Knitters don't hold their needles like pencils!
It's one thing when it is a live action commercial or movie. I can't count the number of times I have seen a character supposedly knitting who is actually just stabbing at a finished afghan with a crochet hook. But I understand that knitting is a complex physical action, and you can't necessarily teach an actor how to do it right in a few minutes.
Remember how slowly and awkwardly you knit, the first few times after you initially learned how? No one wants to see that on screen. And it's not like horseback riding or jumping from an airplane, where you can just cut to a stunt knitter for key scenes.
But animation! Animation is different. An animated work can show you anything you want, without silly limits like the ability of a human to learn how to perform a complex series of actions with their hands. Furthermore, someone (or more likely a team of overpaid, underworked someones) had to meticulously draw every single frame of that bad fake knitting.
Why not take the time to at least get it somewhat right?
I recently watched the first few episodes of Tom Hanks' new steampunk web series "Electric City." I was intrigued, because the eponymous city is ruled by a secret underground matriarchy of knitters. This shadowy cabal meets up to knit and decide who should be assassinated next.
(Naturally, for maximum comic effect, all the knitters seem to be elderly grandmother types. Let's not even discuss it.)
9 out of 10 times, you can bet that a knitter will be shown holding the needles like two pencils and sort of swirling them in the knitting. And that is what happens here. One knitter does hold her needles correctly, in an overhand grip. But she also wraps both needles with the yarn, so it's a trade-off.
To the animators' credit, they did get the rhythm of knitting right. But how hard would it be to ask around until you find a knitter who will sit for your animators? There are 50 million knitters in North America. Surely if none of your animators knit, they know someone who does. As a very last resort, just look up "knitting" on YouTube. It's free!
As an animator, if you don't know how something "goes," your job is to research it. No animator worth their snuff would just guess at how someone puts on their pants or pours a cup of coffee. Animators slave over the tiniest details in their work, so why are they always so lazy when it comes to knitting?
Maybe it's because they think people won't notice. But we do. Oh, we do!