheter and who very much enjoys knitting while doing other activities, but I definitely would not do this. I would find this very distracting if I were sitting near you, and I do think this would be rude, especially at a fancy orchestral concert. Sorry.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:12 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Rude to the performers, and even if you were really silent I would, as another audience member, be distracted by the movement and by thoughts of how inappropriate it would be. I say this as someone who constantly doodles while doing/participating in other activities.
posted by sprezzy at 11:15 AM on August 12, 2016 [7 favorites]

Ugh, yeah, adding my voice as one who would find this very distracting as an audience member. It could spoil the experience for me.
posted by tiger tiger at 11:16 AM on August 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

i imagine it would be distracting and somewhat annoying to your closest seatmates, as well as rude to the performers, but something else to consider is the high likelihood of being vilified on social media.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:17 AM on August 12, 2016 [13 favorites]

You can listen to music and knit at home. Please don't knit at a concert.
posted by Dolley at 11:18 AM on August 12, 2016 [8 favorites]

Nope. Nope nope nope. I'm a knitter (often in public) and a classical music person, and this is totally unacceptable.
posted by holborne at 11:19 AM on August 12, 2016 [7 favorites]

And Miss Manners is just plain wrong on this one. It's not accepted etiquette to knit at a classical music concert. I'm both an audience member and a performer at different times, and in either position I would be absolutely appalled at someone knitting their way through a concert. If you don't want to be at the concert for some reason, stay home; if you're going to be there, respect the event, as well as the performers and the other audience members, enough to sit and listen.
posted by holborne at 11:24 AM on August 12, 2016 [34 favorites]

FWIW, Miss Manners says it is appropriate, as long as it is silent.

Church and recitals are not the same thing as a paid performance in a formal venue.
posted by phunniemee at 11:24 AM on August 12, 2016 [44 favorites]

Agreeing that it's rude to the audience and disrespectful to the performers, but points to you for asking!
posted by ejs at 11:26 AM on August 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

That would bug the crap out of me, I'd ask you to stop, and if you didn't I'd ask an usher for you to be moved.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:29 AM on August 12, 2016 [10 favorites]

Best answer: I'm a knitter and my rule of thumb is that it's rude to knit any place/time it would be rude for able-bodied* people to fidget.

*fidgeting is uncontrollable for some people, and while most patrons would do their best to ignore it if it seemed uncontrollable, accommodations can be made (think disability seating, or moving the annoyed patrons) so that everyone can enjoy the performance without being distracted. Knitting isn't uncontrollable.

If you want to bring your knitting along so you can work on it before the show starts and during intermission, that's fine.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:39 AM on August 12, 2016 [7 favorites]

It would not bother me and I would not consider it rude. I would assume that you found it easier to concentrate on the music and really listen if you had something to keep your hands busy, the way that people doodle while they are listening on the phone or taking notes to keep their minds from wandering.
posted by Jane the Brown at 11:41 AM on August 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: If I'm not sure whether knitting is okay at an event, I bring my knitting with me, and if I see a significant percentage of the crowd checking phones, chatting, writing, eating, etc., then I take it as okay. Based on your described formality level, it will probably not be appropriate.
posted by tchemgrrl at 11:46 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

My mom did it when we went to a matinee at the (live) theater the other day. I didn't find it annoying. She didn't start until the lights went down, she kept basically everything but the needles inside her purse, which was sitting in her lap, and her skill level is such that she can just sort of do it without ever looking at it.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:53 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, it's rude to the performers, and rude to any nearby audience members who intend to concentrate on the performance. Which should be all of them, because why would you spend money to go to a performance if you're not interested in paying attention to the music? That seems strange to me. You may have your reasons, but if I'm sitting down the row from you in a concert hall, I can't ask you what they are, and it would just end up annoying me and making me lose my focus on the music that I paid money to hear.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:56 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes, it is rude to nearby seatmates. I would find it visually distracting. Aurally too, am 98% sure I'd pick up on the clickety clack of even bamboo if you were next to me. If you need a soothing physical activity for whatever reason, take a (soft, non-squeaky) stress ball or the like with you and squeeze it quietly and discreetly (in your palm, in your lap). I know audiences were looser in the old days, but in the here and now, in the kind of setting you mean, people (still) expect to be able to enjoy performances like this in a way that doesn't include non-performers' movements or sounds.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:58 AM on August 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm actually getting anxious just thinking about how I would feel sitting next to a knitting person at the symphony!

