The Dumb Muggle Challenge or “I wouldn’t be so grouchy if you’d stop asking stupid questions!”

Hello…I am grouchy. I am a grump. I would even go so far as to say I am feeling like a snarky…witch. Despite the past 2 nights of very good sleep, apparently that whole month of sleeping like crap is finally catching up to me. Hence my lovely mood and the dark cloud that seems to follow my every footstep.

Muggels, lets talk about them for a moment. One of the things that helps alleviate my grumpiness is knitting, when I am in a mood, I like to knit…quietly, I don’t really care to engage in conversation about what it is I am doing. I despise ignorant knitting questions. Now don’t get me wrong, I am eager to share my craft with those who are truly interested in the mechanics of knitting and/or have a desire to learn. But how many times have you settled back, really wrapped your brain around that four row pattern repeat, only to be met with…”watcha doin?”, or there’s the perennial favorite…”you making a sweater?”…..”No, I’m making a hand knit muzzle, wanna try it on?”

Yesterday of course was no exception. Several months ago, I ordered this on ebay


a gorgeous skein of hand died “Black Cherry” fingering weight, merino sock yarn, 250 yards. Yesterday I was wearing a scarf that I had made last winter, my scarf is 6 ft long and 1ft wide, and knit with 2 strands of Patons Divine in Richest Rose, held together. My somewhat ditsy co-worked says to me, “Did you make your scarf?”…me typing away, “Yes.”….”Did you make it with that Black Cherry yarn?”

…….*crickets chirping in the distance*…….

It took me nearly 30 seconds to realize that she wasn’t kidding and was patiently awaiting my answer. I was so stunned I didn’t really know what to say. So trying to cover up my incredulous disbelief, I mumbled, “no, a different yarn”

Anyone can see that these two yarns are nothing alike, not even close, They aren’t even the same color. Even if you couldn’t tell a knitting needle from a pasta fork, you can tell that in no way could my sock yarn magically become a furry mohair-like-bulky weight! Kelly told me I had to be nice to the muggles…but she, being snarky as well, did have a crushing reply at the ready, “Why yes, the smooth, thin yarn magically turned into bulky furzy yarn. It’s magic yarn. Wash it and it grows, it’s a Chia Scarf.” He, he, this is why I like Kelly, our brains have a tendency to travel in the same rut.
There is one muggle who always cracks me up with his comments, my dad. He asked me once as he watched me knit, “If I give you some steel wool…will you knit me a car?” See, my snarkiness is genetic.

Maybe grumpy knitters should come with a warning label:

“Grump who knits with pointy sticks,

ask brainless questions at your own peril”


…and so to try and dispel my grumpy mood, this little episode will spawn a contest.

The Dumb Muggle Challenge!

Leave me a comment telling me about the dumbest comment/question a muggle has made about your knitting by midnight (EST) February 5th. The one that has me laughing the hardest will win you a really snarky coffee mug and some sock yarn.

39 Responses to The Dumb Muggle Challenge or “I wouldn’t be so grouchy if you’d stop asking stupid questions!”

  1. Hmm… I’m going to really have to think about this one…

  2. traceyleezle says:

    When asked, “watcha doin” while knitting, I really like to say, “I’m making a souffle” or some other random act that has absolutely nothing to do with knitting.

  3. Chris says:

    Hmm. Of course, since my caffeine level is dropping to critical levels, I can’t think of anything… Actually, my very favorite muggle moment was when I was walking around Lake of the Isles and knitting. A guy jogged past me, then turned around and ran backwards for a few minutes to see what I was doing. He then complimented me on my dexterity and coordination, since I was walking FAST and probably hitting my target heart rate.

  4. Brigitte says:

    Oh. I know the type. I don’t hear them anymore.

    I was talking with another knitter friend the other day and we decided we are going to go and live on a farm some where in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of other knitters. Like in the Color Purple, at the end of the movie when all the ladies end up living together. No dumb questions. No inflicting pain.

