The Threat of Knitting

I know that knitting is not a very common pastime, so I have come to expect a bit of reaction from people when I'm knitting in public. The response generally falls into two categories:
  1. Excited interest. The people who exhibit this behavior are invariably knitters themselves.
  2. Polite curiosity. The people in this category generally look like a combination of amused and befuddled, like they're inwardly saying, "Wow, people still knit?" or "What is she doing with those sticks and string?" They usually smile and go on about their business.
I have now encountered a third reaction: thoroughly frightened.

I was sitting in the waiting room at my orthodontist's office, knitting peacefully on my sock while I waited my turn. Across the room was a mother and her daughter, who appeared to be about 6 or 7. (I found out later that they were waiting for their older daughter/sister to get done with her adjustment). The mom took a look at what I was doing, then looked at me with an expression akin to one you might have if you found yourself face-to-face with Freddy Krueger. The fear then morphed into a sort of disgusted look, as if knitting was a deviant act that should only be done in the privacy of one's home between consenting needles and yarn. She then (and this is the part that stunned me) grabbed up her kid and moved to the farthest point in the room from me.

I've had some time to mull this incident over, and I still can't make any sense of it. What is so threatening about knitting? Did she think her child would be scarred for life from exposure to knitting? That she might find out too soon how baby sweaters are made?

One thing I did find amusing was that the daughter was singing along to the song "This Is Why I'm Hot", which was playing on the radio. Not exactly wholesome, even when heavily edited. So knitting is terrible but songs about clubbing and promiscuous sex are perfectly fine?

(Oh, and in case you're curious, apparently Mims is hot because he's fly, and "you ain't 'cause you not.") Nice.

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