Knitting at intermission or while waiting for the performance to start is fine. Knitting during the performance is rude, and the fidgeting and noise are both distracting for your fellow concert-goers. Bamboo needles may be quieter than metal, but there is no movement that is silent in a well-designed concert hall--you can hear people turning the pages of their program or opening a cough drop from the other side of the room. And of course the traditional time to drop something on the floor is during the softest, most agonizingly beautiful part of the performance.

If you absolutely must knit during the concert, and do want to be there, you may be able to sit outside the hall and watch/listen on a TV--I'm not sure how common this setup is but I've done this for the first piece when late to a concert in Seattle.
posted by esoterrica at 11:59 AM on August 12, 2016 [27 favorites]

Normally, I love Miss Manners, but she has also said that she knitted while taking classes in college. If she had been my student, I would have told her to stop.

So another vote for no. The movement is distracting.
posted by FencingGal at 12:04 PM on August 12, 2016 [8 favorites]

I just want to chime in not to say nope but to say how much I appreciate your consideration. Clearly you are polite and thoughtful person because you cared enough to ask this question. Thank you!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:09 PM on August 12, 2016 [13 favorites]

FWIW, Miss Manners says it is appropriate, as long as it is silent.

That is not what Miss Manners says in the linked column. The Gentle Reader asked what should be done if someone else was knitting at a recital; to which Miss Manners responded, nothing, as long as it is being done quietly. That is not the same as Miss Manners' stamp of approval towards the knitter. Whether one should knit at a concert is a question neither asked by the Gentle Reader in that column nor answered by Miss Manners.

One of the precepts of etiquette is that, generally, it is rude to draw attention to someone else's rudeness.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:14 PM on August 12, 2016 [45 favorites]

posted by rhizome at 12:15 PM on August 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

I would absolutely do it, but then again I knit anywhere I'm able to sit. It's not figeting.
posted by bibliogrrl at 12:16 PM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Maybe while you're seated and waiting for the performance to start, and at intermission if you feel so inclined...
posted by lizbunny at 12:27 PM on August 12, 2016

I don't think it's appropriate. Among other things: in a really good concert hall, a lot of small noises get amplified. So an activity that can seem noiseless in a normal living room could be a lot louder than you might think, and that has the potential to bother all of the people around you and not just your direct seat-mates. Also, if you're sitting in the main orchestra level, everyone above you will be able to see what you're doing, which means that your movement has the potential to distract them during the performance.
posted by colfax at 12:31 PM on August 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

I guess I'm in the minority too, because my first response was, "Of course you can knit during a music performance!" Having said that - I'm not familiar with the etiquette of a classical concert, which clearly has different standards than any other kind of live show. After reading this thread, I will never, ever, EVER knit at a classical music concert.
posted by onecircleaday at 12:36 PM on August 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

It's definitely possible to pay full attention to a concert while knitting--maybe even easier, I know keeping my hands busy can help me concentrate--and reasonable performers and audience members should realize that. I hate this standard that the only way to appreciate a classical concert is to be totally still and silent.

But, everybody's correct, that is in fact the standard.

(With the main alternatives seemingly being the jazz club standard, where the music's background for your conversation, and the rock concert standard, where unhealthy amplification levels drown out the audience....)

So, sigh, leave the knitting in your bag unless the venue turns out to be atypical. It wouldn't bother me, but it would bother others.
posted by bfields at 12:38 PM on August 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Here is a thing: I go to the opera a lot, which I assume is similar in terms of watching professionals in a serious setting to what you'll be attending.