  5. maryse says:

    now now. i think you’re being a little hard on your co-worker. when was the last time she saw the sock yarn? the colors are in the same general family. i think it’s kind of cool that she’s actually asking you about your scarf and remembered your sock yarn. i’d cut her some slack. she’s not in love with yarn so why would she notice the difference.

    want to get my snark on though? ask me to knit you something, when i offer to teach you, tell me you already know how, but don’t have the time. so i replied, “so you must never sit on your ass ever. because if you have time to sit on your ass, you have time to knit.”

  6. Ariel says:

    I was at the Boston Knit Out a couple of years ago tending the pizza table (pizza is for volunteers) when a muggle man came up and tried to get some pizza. I told him it was for volunteers only, and he started up a conversation (probably trying to get some pizza).

    MM: “How do you have the patience to knit? I would never be able to do something like that, it takes too long.”

    Me: “I like it, it’s kind of relaxing.

    MM: “Well I guess if you don’t have anything more important to do… I’m to busy, I have much more important things to do. What do you do?”

    Me: “I’m getting a PhD in genetics.”


    Or the other, although technically this was asked by knitters!

    I was knitting my multidirectional scarf (also at the Knit Out) when some knitters asked me if I made it by knitting triangles and sewing them together. Now, keep in mind that at this point I am knitting with the entire scarf coming off the end of the needles.

  7. […] having a “Muggle Challenge” – leave her a comment with the most mind blowing question someone has asked about your knitting and you could win a […]

  8. Kenyetta says:

    The most mind blowing to me are the questions about the time it takes to knit something-
    Can you knit me a halter by Friday?
    – and it’s Wednesday.

  9. V says:

    I have 2!

    A guy watching me knit the hospital waiting room: “You mean you make gloves WITH YOUR HANDS? You seriously make them WITH YOUR HANDS?” (No, I make then with my arse, but that’s another story…)

    Just last week I showed someone a hank of manos and they said: “What’s that?” “It’s yarn.” “What? No, what IS it?” Must be the biggest muggle of them all…can’t even identify YARN.

  10. ann-marie says:

    them: “yeah my friends knit. that little hook goes so fast and she made a really nice afghan last week”
    me: “um, yeah, that’s crochet. i dont’ know how to crochet”.
    them: “what’s the difference?”

  11. Kelly says:

    ugggg It seriously does drive you nuts!
    co- worker : You knitting???
    Me – No *&Z$( sherlock!!!

    or how about, heading down to the knitting sectiona at work to help someone and they look at me and say
    muggle – Geez’s your kinda young I really need someone who knows what they’re talking about……
    insert backhanded slap!!!!!
    ohhhh that still makes my blood boil!
    I’ll have to put my thinking cap on for some more.

  12. Carole says:

    I used to do a lot of Civil War reenacting and there’s nothing like attending a reenactment to bring out the stupid in people. I had someone ask me, “Is that real yarn”?
    I’m not kidding.

  13. Sachi says:

    Oh, we so need to print up tote bags with some of these. The one I hate the most is:
    q: What are you making?
    a: A sock. See? *holds sock up for inspection*
    q: Oh, yeah! I see it. But, don’t you need two?
    a: *Smack!*

    Two weeks straight I got this or some variation of. Why? It never happened before. Someone shoot me.

  14. Susan says:

    I was knitting in the waiting room in surgery for my DH. I was knitting a sock. A young couple was there – he was in for a surgery consult. He asked if I was making a beer can holder?

    You know, I bet he would have taken up knitting if I had said yes.

  15. Danielle says:

    I was knitting a sock (top down, past the heel shaping, into the foot, and almost to the toe), when a Muggle asked if I was knitting a sweater. When I told him no, he said “well, it must be a hat, right?”. Umm, not quite!

  16. courtney says:

    I’m an orchestral musician and we often have to travel on buses to remote locations to play runout concerts. Sometimes I knit on the bus. Not too long ago, one of my co-workers, a younger guy who was sitting across the aisle from me, leaned over and said, “How old are you?” I guess the implication was that I wasn’t old enough to be knitting. How clever!

