I was reminded of this today on the bus ride home. When I first got on the gentleman sitting behind me struck up a conversation about my knitting and when I was making etc.. After a couple of other comments he reassured me that he wasn't staring at me, simply glancing over from time to time to make comments. After about 5 minutes of this pretense he finally admitted that ok, now he was watching what I was doing. And for the next 20 minutes of my ride we sat in relative silence, me knitting - him watching. As he was getting off the bus, he thanked me for letting him watch and share the experience. Next was the woman who moved up to the seat behind me and talked about how she had made afghans and such in the past but was a bit baffled by what I was doing with so many needles (I was working on kilt hose knit in the round on 5 DPNs). We had a bit of conversation which reminded her of a girl she had know in grade school in the 50's who had moved to the school from Germany and was teased because everything she wore was hand-knit by the girls mother, right down to her underwear!
And these little conversations reminded me that knitting might be a quiet and generally solitary practice for me, but is still a powerful thing. Not only does it connect me to the men and women who have come before me and passed the craft along, but it connects me to complete strangers in my everyday life. As a generally introverted person this is huge for me. Many times there are situations where I would never say a word or interact with others around me for any number of reasons, but with my knitting out, I do. It starts conversations and is something I can talk about with practically anyone.
Knitting is a powerful thing.