If you have to get up and leave for any reason during the opera, whether to pee, or you're thirsty, or you just remembered you left your phone in the bathroom during intermission, or for any kind of an emergency or anything, they will not let you back into the theater until the act is finished. Late? Ha, have fun waiting by the door. Sometimes--SOMETIMES--if and only if there's an open seat at the very back of the room, they'll let you in at the end of a scene or aria during loud applause when there's a pause in the music.

If this is a situation where they take things seriously enough that they do things like that, knitting (or doing anything else except enjoying the full experience of being present for the performance) is an inappropriate choice.
posted by phunniemee at 12:41 PM on August 12, 2016 [9 favorites]

Absolutely no knitting during a classical music concert. That's what listening at home on the radio is for. The point of attending a live performance is to immerse yourself in the music in a way that's impossible otherwise. The vibrations of the double basses, the intensity of the violinists' expressions, the footwear choices of the's all there for you to drink in and pay attention to.
posted by BostonTerrier at 12:54 PM on August 12, 2016 [13 favorites]

I've been going to classical music concerts for 36 of my 48 years, and I think it would be rude to fellow audience members. Even if the knitting were totally silent—and in the hushed atmosphere of a concert hall, it wouldn't be—the motion would be distracting to people sitting near you.

No one has really explained why, though, so let me give my two cents. When I go to a classical concert, I'm focused on a number of things. If I know the piece, I'll want to follow how the performers interpret it—the tempo the conductor (or the ensemble, if it's chamber music) has chosen, how the different parts are played against one another, how particular moments are shaped, etc. If I don't know the piece, I'll be interested in figuring it out: identifying themes and finding out when and how they are reprised, and with what variations; noting modulation between keys; listening for particularly clever or stirring passages, and so forth. In either case I'll also be paying attention to how the performers work together as an ensemble, what style the conductor uses, etc. Unnecessary motion in my peripheral vision would be a big distraction, and even small sounds during deliberate moments of silence can be distracting.

BTW, if you're not in the habit of attending classical concerts, don't be the first to applaud. Follow the audience's lead. The general rule is that you don't applaud between movements of a work, only after the final movement has ended.
posted by brianogilvie at 12:57 PM on August 12, 2016 [20 favorites]

If I was sitting anywhere near you in the audience, I would find this very rude, yes. Even if I wasn't personally bothered by seeing/feeling/hearing you constantly moving about, I would probably tweet about witnessing it later and point to it as evidence of civilization's impending collapse. Jokingly, of course, but not totally jokingly.

If I was performing (I used to be a performer, though not a musician, and mostly in venues more casual than this one sounds) I wouldn't be offended or anything but I'd feel a little sad that you hadn't given your ticket to someone who really wanted to be there. And if you think the performers won't see you, it doesn't matter, they will find out that some random person was knitting in the audience during their show.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 12:59 PM on August 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

I was at a Lyle Lovett concert recently and the woman next to me me was going through and deleting literally over 2,000 photos, mostly of her cats, from her phone one by one. Lots of people had their phones out recording songs or updating Facebook with those clips none of which bugged me in the least, but I was so distracted by this cat photo house cleaning taking place for HOURS out of the corner of my eye it was all I could do not to grab the phone from her and stomp on it. I imagine I'd react similarly to a person knitting next to me at a classical concert in that the incongruous activity became the center of my focal universe no matter how hard I tried to ignore it.
posted by cecic at 1:14 PM on August 12, 2016 [28 favorites]

To be fair, there are clearly a decent number of people who find that knitting something uncomplicated actually helps them to concentrate on what they're hearing. So a knitter would not necessarily be indicating boredom or disengagement from the concert. The real problem is the potential for distraction for those around you.
posted by praemunire at 1:14 PM on August 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I find myself very much helped by knitting when it comes to reducing my (severe) anxiety and fidgety behaviors, as well as enhancing concentration.