  17. Adam says:

    Oh hands down my best question from a muggle is:

    “Dude. You’re knitting. Isn’t that something girls do?”

    That guy almost lost an eye to a knitting needle.

  18. Kelly says:

    I have been asked several times if I am pregnant b/c I am knitting. How in the world are those connected. I know people knit baby clothes, but come on this is MN – doesn’t everyone have a knitted sweater.

  19. trek says:

    I was knitting a sock while at the Emergency Room and the nurse came in and said how pretty it was and did I really knit it myself. Um, no, you see, my evil twin knit it and I am just playing with the pointy sticks here while we wait for the child’s arm to be x-rayed. Here’s your sign.


  20. traceyleezle says:

    OK, in her defense, my muggle who made the dumb scarf comment, really is a sweety and a good friend and always gushes over my hand knit stuff. (Are you happy Maryse)
    So, in my grumpiness I was overly harsh. But still, I am so tired of stupid knitting questions and this contest is worth a wee bit of guilt just to hear all these dumb questions. I am cracking up out loud here at work. It’s even more fun thinking up snarky replies to some of these dumb questions. I have a great one that fits nearly each situation, it is my favorite and I use it frequently…
    “Did you eat an extra bowl of stupid this morning?”

  21. deb says:

    Me, sitting in a waiting room, hyper-looking lady walks up and sits in chair next to me…
    Muggle (weird lady): Are you knitting?
    Me: Yes.
    Muggle: Oh,I have to be up and DOING something ALL the time. I don’t know how you can sit and do anything THAT BORING!… blather, blah, blah…
    Me: You mean, MORE boring than listening to you?…
    (…well, really, I was only THINKING that….But I wanted to say it!!!)
    I still have a hard time believing that people will ask a perfect stranger a question, with the intent of criticizing the very thing they are asking about!!! Geez!

  22. Lu says:

    the one that always gets me is when they ask, “are you knitting?”. No, I am baking a cake !?

  23. Alison says:

    I found your site through Chris, but I’m really enjoying reading everyone’s comments.

    Mine aren’t all that funny, but I do get them all the time:

    1. What are you crocheting? (Of course, if I am actually crocheting, I get what are you knitting?)
    2. When are you making me something? (I had one woman ask me this every time she saw me, but she refused every time I offered to teach. She was quite seriously expecting me to make her something.)
    3. How do you find the time? (This is my favorite because it always comes from the other moms just sitting in my kids’ hour-long Tae Kwon Do class twice a week doing nothing, not even with a magazine.)

  24. Ok, I’ve reviewed my collection of dumb muggle comments and I’ve whittled it down to 2:

    Muggle: You knitting? Heh… I thought that was only for old ladies.
    Me: Oh it is. I’m just an extremly well preserved 90 year old.

    And the other, which one day might drive me to violence..

    Muggle: Knitting huh? Must be nice to have time to sit around and do nothing.

  25. olga says:

    this may fit more into the category “stupid” but I was at an agricultural display that showed all the products that came from sheep.And they had yarn there for ‘wool’ and guess what? the yarn was acrylic. I pointed it out to the ‘expert’ on sheep, she acted like I was pulling a fast one on her. I also hate it when people assume because you create with your hands that you have nothing better to do.

  26. Shanti says:

    When I lived in Washington, DC, I took the Metro to work every day and I always had knitting. One day, waiting for the train and working on a sock, I had a person, (probably not a tourist given the time and location,) come up and ask “Are you using toothpicks because they won’t let you bring needles on the trains because of the terrorists?”

  27. A while ago on my blog I posted a rant about all the trouble I was having with my lace knitting. The article is here:

    Everyone (I am not kidding) who saw it remarked that I was knitting a thong. A freaking thong! My beautiful lace, a Fiddlesticks pattern no less, and the only thing anyone said (to my face, fortunately, not in the comments) was “Are you knitting a thong? It looks like a thong!”


