Often muggles (non-knitters) think that knitting is something that old ladies do while waiting for their grandkids to come round. [For a great explanation of the phenomena see Episode 96 of Sticks & String 'I'm busy'] My in-laws joke about this, claiming that Ravelry is one of the few places where people would pretend to be older than they are. They do however happily let me knit while I talk to them. To keep a flow of conversation going I'm still needing to just do stockinette socks, and more than appropriate seeing I am doing a gorgeous pair of man socks for their son in marine yarn. You can easily have a lovely time with your family while knitting and then you end up with an item as well as a lovely time.
Equally I spent a great afternoon with my father knitting my first pair of socks in a friendly cafe which let us spend hours over our coffee post lunch so much that we ordered another pair of coffees. It's wonderful to wear knitted items you remember making with while talking to your loved one. I'd love to get a headset and use Skype to talk to my mum so I can knit while talking to her.