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Monday, July 19, 2010

Third Time's The Charm - I hope.

I am starting the same knitting project for the third time. It's ok. I rarely get things right the first time. I don't tend to see things, read things or understand things the way most people do. And that's ok. I'll get it right one of these times.

At least as far as knitting goes, the internet is a godsend, since you can find the answers to your knitting questions there, but like all things internetty, this convenience replaces something that in the long run would be more valuable - real interaction with real people.

When I started knitting a few years ago, I stumbled into a tiny yarn shop and was greeted by several friendly people knitting at the long table in the middle of the store. I asked about classes and discovered that most of the classes at this particular shop were held during the week, during the day and since I worked full time that wasn't going to work for me. No matter - I could come in on Saturdays and get private lessons from Sandra, a older rather grandmotherly very experienced knitter. And so I did. I got more out of those Saturday mornings than knitting instruction. I was part of a rather quirky group of very nice people who didn't really care what knitting level I was at or how good I was at it. We were all enjoying, knitting, drinking coffee and eating donuts and talking.

Funny how a little time, a bunch of books, movies and hype can ruin a good thing. Now when I enter a yarn shop I feel like I've invaded the inner sanctum of a secret society. There are still knitters sitting the in the middle of the shop and they still look up at me when I walk in, but no one greets me, no one smiles. Once they find out that the person who entered the shop is not one of The Group, the look quickly back down at their knitting.

It's no longer ok to be making a scarf, or even a sweater - now you must be experimenting with entrelac, Fair Isle. You must have published your own patterns on Ravelry. Knitting has suddenly become more than just an enjoyable pastime sometimes done alone, sometimes done with others - it has become ART. No longer knitters, please refer to them as textile artists. This coincidentally or not seems to have happened right about the same time as knitting began to be popular with men. Look, it's true. I don't know if men had anything to do with it, but more men's tendency to be competitive? Ok, whatever. People of both genders who knit now feel less than adequate regarding just about all things knitting -the level he/she is at, the project he/she is working on, even the needles he/she uses. The dropping of name brands is epidemic in these circles.

And so those who just can't seem to compete and those who quite frankly don't want to and just would like to for the love of God - KNIT - go on the internet when they are stumped. They Google their knitting questions and then select from the many results which include Youtube videos and knitting forums (the cyber knitting circle complete with aforementioned competitiveness.)

I'm not sure if the Internet killed real social interaction or if current-day forms of social interaction/competition created the need for a less complicated, less intimate, less messy form of social interaction, and quite frankly I don't really care.

I just want to knit.


  1. Ive always wanted to learn to knit, and its not that I havent tried... many times. Each time though just served to reinforce what I already knew. Im a knit fail.

  2. It took me a few times too. Taking a class is good - then you can research most stuff on the internet. I pretty much suck at it too, but I keep trying.


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