That said, it makes others around me anxious when I knit during an event, so I only do it if I'm feeling particularly bad, and/or the event is particularly low key. If the anxiety is especially bad and I'm an not able to knit, I find myself meditating, and that can lead to me not paying attention to the event. It's hard to strike a balance between my comfort and that of others.

Do feel free to knit while others are being seated, and during an intermission, as long as you can get yourself out of the way for others to be seated around you.
posted by bilabial at 1:18 PM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Someone above mentioned places that allow eating, and I think that's a great rule of thumb for deciding whether an event is knit-friendly. It tells you that a certain amount of movement is okay and expected.
posted by delight at 1:50 PM on August 12, 2016 [9 favorites]

If you were sitting far enough away from me that I couldn't hear or feel you, it wouldn't bother me, but I'm far from normal in my ability to ignore visual stimuli. I'm basically the least visually observant person ever.

But oh my GOD if you were sitting close enough that any part of you, even just your sleeve, was repetitively brushing me during the performance, or if the vibration of your movement was being carried into my chair, the irritation I would feel would set fire to the venue.
posted by jesourie at 2:01 PM on August 12, 2016 [11 favorites]

I knit in public whenever possible, but I would most likely tuck my sock-in-progress back into my purse when the performance started. I don't think it's an insult to the performers -- I actually concentrate better when knitting than when not -- but I would worry about distracting the people around me who would be thinking how rude I was.
posted by sarcasticah at 4:00 PM on August 12, 2016

Best answer: I am a classical music performer and a knitter. I knit in public all the time. Please, please don't knit during a classical music show -- you will distract your fellow audience members and quite possibly the performers. Remember that we are looking at you!
posted by KathrynT at 4:17 PM on August 12, 2016 [12 favorites]

Okay look, I'm a big believer in Miss Manners' infallibility, but that belief has been shaken. Yes, someone above rightly pointed out that it's unconscionable to call out the rude behaviour of another adult, but that's not the question posed in the cited column. The question was whether and how one could politely ask knitters to stop knitting, which is completely within the bounds of etiquette PROVIDED THAT knitting in the given venue is inappropriate.

Miss Manners' reply can be parsed into two aspects: first, that you don't approach people yourself in these situations but ask the ushers to 'ush them. That's not relevant to your question, which is whether you are allowed to BE the knitter.

And her response implies that knitting is a ludicrous thing to object to, unless it makes a noise, and if you're going to complain about that you should first hunt down all the people who are texting and hunt them down too. This is also not quite relevant to your question given that texting - on the basis of keyboard noise and screen brightness - is already agreed to be impolite in the theatre, and you're not asking whether it's OK to text during a concert. That leaves you with the implication that anyone who objects to your knitting is a fusspot, which pretty much shines through in MM's response. This may be the one time in history where I think she's not being strict enough.

Because many people in this thread have stated pretty emphatically that it *does* make a noise, that they can hear it, and that they are also bothered by the visual noise of having someone move knitting needles in their peripheral vision and probably out of time to the music. Concert musicians have also said that they find it personally insulting to see someone knitting while they perform.

So, I'm not normally in favour of labelling certain behaviours as "rude" when they're simply not liked, but in this case I have to say popular opinion overrides Miss Manners. Simply because popular opinion has ruled knitting to be a distraction and the politeness principle is that you don't distract people during concerts, therefore knitting is an instance of the class DISTRACTION and not of the class NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

It is a shame to see Miss Manners succumbing to personal bias in this way, advocating for public knitting simply because she herself likes knitting. It's an abuse of her position that I had always thought was beneath her. I'm... I'm going to have to take some time to process this. I had NO IDEA that heroes were capable of being imperfect humans in any way whatsoever, before this day. The very foundations of my reality have been shaken.
posted by tel3path at 5:04 PM on August 12, 2016 [15 favorites]

Holy hell if someone were knitting at a classical concert I would immediately find an usher to kick them out.

