Last Thursday, I attended a performance of A Flea in Her Ear at Austin Playhouse. (My review will appear in this Thursday's Austin Chronicle.) I brought my knitting, as I often do when I attend plays on my own.
An older lady in the row in front of me noticed my knitting.
"Oh, you knit as well?" she said. She had an accent. I'd place it as Northern European, although her behavior, as you may soon agree, suggested that she is impeccably German.
"Yes," I said.
"Vat are you making?"
"It's a sweater," I said. I was going to tell her which one. "Do you get Interweave Knits?"
"Do you subscribe to Interweave Knits?"
"Is dat a pattern?"
"Oh. I don't use patterns. I don't need them."
Alrighty then. "Okay," I said.
"I don't like American patterns. I like European patterns."
I shrugged. "I've followed an English pattern before. It wasn't that different."
"No, I mean I don't like American patterns. I tink dey're ugly. I don't like dem."
Sigh. "Okay," I said.
"Are you knitting American-style?"
Clearly I was. "Yes."
"I knit European-style. American-style is too slow."
"Okay," I said, and stopped talking to her.
It's tempting to speak one's mind to people who are socially incompetent. Yet it rarely helps, and after all, this lady was of advanced years.
That did make me think, however. If it's an older American person I'm dealing with, I usually remind myself that this person has lived through the Depression and World War II, and he or she probably deserves a break.
I stopped just short of asking this woman what she was up to in 1943. It might have been awkward.
A quick treat, before I sign off: the project over which Fräu Assface interrogated me was a getting-there, almost-got-it Whisper Cardigan. Honestly, I thought I was original when I fell in love with that pattern. 300+ knitters on Ravelry say, not so much!
(In that picture I look like the crazy assassin with poisonous spikes sticking out of her zonkers in the Oktoberfest scene in Pink Panther Strikes Again.)