  28. Brenda says:

    I was knitting a sock while waiting for my appointment at the doctor’s office. A young guy with his arm in a cast sat down near me and asked what I was doing. I told him I was knitting a sock, and I held it up (I was nearly done so it really did look like a sock). He then asked, “A sock you could wear on your feet?”

    I managed to refrain from a snarky, “Why no, this is an ear sock.” (I was afraid the snarky comment would rebound in bad karma when I got weighed at my appointment.) Instead, I settled for a simple, “Why yes, of course for my feet. Handknit socks are so comfortable.” He looked unconvinced and then left me alone.

  29. lorinda says:

    Here’s my favorite. I was knitting a patterned sock on dpns. Someone came up to me and said, “Oh, you’re knitting socks. When are you going to move up to knitting a sweater?”


  30. traceyleezle says:

    After reading some of these out loud to my husband, who didn’t get most of these…..he said that knitters are mean. I said, “No, we are actually exceptionally kind because we don’t actually SAY the first mean snarky thing that pops into our heads…unlike the idiots asking the question.”

  31. Diane says:

    I was knitting along at the dentist’s office and a guy said, “What are you going? Crocheting?” I said no knitting. Talking a little louder (trying to impress his friend sitting next to him) he snickers, “Knitting? Isn’t that something only old ladies do?” I said that anyone could knit. Now he’s really loud trying to make me look stupid, “That’s just a waste of time. Knitting. Really what a waste of time. You could buy something knit instead of wasting your time making it.” I’d had enough by this point so I responded, “You’re probably right. It’s much better to try to pick an argument with a total stranger in a dentist’s waiting room instead of occupying your time doing something constructive like say …. knitting.”

  32. Heather says:

    I don’t think I have any funny enough comments/questions. They seem to be pretty standard:

    1) “Are you knitting a bottle holder?” while knitting a sock.
    2) Muggle: What are you knitting?
    Me: A sock.
    Muggle: Just one?

    That’s about all I have…not very exciting.

  33. Karen says:

    The most fantastic question I have ever been asked was from a fellow knitter. She doesn’t really knit often and called me up to ask if you could knit back and forth in rows on a circular needle. This woman has probably been knitting at least as long or longer than I’ve been alive (I’m 28), so this was a real winner for me.

  34. Anne says:

    I answer moronic questions all the time for a living, but this one got me. I was at physical therapy, knitting a top in variegated yarn. A very cute but extremely dumb guy said to me, “How do you get the yarn to change color where you want it to?”

    I explained that the yarn made the stripes, and wherever the color changed, that made the pattern.

    “But how do you get them to change in just the right place?”

    I replied, “Think *harder.*”

    It wasn’t nice, but it was satisfying.

  35. Lucinda says:

    In the Assuming-All-Knitting-Must-Be-For-Babies category, I have recently gotten a comment even worse than asking if I were pregnant. I got asked if I was knitting something for my grandchild. Considering that my oldest child is only 12 years old, I found that one to be REALLY odd.

  36. Kristin says:

    A couple of use were knitting at a local bar one night (which we do every other week) and this inebriated guy came up to us, fondled our works in progress (much to my disgust) and said “This is amazing! Are you guys on methamphetamines??” Because obviously you would have to be a meth addict to knit (?!?!?!)

  37. Christine says:

    Found you from Chris, and have been laughing reading these. My muggle comments are from my boyfriend who I love dearly but is always offering advice and calling everything sewing, sticks, and string. He’s gotten a bit better, but still! Secondly my other favorite was when someone told me they didn’t think you could actually knit socks, that just machines made them.

  38. pao says:

    Here is something that I as a non knitter have always been scared to ask:

    What the heck is that?


  39. Susan says:

    I’m a crocheter but get many of the same comments.

    One that really stands out is a women who came up to me when I crocheting at a coffee shop and asked if I could teacher to knit with one needle because she lost one of her needles.

    During the summer my son sells his photography at a local farmer’s markets and art shows and I go with him to help. During slow times I crochet. When people see me crocheting and turn to him and say ‘Oh, you must take good pictures because your mom crochets’

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