It would be impossibly rude because it's not dark so everyone nearby would see your repetitive motion in their line of vision and the tiny sounds (sorry, the noise of the needles and the yarn is still a noise, even with bamboo needles) would be distracting. The volume level varies dramatically in classical music and that variation is an important part of the experience. Listening at a concert is hyper focusing on the music and anything that distracts from that is being discourteous.

Please don't do it.
posted by winna at 5:26 PM on August 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

This would distract and irritate me and I would wonder if you were self-absorbed. (Obviously you're not! You're thoughtful and lovely to ask this! But irritated people think unkind thoughts.)

Movement is a big part of live classical music. The conductor's baton. The cellists' bows. Pages turning in unison. Please do not add your own movement.

Bamboo needles are "silent?" Citation extremely freakin' needed! Some of us can hear things others can't and our ears are there to hear the music.

posted by kapers at 5:35 PM on August 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

Best answer: It's cool you asked and classical music norms are a bit esoteric at times. I think the word here is reverence...not in every classical concert but in most of them, there is a reverent relationship between the audience and the performers and the music. Unlike a lot of pop/rock and even jazz, classical music speaks in its silences as much as in its tones. So moving around, even quietly, intrudes on that soft space of attentive possibility. Breath -- the conductor's first serious breath, the audience's pause before the applause, the entrance of the flutes -- is a part of it.

I totally get knitting and how it can help make focus, but it can't make space like has its own breath. That's why people would find it distracting even if it were silent.

I happen to work with one of the best concert halls acoustically, and the amount I can hear -- and I'm not a particularly sensitive listener -- is astonishing, like people's swallowing rows away. That depends on the venue though. But even so, in a really good performance where the performers are on and the audience is attentive and has some classical engagement, and the programming is right...and the magic comes...everyone breathes together. It's astonishing and primal. I hope you have a great time.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:43 PM on August 12, 2016 [12 favorites]

I have good hearing, while bamboo may be quiet vs metal needles I doubt it's absolutely soundless and would interfere with my audio enjoyment.
posted by TheAdamist at 5:50 PM on August 12, 2016

"Is it rude to fellow concertgoers to be knitting openly during the concert"

It is rude to the musicians. They worked their assess off to prepare for this concert, and you owe them your attention.

I sing in a chorale, and at a concert last Spring, I looked out into the audience and someone's bratty kids were messing around on their electronic devices, apparently with their parental unit's consent. That was so deeply off-putting I do not even have words.

Just. Don't. No.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 6:45 PM on August 12, 2016 [7 favorites]

I am a champion of non-stuffiness in classical music, but since it will otherwise be quiet, I would advise it only if you think you can keep tempo with the conductor as well as the players do. (Which is to say, very unlikely.) Otherwise it's like someone humming off key.
posted by batter_my_heart at 7:03 PM on August 12, 2016

Knitting at a concert may not mean the person is being inattentive, but it definitely means they're being disrespectful. It's distracting to other audience members and possibly to the performers and that's reason enough not to do it.
posted by Mavri at 8:23 PM on August 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was at an opera once where a man became so moved by an aria he shouted out, stood t applaud and then sat down and wept. I felt some fellow audience members were amused, but some, like me, thought he expressed a common feeling in the room that the rest of us were too shy to let out.

I think silence at formal classical concerts is the norm in the west, but there are sometimes concerts that are family friendly with looser options at the same venue, different time, if you would like to knit. It is also cultural, as is silence in movie theaters.

For me, I don't mind distracting activity, so long as the activity results from a connection between the audience and performers, and for this reason I wouldn't knit. While it helps you concentrate, it does not connect you to those on stage. That said, I can imagine an amazing event where masses of knitters gather and knit responsively during a concert and then share what they made after as an art project, and a means of responding.
posted by chapps at 10:45 PM on August 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I, too, think it's lovely that you are thoughtful enough to ask this question. I'd find it a charming conversation-starter to arrive at my seat for a concert and find a fellow attendee knitting next to me, as I completely relate to folks who describe how meditative and relaxing and focus-enhancing it can be.

