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Thursday, September 25, 2003 

One of the side effects of knitting in public is receiving unwanted attention from others. On most days I work on my knitting on the train to and from work (though less frequently now that I have homework to do for my tax class). At first I noticed fellow passengers watching me as I worked every stitch. Sometimes I'd look up and they'd look away quickly pretending they weren't staring, despite it being obvious.

I've never been one to mind being noticed. But sometimes it can get a little creepy or feel a little awkward.

One time I was waiting on the platform for an approaching train when this middle aged asian woman remarked that she had been watching me knit for a while. She claimed to remember me knitting something burgundy, but I knew for a fact that nothing I had been working on was either red, burgundy, or any other similar color. Despite telling her this, she insisted that she had seen me knitting something in that color. I finally just shrugged my shoulders in an effort to quash her persistance.

This morning as I was getting off the train a man approached from behind me. Suddenly he asked if I had moved recently because he claimed he didn't remember me "getting on the train so late." So late? I got on at the same time I always do. At first I just looked at him oddly, and then I politely said no. Then he said "I usually see you sitting, but this time you were standing." Which confused me since I had been sitting until just before I got off the train. Finally he left me alone. But, I remember this same guy from a few months earlier approaching me in the same manner as I was leaving the station. Out of nowhere he asked me if the object I was working on was my "first sweater" because he had seen me working on it for quite a while. I informed him that it was not a sweater, and that it was an afghan, for my boyfriend. I thought maybe he'd get the hint. Something just felt really wrong about this guy, and he kind of creeped me out. I'd hesitate to call him a stalker, because I too recognize a lot of faces form the train I ride every day. But, this guy does seem a little weird.

And it's not that all attention is bad attention. I've struck up some really great conversations with people on the train because of my knitting. Some people have been very interested in knowing what I'm making. Some were amazed that you could knit with anything other than wool and wanted to know what else you could knit with. Some said they kind of knew how to knit and asked me for a few pointers. And I even showed one woman how to knit with a set of circulars she had in her bag, yet couldn't figure out how to use. But I think there's something about someone indicating that they've "been watching you" that feels really off.

Fortunately my boyfriend works for the police department for that train agency, so if this guy starts to get on my nerves I can have him dealt with. Perhaps I should see if I can visually locate this guy on my train, and arrange for Jon to stop and talk to me on the train a few times, just so the guy gets the hint that not only am I not available, but that I'm involved with a cop. Maybe that'll scare him away from creeping me out again.

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  • I'm Dani
  • From San Francisco
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