Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Jury is Out...of her mind

On New Year's Eve, I had jury duty. Although I was excited about the possibility of actually getting to be on a jury (I've never even been called out of the waiting room), I was thrown for a loop when I heard from a friend that in this county, knitting needles were not allowed--not only in the courtroom but in the whole building. She passed on that crochet hooks were allowed.

I don't crochet at all, but I have a couple of hooks--a super-tiny steel one for beading and a moderate-sized one for picking up dropped stitches (although in reality I only use my knitting needles for this purpose). I also own the fabulous Kids Crochet: Projects for Kids of All Ages. I was all set to take the book, my medium hook, and some random yarn and see if I could finally figure out that alien craft.

The night before jury duty, I called the number I was supposed to call in order to get final confirmation that I was to show up. There was a statement that we should bring enough stuff to entertain ourselves all day. There was also a statement that no metal knitting needles or crochet hooks are allowed in the building. So my crochet hook would not pass through security--but I was allowed to take my knitting! If you are not an addicted knitter, you might not be able to imagine the relief I was feeling.

I packed my bag full of diversions. Although I threw in a book and also a notebook and pen, most of what I took was knitting. Two projects with very different yarns so I could swap back and forth when my hands began to hurt. At the last minute, I threw in yarn, pattern, and needles for the second Twisted Stitch Gauntlet. I could not imagine casting on for it while I was waiting for my name to be called. It requires a bit more concentration than my slightly hard-of-hearing self wanted to spend when I knew I had to be watching the front of the room.

So I got to the courthouse and merrily put my bag through security. The guard opened it and spotted one circular bamboo needle with nothing yet cast on.

"No knitting needle."

"Oh--but it is fine--it is not metal!"

"No knitting needle. I take care of it."

"It's WOOD. It's OK!" I felt my voice going up about an octave.

He held up the very blunt and very skinny little size 4 needle that would break if you even knit too tightly and mimed stabbing himself in the chest. I could not believe it. You could kill someone with a pencil stub more easily.

He did not ask for any other needles. I kept my mouth shut. Usually I am a ridiculous follow-the-rules type--but I was desperate.

But the guard continued to rifle through my bag, perhaps set off my all the yarn and patterns. He found the needle with the shawl attached and snatched that out for his little collection. He then picked up the tiny pack of double pointed needles meant for the gloves. I held my breath.

"What are these?"

"Um.... Um.... DPN's?" I paused.

"What are they for?"

"Um.... Um.... You, um, use them when you make gloves?"

"OK. Knitting needles will be here when you are finished."

I feel like I got a reprieve! What is it about courthouses and guards that makes me want to disobey so frantically??


Adrienne said...

LOL @ your very clever DPN remark!

Must say, I would go ballistic if someone tried to convince me that bamboo knitting needles are dangerous, unless they were also going to take my pens, pencils, shoelaces, etc. What a load of baloney!

Lostcheerio said...

Oh -- how unfair! That is rotten. They go by categories though, you know? Just following orders, etc. Still, pretty retarded.

Carrie K said...

Because it's a stupid rule and should be broken. I'm a lot more lethally inclined without knitting in my hands and trust me, there are plenty of lethal objects right there in the building (says the Homicide cop's daughter.)

christine (threedogknits) said...

I would've gone nuts in jury duty with no knitting. Maybe someone should make knitting needles disguised as pencils (in various official knitting widths). That way knitters wouldn't get so nervous going to jury duty or the airport.


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