I am always absurdly delighted to see handknits moving around in the real world, but especially patterns I recognize. A Clapotis crossing the street, a Rose Red on the subway platform, that time I saw Koolhases for sale at an Iron & Wine concert.
The weird thing is that people don't necessarily seem to appreciate my delight--I complimented the Clapotis-wearer on her scarf, and she seemed pleased. But when my friend Addi (who had recently completed a Rose Red) and I saw Rose Red Woman and beamed at the top of her head, she stared at us strangely and moved further down the platform. Similarly, seeing a Swell atop a woman getting off the PATH train (with a bicycle no less) brightened up my day, but the Swell Bicyclist behaved as though she had any old hat on, and carried on hoisting her bike over the turnstile.
Swell Bicyclist may indeed have been kinda busy. And Addi surmised that Rose Red Woman (seeing as how she looked kinda snooty) probably didn't knit the hat herself, but got it as a gift, and so had no idea why we were so enamored with the top of her head. But even assuming that to be true, one would think she knew that somebody made it, right?
If somebody were to gasp and grin at my Odessa, I would grin right back and telepath, hey, yep, howyadoin'. I probably wouldn't stop and chat because let's face it, I'm just not that socialized, but I would not be offended. (And frankly, nice hat is nice hat, and appreciation is always appreciated, right?)