That pleasant feeling, however, would be immediately replaced with shock and then quickly followed by horror if you did not put the knitting away when the conductor walked out. I would politely ask that you stop, resenting all the while you putting me in the situation of confronting your (perhaps clueless, but still) rude behavior, and if you did not stop would take the first opportunity to go to the management of the venue to get them to ask you to leave.

I would be using bamboo needles, which don't make any sounds

There's no polite way to tell you the above statement is ridiculous, so there it is. Every move you make will be accompanied by sounds that will absolutely be clearly audible to the concert goers in front of, behind and to both sides of you. You will be knitting directly into the ear of the person in front of you and it is extremely uninformed to believe they will not hear you.

Please don't do this.
posted by mediareport at 4:47 AM on August 13, 2016 [5 favorites]

Also count me with those who have seen a personal idol fail miserably today. Judith Martin, *how* could you go so wrong?

*sobs quietly while thinking I should probably take up knitting*
posted by mediareport at 4:51 AM on August 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: My immediate reflex reaction to this was "My God no never!" Then I remembered that knitting as an audience member at some types of events is not unknown. At several library conferences in the USA (but never in the UK) I've seen audience members knitting; here's a photo of one observance, with interesting comments.

Also, a colleague who is open about her stimming says that she would very much like to knit at concerts as this helps her focus tremendously, and she has done so at outdoor, more informal concerts. Formal, indoor, concerts with no external noises or distractions though are not really an option as it's distracting to others in the audience.

In addition, remembering an incident where I got a little violent with another audience member at a concert, I'd far rather prefer to sit behind a silent knitter rather than someone who holds an iPad up to record the event. But, on the other hand, I get easily distracted by movement anywhere in my field of view.

So - reluctantly - unless you can sit somewhere where the knitting motion is not a peripheral or line-of-sight distraction to the audience or performers, I'd say no, don't knit. But thank you for asking this, rather than just going to a concert and assuming (or not caring) that everyone else is fine with this.
posted by Wordshore at 7:29 AM on August 13, 2016

When I knit with bamboo needles, it's absolutely not silent. In addition to the click of the needles (not as loud as metal, but still audible!) there's a sound that the grain of the needles makes when rubbed together. YMMV, and different knitters hold and move the needles differently, but I'd recommend that you reconsider this. Maybe ask someone who is sensitive to soft sounds to confirm.
posted by BrashTech at 2:55 PM on August 13, 2016

Best answer: I don't think it would be the right thing to do at an indoor concert,, but it might be fun, and completely appropriate, while enjoying a classical concert in an outdoor or festival setting. So I'd say enjoy tonight's show sans needles, but seek out an good opportunity to knit along to some live classical music..

I don't know how to knit and I'm meh on classical music, but your idea sounds very soothing and enjoyable :)
posted by wats at 7:16 PM on August 13, 2016

How was the concert?
posted by lazuli at 9:30 PM on August 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

It wouldn't bother me ,and actually I'd be jealous. I love to draw when I listen to things and I'd be wishing I had thought to bring a sketch pad. Also if I was a performer I wouldn't care of an audience member was knitting, maybe because I know how much it helps me to draw as I listen.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:55 PM on August 13, 2016

If you're not a performer then you can't know how you'd feel; actual performers have spoken up in this thread and said they would dislike it.
posted by winna at 6:37 AM on August 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone! I had a great time at the concert and knitted once I got home :)
posted by vacuumsealed at 9:42 AM on August 14, 2016 [15 favorites]

I'm a sensitive person (need total silence when sleeping, get distracted easily) and a classical music lover AND a performer. And I think this would be totally fine. Nobody in the audience sits totally motionless for hours. As long as you're not making noise, it should be fine. Heck, the only person who would notice it would be someone right next to you (who is likely a loved one). The same people who'd be distracted by this would be distracted by someone sleeping at a concert - and we all know LOTS of people fall asleep at classical concerts.
posted by Guinevere at 11:45 AM on August 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

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